The weight loss tip for drinking lots of ice-cold water to force the body into doing more work and thus burn more calories isn't completely true. This is because cold temperatures in the body cause fats to harden and congeal, making them more difficult for the body to digest.
Although drinking water that's at room temperature helps the digestive process, drinking ice water has the potential to cause constipation. Food solidifies and hardens as it passes through the body, while at the same time making the intestines contract, which can lead to difficulty when you really need to "go".
As mentioned in previous points, drinking ice water actually slows down your body's rehydration process, rather than speeding it up. This is because the body needs to bring it up to the correct temperature first before it can use it. The only exceptions to this rule are long-distance runners, who appear to benefit from the delayed response mechanism for maintaining water levels when they're in a long run.
While drinking ice water can make you feel refreshed and stimulate you in the short term, it actually serves to drain your energy in the long run. This is because your body has to use extra energy to warm up the ice-cold water and bring it up to its average temperature.
Drinking ice water can lead to stomach upsets, abdominal pain, stomach gurgling, and nausea. This is because cold temperatures are anti-inflammatory, therefore causing blood vessels to retract. Another side effect of ingesting ice cold water is that the stomach contracts and becomes too tight to be able to process food efficiently.
Drinking ice water can cause your heart rate to drop. This is because the vagus nerve, which runs down the back of your neck, is affected by a sudden ingestion of ice-cold water. As an emergency measure, your heart rate slows down until your body temperature reaches equilibrium once again.
Just as a cold winter's day can give you a runny nose and block up your sinuses, ice-cold water creates the same bodily response. In other words, your body creates mucus as a natural humidifier to warm any ingested cold air or liquid. The difference is that in the case of ice water, this bodily response is unneeded, and it results in extra mucus accumulating in your pipes, thus making your throat sore.
If you're familiar with "brain freeze", which you get as a result of ingesting ice cream or crushed ice, then you should know that ice water can do the same thing. It chills many sensitive nerves in the spine, and they immediately relay messages to your brain, which in turn causes headaches.
Since it is now pretty clear that drinking ice cold water is certainly no good for you, here are some of the benefits your body will thank you for after switching to warm or room temperature water instead:
• Your digestion will become more efficient due to the natural digestive enzymes that warm water stimulates.
• You will hydrate yourself a lot quicker every time you take a sip of water.
• Warm water makes your blood cleaner and purer.
• You will give your body's natural detoxification processes a boost.
• You will experience regular and more complete bowel movements.
• Switching to warm water has been found to reduce sugar cravings, helping you maintain a healthy weight.
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