Does Drinking Ice Cold Water Help You Lose Weight?

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Hydration is an important part of achieving a healthy body. Drinking more than 8 glasses of water aids in weight loss too. Consuming more water flushes out toxins in the digestive system. It will make you feel fuller for longer. That’s why some health experts suggest drinking a glass of water before each meal. This will allow you to take in fewer calories.

But some dieters claim that the temperature of the water is also an important factor to its weight loss benefits. Certain individuals believe that ice cold water promotes weight loss. It burns off more calories than room-temperature water.

How Cold Water Aids in Weight Loss

The idea is simple, drinking water at 0-degree centigrade each day promotes weight loss by forcing the body to balance its temperature. When you drink cold water, the body experiences a drop in temperature. Heating up the body requires serious fat burning.

But is it true? Can cold water really help you slim down? To understand how water temperature plays a role in weight loss, you need to know how much energy the body burns per milliliter of water.

To understand the theory, you need to calculate the energy the body expend by drinking cold water. For instance, if you drink 64 oz. of water – 8 glasses of 8 ounces each – per day, the total equivalent in milliliter is 1800.

Now, it takes one calorie of energy to heat one milliliter of water by one degree centigrade. To heat up 1800 milliliter of water, the body has to burn off 37 calories per millimeter. Multiply that by 1800 and the body burns 66,600 calories to stabilize the body temperature. The total calories the body needs to burn is extremely high. If the body works this hard to stabilize the body temperature then drinking cold water is an effective weight loss aid – at least, in theory.

This calculation is similar to a claim made by researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. They said the body will burn off eight calories just by warming up a glass of water. 8 calories is equivalent to a small pickle. Results seemed promising.

But is there scientific basis for it?

According to Beth Kitchin, Ph.D., RDN, professor of nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama Birmingham, there could be some truth in this hypothesis. It’s true that the body requires a certain amount of energy to normalize body temperature.

However, the amount of calories burned to heat the body is so miniscule, “it’s not relevant to any real-life applications.” Several health experts and even fitness gurus dismiss this theory as a myth. And unless there is scientific evidence that cold water can help you lose weight, it will remain that way, a myth.

The bottom line is, the temperature of the water you’re drinking is not as important as the volume of water you consume. In fact, some scientists suggest drinking cold water could dangerous to the arteries – especially after a greasy meal. On the other hand, numerous studies show drinking more water boosts weight loss. And this is what you should focus on.


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