Most of the time when I talk about water I am talking about making tea. Hot water is ideal for most herbs because the heat helps to break down the herb material so the good stuff can get into the water. Not all herbs are best made into tea with hot water. But what about when you are just drinking water? For staying hydrated, is it better to drink hot or cold water?
The answer starts with that it does not need to be hot and ends with make sure it is not cold. Cold drinks can really slow your digestion and reduce your ability to break down and absorb nutrients. You may have heard the common phrase ‘digestive fire.’ This referrers to the heat of chemical break down that happens in the stomach and continues into the intestines. When cold liquids are drunk the body has to work harder to build up the heat needed for those chemical reactions to occur. Drinking cold liquids can therefore reduce your nutrient absorption capabilities and may actually lower your energy as a result.
Hot, hot liquids, like you might drink a tea, are not necessarily the alternative to reach for all the time. While there is not anything inherently bad about drinking the hotter beverage it is probably best to not raise your temperature higher and higher. Your best option is to drink room temperature liquids. For a lot of people this is a hard thing to change to. That ice water makes drinking water a little easier. Personally, I would prefer you would drink ice water than no water.
Growing up with vocal training, I never had to be encouraged to not drink cold liquids. The cold would alter my vocal cords and that was not something I wanted. When transitioning away from colder fluids I recommend to first considering not adding
ice when you take something out of a fridge or order a drink at a restaurant. They are already cold.
When you have become accustomed to ice-less drinking, if you are also transitioning to more water, it can be easy to use a water filter to filter your water on your counter rather than in the fridge. Then you have a pitcher of room temperature water available when ever you need it to drink in addition to your herbal tea you are drinking daily.
I hope you have enjoyed our month on hydration techniques. Be sure to subscribe to our blog for posts every Tuesday on herbs and Thursday on wellness. Through May we will be focusing on stress reduction. If you would like more personalized support in wellness areas be sure to consider a consultation with The Dancing Herbalist and Jillian Carnrick.