Every time I mention to someone that one of my major personal to-do list goals is to be healthier, they always tell me that one of the easiest changes I can make to my routine is to drink more water. They will tell me to ditch the diet soda, put a cap back on the sugar-filled iced tea, and always opt for water throughout the day. According to the Mayo Clinic, women should drink 11.5 cups a day and men should drink 15.5 cups. Why so much? The Mayo Clinic says that water has a lot of benefits, like helping your body ditch waste, lubricating your joints, and keeping your body temperature regulated.
So the debate isn’t whether or not you should be guzzling down water, all day, every day, or whether or not the glass is half full or empty, because it should always be refilled, but whether or not the water you drink should be cold or hot.
Jacqueline Schaffer, MD, a board-certified medical doctor and the author of Irresistible You, says that you should be drinking both hot and cold water at different times for different reasons.
“Hot water is known for decreasing stress levels and improving your central nervous system,” Dr. Schaffer says. “Hot water can also activate your apocrine glands (involved with sweating) to excrete toxins and irritants you’re exposed to throughout the day to do.”
Dr. Schaffer also adds that hot water is good for your stomach. “Hot water can help with constipation since it activates contractions in your GI tract.”
Cold water, on the other hand, has its own benefits. “A cold glass of water can help with glowing skin and muscle repair,” Dr. Schaffer says. “Cold water can increase blood circulation on the skin’s surface specifically. This is in comparison to hot water, which would draw circulation inward, stripping skin of its essential oils. Cold water also helps lower your body’s internal temperature after working out. This decreases inflammation and allows the body to recover faster.”
Next time you’re reaching for a glass of water, consider what you’re setting out for and adjust your water temperature accordingly, and remember that all water is good water.