We have this wacky theory around the office that the Justin Bieber song “Cold Water” is actually about his internal debate over whether cold water is better for you than warm water.
Well, wonder no more, Biebs. We’ve come to the rescue with an answer for you. Here’s how cold water stacks up with warm or room temperature water in terms of health benefits.
The Benefits of Drinking Warm Water
According to ancient Chinese medicine, drinking a glass of warm water first thing in the morning helps activate your immune system and avoid indigestion. For this reason, some doctors recommend avoiding drinking cold water for about 20 minutes before a meal; choose warm water instead for healthier intestines.
Warm water (especially when paired with lemon) is also thought to help your body get rid of harmful toxins. Hey, if it’s good enough for model Miranda Kerr, it’s good enough for us.
Feeling a little stuffed up? Warm water might help relieve nasal and throat congestion.
Finally, warm water helps increase blood flow to your muscle tissues. That means warm water can help relieve pain — perfect if you’ve got some aches and pains in your joints.
The Benefits of Drinking Cold Water
The first benefit of drinking cold water is fairly obvious; after a tough workout or in hot weather, drinking icy cold water helps lower your body temperature.
Along the same lines, drinking cold water (especially during summer) is helpful in fighting heat stroke. Cold water gets absorbed by the body faster than warm or hot water, so you cool off much more quickly.
Finally, let’s address the widely-held belief that cold water boosts metabolism and burns calories. The verdict? It’s true that when you drink cold water, your body works to regulate itself back up to your normal temperature.
However, studies on the actual number of extra calories burned vary (from eight calories per glass of ice cold water to an extra hundred calories a day for a half liter of ice water), and for that reason it’s not a great idea to hinge all your weight loss hopes and dreams on drinking cold water.
So, putting all of this together, drinking cold water is best saved for after exercise and in hot weather (keep your water ice cold by using a stainless steel water bottle). Warm water, meanwhile, gives you the greatest boost in the morning and with food. Either way, having your reusable water bottle on hand is an easy way to improve your overall health!