Is drinking cold water bad for you?

It may be natural instinct to reach for a glass of cold water on a hot day. During a workout, a cold beverage may be the only thing on your mind, but research shows this may not actually be the best way to go.

While drinking cold water during a workout may keep you from overheating, studies have concluded that cold water can also make some physical problems worse. Migraine sufferers who drink cold water can actually trigger them by doing so.

One study concluded that drinking cold water can make the pain associated with achalasia worse, while other studies have shown that consuming cold water made nasal mucous thicker and more difficult to pass through the respiratory tract. This same study also found that consuming warm fluids might be superior to cold liquids in the management of fluids in upper respiratory tract infections.

There is more evidence to show that warm water and hot beverages are more beneficial than consuming cold. While medical professionals agree that drinking water, hot or cold, is good for you, studies tend to show hot beverages provide more health benefits.

Many people find drinking a cup of hot tea or coffee relaxing, which reduces stress. A study from 2017 shows that hot coffee drinkers live longer, while other publications show that coffee drinking may actually help with Parkinson’s disease, some cancers, heart health and type 2 diabetes. Drinking warm water or hot beverages can aid in digestion, help circulation and assist in getting rid of body toxins faster by encouraging sweating and excreting toxins through the skin.

Consuming hot beverages has been a preferred method for thousands of years. Cultures such as the Chinese believe that drinking cold water with hot food creates an imbalance. Traditionally, meals in Chinese culture are served with warm water or hot tea, a tradition that is practiced by numerous other cultures around the world.