Five Ways Drinking Cold Water Can Affect Your Health
In a hot climate like ours where it sometimes feels like the sun is out for revenge, occasionally grabbing a glass of cold water, seems like the best move. After all, the coolness of the water can make you feel less scorched. What you do not know, however, is that drinking cold water can negatively affect your body.
Although drinking water frequently is great for you as it helps maintain the balance of body fluids, the cooler the water, the harsher the consequences.
Here are five ways drinking cold water can affect your body in a not-so-positive way.
It increases your chances of having a sore throat
As obvious as this may seem, it is quite necessary to point this out. When you drink cold water, especially after a meal, it results in the buildup of excess mucus, which forms the protective layer of the respiratory tract.
However, when the tract gets congested, it becomes vulnerable to many inflammatory infections which can cause you to have a sore throat.
It can restrict digestion
Cold water greatly affects your digestion and unfortunately, it is not positively. How does drinking cold water negatively affect your digestion you may ask. Especially since it feels so soothing after a hot and delicious meal. Well, the cold water contracts your blood vessels and hinders your body’s natural process of absorbing nutrients during digestion.
This happens because your body’s focus is diverted from digestion to regulating the body temperature and the chilled water. Your body then spends extra energy needed for proper digestion trying to regulate your body temperature. So basically, when you drink cold water after a meal, you cause stress to your digestive system.
It obstructs the breakdown of fats
Asides from affecting digestion, drinking cold water immediately after a meal also affects your body’s ability to break down fats. The low temperature of the water solidifies fats from the food you have eaten and as a result, makes it difficult for your body to break down the unwanted fats from your body. Even if you plan to drink water at room temperature, it is ideal to wait at least 30 minutes after your meal before doing so.
It can decrease heart rate
Studies have shown that drinking cold water can reduce your heart rate. Here’s how it works. Once you drink cold water, it may stimulate the vagus nerve which is an important part of the body’s autonomous nervous system with its main role being to control involuntary actions of the body. This nerve is directly affected by the low temperatures of water.
The low temperatures of the cold water then act as a stimulus to the nerve which causes the heart rate to drop. Too much grammar perhaps? Simply put, the cold water tells the nerve to slow down your heart rate. And who is the nerve not to obey?
It shocks your body
Drinking cold water, especially after an intense workout can shock your body. When you work out, your body produces a ton of heat. Now let’s say you drink cold water afterwards. What happens next is that your body experiences a temperature mismatch which may affect your digestive tract.
The shock your body experiences because of the cold water could even lead to chronic pain. You definitely do not want that. Gym experts have also advised that it is better to drink warm water after a workout.