Article courtesy of A Healthy Balance
The weather is starting to heat up and all you’re craving is that ice cold water to quench your thirst. While drinking cold beverages might be the norm in our modern time, here are some few thoughts to ponder on why drinking warm water may change your health.
Drinking warm water ( 37-55 Celsius) has been recommended for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for numerous health benefits.
Long term, drinking of cold water, anything below body temperature (37 Celsius) or even room temperature (22 Celsius), creates the basis for unwanted symptoms such as pain and chronic diseases to develop. Cold water internally constricts, slows and shrinks your digestive organs thus leading to many potential problems. Think about what happens when you jump into a freezing cold lake or shower; your muscles tighten and it becomes hard to move as your blood vessels constricts to keep warm. The same happens to your digestive system when you introduce cold water into your body.
Here are 8 reasons why you should start drinking warm water:
1- Increase hydration and cooling
Although it might not feel as satisfying as drinking ice cold water, warm water hydrates the body immediately as it is absorbed by the body without having to be metabolized and warmed up. Cold water actually makes you warmer as your core needs to heat up the water to 37 degrees before it can hydrate the necessary organs. You’re better off splashing cold water on your face or skin for a cooling relief.
2- Boost digestion & metabolism
Perhaps you’ve heard the popular myth that drinking cold water will help you lose weight? It couldn’t be further from the truth! It actually weakens your digestive system, which leads to chronic sluggish and poor digestion leading to weight gain. Drinking warm water can boost digestion by giving your digestive system a much deserved break. This can help relieve abdominal pain and bloating, abdominal gas, relieves loose stool and constipation, increase evacuation, and it can help you lose weight, have glowing skin and boost energy.
3- Faster recovery and post-workout hydration
During exercise our body pushes out the internal heat to the surface of the skin creating sweat and heat sensation while your core body temperature stays the same if not slightly cooler. Drinking room temperature or iced water after exercise tends to shock the organs that have been working in overdrive. Drinking plenty of warm water will help the body naturally cool down while being able to start the recovering process and flush out lactic acid.
4- Increase blood circulation and relieve pain
By giving your body the warmth it continually craves, your organs can function optimally instead of feeling like they are worn out by being kept on ice from drinking cold water. Drinking warm water not only helps your body digest properly but it promotes your blood running smoothly as it is not constricted by cold water. Having good blood circulation keeps your heart happy and helps relieve common symptoms such as chronic cold hands & feet, varicose veins, relieve chronic pain and arthritic pain.
5- Relieves menstrual cramps
If you regularly suffer from menstrual cramps, read up ladies! Yes, drinking warm to hot water regularly, especially 1 week prior and during your period may save you some serious monthly pains. In Traditional Chinese Medicine this makes perfect sense as the uterus is easily affected by not only exterior cold (weather) but interior cold as well. Pain in the uterus is viewed as poor circulation of energy and blood most often caused by ingested cold.
6- Late afternoon energy boost
Feeling tired around 3-5pm? In TCM, every organ has its time of day and this is the Bladder Meridian time. Drinking 1 or 2 cups of warm water can solve afternoon slumps often attributed to being dehydrated giving your whole body a hydrated energy boost.
7- Children’s cure for digestive issues
Children get affected quickly by their environment and diet. Children often suffer from stomachaches, constipation or loose stools that can be solved by drinking plenty of warm water. It’s the #1 easiest and healthiest way to treat most of their digestive issues.
8- Hydration is key for longevity
Dehydration of organs can occur from long-term drinking cold/cool water as the cold contracts and slows organ functioning decreasing detoxification, digestion and excretion. Dehydration may not show up however until you start to drink warm or hot after years of drinking cold or room temperature water. As the internal organs are activated to “wake up” from their cold-induced slumber, you might be more thirsty. Expect thirstiness to last 15-30 days or more as your body adapts.
Warm water intake applies for all climates from tropical to cold countries. You might want to drink more hot water during cold winter months. Start by having 1-2 cups of warm water first thing in the morning. Give it a try for at least 2 weeks and see the positive changes you can make on your overall health.
With thoughts of warm hydration,
R. TCM P.