What are the benefits of drinking hot water?

Drinking enough water can promote protection of the skin, muscles, and joints. Water helps remove nutrients from the body’s cells and combat infections. Drinking a couple of glasses of warm or hot water every day will offer even more benefits.

While there is little scientific evidence on the effects of hot water consumption, alternative health proponents claim that hot water is an simple way to improve the health. We take a look at the proof in this post.

Benefits

While drinking water of any temperature can help overall well-being, it is thought that drinking hot water would provide an array of additional health benefits.

People have been drinking hot drinks for centuries. Folk medical literature is packed with stories of how hot water can improve health, but researchers have only just started looking into the effects of hot water drinking.

This article discusses eight of the potential benefits and the hypotheses behind them.

1. Healthier digestion

Drinking hot water
Hot water is said to be an easy way to improve health.

The small intestine absorbs most of the water ingested through food and drinking when a person is not consuming enough water. It causes dehydration, which can make bowel movement more difficult.

Chronic dehydration can cause chronic constipation. This constipation can make bowel movements uncomfortable and can cause other problems including bloating and hemorrhoids.

Cold water consumption helps break down the food quicker than consumption cold or hot water. Through promoting daily bowel movements it reduces the possibility of constipation.

2. Body detoxification

Natural health advocates say hot water may help detoxify the body. When water is hot enough to increase the temperature of a person’s body it can induce sweating. Sweating will remove toxins and help purify pores.

3. Improved circulation

Warm water is a vasodilator which means the blood vessels are widened, increasing circulation. It can help calm muscles and relieve pain.

Although no studies have explicitly connected hot water to sustained circulation improvements, even brief circulation improvements can help improved flow of blood into muscles and organs.

4. Weight loss

The belief that drinking more water will help one person lose weight has long been supported by studies. This may be partially due to the fact that drinking water enhances feelings of fullness. Water also helps remove nutrients from the body, and flushes waste out.

A 2003 study found that moving from cold drinking water to hot water could increase weight loss. Researchers found that before a meal, consuming 500 ml of water improved metabolism by 30 per cent.

Rising water temperatures to 98.6 degrees reflected 40 percent of metabolism increases. After water consumption this metabolic step-up lasted 30-40 minutes.

5. Reduced pain

Hot water improves circulation and can also improve blood flow, particularly for injured muscles. No work has related hot water consumption directly to pain relief.

People regularly use ice packs and bottles of hot water to relieve pain though. Hot water intake can give some internal pain relief, but it is important to remember that heat may intensify swelling, too.

6. Fighting colds and improving sinus health

The heat applied to the sinuses will relieve the discomfort from colds and nasal allergies. Steam helps to unblock sinuses, too.

Having hot water can make mucous move faster. That means drinking hot water will promote more efficient coughing and nose-blowing.

7. Encouraging consumption of coffee and tea

The hot water will offer additional health benefits when combined with coffee or tea. Coffee and caffeinated teas, particularly at high doses, can dehydrate the body, but they also provide some moderate health benefits.

In 2017 published research related coffee consumption to longer life. Other research has identified a correlation between moderate coffee intake and reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease, some cancers, type 2 diabetes, some liver disease, and heart health problems.

Tea can lower the risk of stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and hepatitis. Some studies have linked tea to reduced cancer risk, but the findings are variable.

8. Reduced stress

A soothing cup of hot water will help people cope with stress and anxiety. An older study found that hot liquid intake, such as tea and coffee, could lower stress and reduce anxiety sensations.

The research suggests that some of the benefits are due to caffeine, but that warmth has also played a role in participants’ improved mood.

Risks

Drinking hot water from a covered cup may reduce the risk of being burned from a spillage.
Drinking hot water from a covered cup may reduce the risk of being burned from a spillage.

Drinking hot water is a primary danger of being burned. Water on the tip of a finger which feels pleasantly warm can still burn the tongue or throat. A person should avoid drinking near-boiling water, and should always check a small sip before taking a gulp.

Drinking hot water in a sealed, insulated cup will reduce the risk of water spilling and burning.

Drinking caffeinated coffee or tea may cause an individual to become overcoffeinated or jittery.

This can be avoided by a person by restricting the cups of coffee or tea they eat, or by replacing coffeinated drinks with plain water.

The right temperature

Beverages, such as coffee or tea, are mostly served at temperatures close to boil. A individual doesn’t need to risk a burn in order to obtain the benefits of hot water. People who do not like hot water should find drinking water at body temperature, or slightly above.

A 2008 study recorded an optimum coffee drinking temperature of 136 ° F (57.8 ° C). The temperature reduced the chance of burns, but still offered a hot drink’s fun sensations.h

Conclusion

Drinking hot water won’t cure any illnesses but the risks are small as long as the water doesn’t scald. But people who already enjoy hot water or want to try a simple approach to improve their health should feel confident they benefit from it.

If more people follow this strategy for safety, more research may become available.

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