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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Do our bodies absorb warm water quicker than cold water?

    Related Topic
    My housemate has recently told me that our body digests warm water quicker than cold. Is there any truth to this as she didn't know the reason (if any)
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  • 51

    Thanks

    Nicole Senior

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    I'm an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist, consultant, author, speaker and food and health enthusiast. I love talking and writing about food and health.(please note, ... View Profile

    Actually the opposite is true. Cold water empties faster from the stomach and is therefore absorbed faster. The research looking into this has focussed on hydration of athletes where rapid absorption can mean the difference between winning and losing an event. For us non-athletes it probably doesn't make that much practical difference so drink your fluids at a temperature you enjoy (and this probably varies according the temperature and circumstances). I like to start a cold winters morning with a warm water but always keep a bottle of cold water in the fridge in summer. Interestingly, there may be advantages in drinking cold water for weight loss but I'd put this way down the list of importance in the overall scheme of things (but every little bit helps).

  • 14

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    Lucinda Curran

    Acupuncturist

    Lucinda Curran of Eco Health Solutions offers a truly holistic approach to health by combining Building Biology and Chinese Medicine. Her work is solutions-focussed and ... View Profile

    Hi,

    Nicole has answered your question really well - this is just extra information.

    From a Chinese medicine perspective, the body has to use a lot of energy to warm water and food to body temperature before it can utilise its goodness.

    For many people, this is a waste of energy, particularly if you live in cooler climates.

    I encourage all my clients to eat and drink foods that are room temperature or warmer.

    Hope this helps!

    Lucinda

  • 29

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    My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease ... View Profile

    With respect, I disagree with what the other commenters have written.

    If you drink (say) 300 mL of cold water, ie, at ~10 C or so, it will take a few minutes at most for it to reach thermal equilibrium with your body temperature (~37 C). This is well-understood physics. 

    It makes no difference if you drink cold (~10 C) or warm (~25 C) water - it  will pass from your stomach into the rest of your body at essentially the same rate. 

  • 5

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    Gina Pilven

    Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbal Medicine Practitioner

    After completing a Diploma of Shiatsu in 2001, Gina went on to study at the Southern School of Natural Therapies and graduated with a Bachelor ... View Profile

    I love this topic!  Perspective is so important.  In Chinese medicine the theory is that the body has to give up it's own energy to warm up the water (or food). As well in, Chinese medicine the priority is to preserve our energy, as we age or have other stressors placed on our body, how much of our energy we have used starts to show.  So according to this perspective with a focus on longevity, the speed of absorption is less important than the transferral of energy from your body to the water when it warms it up. Thanks for the discussion, it's great to get a broad range of opinions!  

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