Cold Water and Weight Loss:
You may have heard lately that if you drink cold water, you will lose weight. Although the benefits of drinking lots of water might help you lose weight, drinking cold water might not be that helpful.
Some nutritionists promote that you burn more calories drinking cold water vs. warm water, yet the difference is so little that you won’t notice any weight loss by simply changing the temperature of the water you drink. So how many calories do you burn drinking cold water? According to the University of Arkansas Medical Center, you burn about 8 extra calories warming cold water up to your body temperature. By the way, a kilocalorie is the approximate amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius. For the sake of convenience we use the word calorie in the U.S. instead of the more technically correct word kilocalorie.
Back to our discussion… research still supports that drinking plenty of water every day, at any temperature, may help you lose weight by replacing high calorie beverages, making you feel full longer, and helping you have more energy (to burn calories) because your body simply works better when it is well hydrated.
Benefits of Staying Hydrated
There may be some benefit to drinking cold water when you are exercising because drinking cold water benefits you by lowering your body temperature more quickly than drinking warmer water would. But staying well hydrated seems to provide the most benefit of all. The current recommendation is to drink about 8 (8 oz.) glasses of water each day, perhaps more if you are exercising or outside on a very hot day. All fluids do count towards meeting your requirements. Drinking excess fluids, like a gallon per day, is usually not helpful and may cause other problems.
The good news for all of us is that water has become the second most popular drink now, just under soda. The bad news; it should be number one since it’s what your body actually needs. Your body doesn’t need extra sugar, artificial sweeteners or artificial flavors and colors. Besides, drinking plenty of water lowers your risk of kidney stones, whereas drinking soda can raise your risk of kidney stones.
To entice yourself to choose water over other less-healthy beverages, try drinking lemon water or using other fruits as a water enhancer to add a twist of delicious natural flavor to your glass.
Jennifer M. Wood, MS, RDN | www.anutritiousdish.com