You have probably heard enough about how drinking warm water every morning helps move things faster in the stomach and supports bowel movement. Who doesn’t love a healthy gut?! But did you know that drinking warm water can also help you deal with a stressful situation? Here we tell you everything you need to know about the benefits of drinking warm water—and some caveats.
We’re all familiar with the studies that suggest that drinking more water can help you lose weight. But, did you know that drinking warm water can kick this process up a notch? Drinking warm water helps rev up your body’s metabolism by altering the body’s temperature. To adjust to this increased temperature, the body’s inner temperature is lowered, and metabolism is triggered.
Studies suggest that drinking about 500 ml (16.9 oz.) of water can increase the metabolic rate by 30% in the first 10 to 30 minutes of drinking it, and about 40% of the energy burnt could be attributed to increasing the temperature of water from 70 to 100°.
Warm water also helps break fat in the body down into tinier molecules that can be assimilated through the digestive system.
Adding ingredients like lemon or ginger to warm water helps reduce kapha (earth element) that acts on the fat deposits, thus helping you shed the weight.
According to Ayurveda, warm water helps cleanse your body. It loosens and flushes the toxin deposits called ama that enter our system from external sources. These toxins are then directed to move into the digestive tracts for removal from the body.
Ama can be sticky and slimy, which tends to accumulate in the body, eventually compromising the body’s natural metabolism, immune system, and overall health. But drinking warm water regularly can help get rid of this sticky substance in the most natural way. Adding some lemon to the warm water can also work. The toxins are also removed by way of sweating. Sweating is the body’s response to a change in body temperature introduced by warm water. Sweating also helps clear up the skin pores, giving you clearer and more glowing skin.
You can also have warm water along with jaggery on an empty stomach. This will help kick up your metabolism, clear up the digestive system, and expel physical toxins, while helping retain essential minerals in the body. It is also known to regulate acidity and help relieve symptoms of constipation. According to nutritionists, this combination allows the secretion of the right digestive juices that support weight loss as well as is good for the health of your kidneys.
Relieve Cramps and Pain
Muscle cramps can be painful and irritating when the muscles stiffen up without a warning and won’t relax! If you live in warmer climates, cramps can be more common due to the loss of fluids from the high temperatures outside. warm water is known to improve circulation and flow of blood by vasodilation that is, expanding blood vessels, especially to the affected muscles. For women who experience menstrual cramps, which is cramping of the uterine muscles, drinking warm beverages or warm water can help relieve the pain, as is known and practiced for hundreds of years.
Regular consumption of warm water, as we discussed earlier, expands the blood vessels to our advantage, allowing more blood to push through, and for the toxins to be removed through the system. It can also help deal with problems like muscle cramps, pains, digestive problems, or numbness caused by constricted blood flow to muscles. Our body is made of 60% of water, and almost half of our blood plasma is water, electrolytes, and proteins. So, staying hydrated is as much of an existential requirement. The better your blood circulation, the more efficient will be the movement of essential nutrients and oxygen to various parts of the body.
Better blood circulation and relaxation of muscles from drinking warm water also aids digestive processes by making sure that the nutrients from the food that you eat are well assimilated in the body.
Drinking warm water first thing in the morning improves the bowel movement by pushing the toxic waste out of the body along with it. It gives you the happy feeling that comes after a good and satisfying poop session.
The practice of drinking warm water is also said to relieve bloating, flatulence, and acidity. Not drinking enough water can cause the smaller intestines to completely absorb all the fluid from the food and water, which leads to dehydration. This chronic dehydration becomes a deterrent in the effective bowel movement that results in problems like constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. So for people with weak digestion and frequent constipation issues, it may be a good idea to check their water intake.
Drinking warm water not only helps break down food faster, it also supports the lymphatic system and removal of lymph, which carries with it toxic waste released from cells and tissues, from the digestive tracts.
Skin & Hair
Better blood circulation translates to a better flow of blood to the skin, which helps support its elasticity and complexion, and fights dryness. With the toxins flushed out of the system, the skin cells are able to breathe better and the damage repair is quicker. This reduces skin flaking and gives you more firmed-up, well-hydrated skin.
Warm water does a better job of detoxifying the body than cold water, according to experts, for its ability to loosen, separate, disintegrate and move the sticky bodily waste more efficiently. As part of the detox, the warm water also scraps off the excess oils and impurities from the skin that lead to acne and breakouts.
Believe it or not, warm water also helps support hair growth by hydrating and revitalizing the nerve endings at the hair root.
Cough & Colds
Inhaling the steam from warm herb-infused water can also help clear the sinuses and help the mucus move through the respiratory tracts before you get rid of them by blowing your nose or coughing.
Having warm water or a warm herbal tea can help relieve stress and anxiety by activating the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body’s resting mode.
When should you drink warm water?
According to Ayurveda, drinking warm water every morning can help reignite the digestive fire, cleanse the system, clear the bowels, and make you feel fresh and energetic—ready to take on the day. When the digestive fire is robust, it supports quicker metabolism and more efficient digestion of food.
In fact, drinking warm water after meals can also help purge toxins right from the tissues in the body. But drinking cold water after meals can make it difficult to remove the lymph from digestive walls.
Experts suggest you drink warm water in moderate quantity before going to bed. It is known to help the body store nutrients and minerals better, even while we are asleep, as the involuntary physiological processes continue. Drinking warm water before going to bed also helps you burn up calories. But drinking cold water can increase the effort in increasing the body temperature to begin the process of calorie consumption.
How much water do you need to drink every day?
According to WebMD how much water you need varies, but the basic guidelines are 13 cups (about 3 liters) for men, and 9 cups (a bit over 2 liters) for women. “Pregnant women should drink about 10 cups of water daily. Those who breastfeed need about 12 cups.”
When NOT to Drink Warm Water
Though the benefits of drinking warm water far outweigh its risks, here are a few things to keep in mind before drinking warm water on a regular basis.
- Avoid drinking warm water immediately after a workout when your body temperature is already high. At that point, cold water helps lower your body temperature.
- When the water is piping hot and closer to boiling temperature, keep the cup or bottle down. This is common sense, right? And yet enough of us burn our tongues, not knowing when and how much should the temperature of the water be. The ideal temperature according to experts, for drinking warm water should be between 130 and 160°F. Any higher than this, can cause you to scald or burn your tongue.
- Make sure the water does not contain hazardous chemicals that may make the water toxic and unfit for consumption after boiling. If the pipes are corroded or the water contains toxic chemicals, it may dissolve faster in warm water versus cold water.
- Very hot water can also injure the intestinal linings. So make sure the water does not exceed its boiling temperature.
There is such a thing as water intoxication, which occurs when one drinks too much water. Drinking excessive amounts of water can cause the cerebral cells to swell up and put pressure on the skull that can lead to headaches, nausea, and vomiting.
Overconsumption of warm water in people who have problems with water retention can affect the working of their kidneys. So moderation is key while consuming warm water on a daily basis to make sure the kidneys are not overburdened.
Overhydration happens when one drinks more water than their kidneys can work with. A study from 2013 suggested that kidneys cannot remove more than a liter of wastewater in an hour, though in a day it can manage to purge about 28 liters or so.
The symptoms of hyponatremia—a condition where low sodium levels lead to retention of too much water—were seen when military soldiers drank about 2 liters of water in under an hour. Overconsumption of warm water or overhydration can also cause an imbalance in the sodium levels in the body.
Drinking a lot of warm water can also increase blood volumes and put pressure on the circulatory system.
In a nutshell, drinking warm water at the right temperature at the right time of the day on a regular basis can give you plenty of benefits from aiding digestion to giving you clear, acne-free skin to removing sticky ama toxins from your body and relieving stress and anxiety.