Drinking water, hot or cold, keeps your body healthy and hydrated. Some people claim that hot water can help improve digestion, relieve congestion, and even promote relaxation, compared to cold water. Most of the health benefits of hot water are based on anecdotal reports, as there is little scientific research in this area. That said, many people experience benefits from this remedy, especially in the morning or just before bed.
When drinking hot drinks, try to get closer to an optimal temperature of between 54 and 71°C. Higher temperatures can cause burns or overheating. For better health, try adding a squeeze of lemon to hot water to make lemon water.
This article looks at 10 ways that drinking hot water can benefit you.
- 1 1. May Relieve Nasal Congestion
- 2 2. May Aid Digestion
- 3 3. May Improve Central Nervous System Function
- 4 4. May Help Relieve Constipation
- 5 5. Maintain hydration
- 6 6. Reduces chills in the cold
- 7 7. Improves Blood Circulation
- 8 8. Can Reduce Stress Levels
- 9 9. May help the body’s detoxification systems.
- 10 10. May Help Relieve Symptoms of Achalasia
- 11 What are the risks ?
- 12 Sources
1. May Relieve Nasal Congestion
A cup of hot water creates steam. Holding a cup of hot water and taking a deep breath of this gentle steam can help loosen clogged sinuses and even relieve a sinus headache. Because the sinuses and throat are lined with mucous, drinking warm water can help warm this area and relieve a sore throat caused by mucus buildup.
According to a 2008 study, a hot beverage, such as tea, provides fast and long-lasting relief from runny nose, cough, sore throat and fatigue. The hot drink was more effective than the same drink at room temperature.
2. May Aid Digestion
Drinking water helps keep the digestive system working. As water moves through the stomach and intestines, the body is better able to eliminate waste. Some believe that drinking hot water is particularly effective in activating the digestive system. The theory is that hot water can also dissolve and dissipate foods you’ve eaten that your body may have had trouble digesting. More research is needed to prove this benefit, although a 2016 study showed that hot water may have favorable effects on bowel movements and the expulsion of gas after surgery. In the meantime, if you feel like drinking hot water helps ease your digestion, there’s no harm in using it as a remedy.
3. May Improve Central Nervous System Function
Not drinking enough water, hot or cold, can have negative effects on the functioning of your nervous system, ultimately affecting mood and brain function. Drinking water can improve central nervous system activity, as well as mood. One study showed that drinking water boosted participants’ brain activity during strenuous activities and also reduced their anxiety.
4. May Help Relieve Constipation
Dehydration is a common cause of constipation. In many cases, drinking water is an effective way to relieve and prevent constipation. Staying hydrated helps soften stools and make them easier to pass. Drinking hot water regularly can help keep bowel movements regular.
5. Maintain hydration
Although some evidence shows that cool water is best for rehydration, drinking water at any temperature will help you stay hydrated. You also need a lot more water if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, do strenuous physical activity, or work in a hot environment. Try starting the day with one serving of hot water and ending it with another. Your body needs water to perform virtually every essential function, so the importance of water cannot be overstated.
6. Reduces chills in the cold
A 2017 study found that while the body’s natural response to cold conditions is to shiver, drinking warm liquids may help reduce chills. The subjects wore suits in which water circulated a little above the freezing point, and then drank water at different temperatures, including up to 52°C. The researchers found that drinking hot water quickly made the subjects exert less effort to maintain their body temperature. According to the study, this could be useful for people who work or exercise in cold conditions.
7. Improves Blood Circulation
Healthy circulation affects everything from blood pressure to the risk of cardiovascular disease. Taking a hot bath helps your circulatory organs, arteries and veins, expand and move blood more efficiently throughout your body. Drinking hot water can have a similar effect. However, little research has proven its effectiveness.
As a bonus, the warmth of hot water or the bath in the evening can help you relax and set you up for a restful sleep.
8. Can Reduce Stress Levels
Since drinking hot water helps improve central nervous system functions, you might end up feeling less anxious if you drink it. According to a 2014 study, drinking less water led to reduced feelings of calm, satisfaction, and positive emotions. Staying hydrated can therefore improve your mood and levels of relaxation.
9. May help the body’s detoxification systems.
Although there is no definitive evidence that hot water has any specific benefit in this regard, a 2020 study found that drinking more water may help protect the kidneys while diluting waste in the blood. Drinking water is important for flushing out waste from your body. It can also help fight inflammation, keep joints well lubricated, and prevent gout.
10. May Help Relieve Symptoms of Achalasia
Achalasia is a condition in which the esophagus has difficulty moving food down into the stomach. People with achalasia have trouble swallowing. They may feel like food is getting stuck in the esophagus instead of moving into the stomach. This is called dysphagia. Researchers aren’t sure exactly why, but an older study from 2012 showed that drinking hot water can help people with achalasia digest more comfortably.
What are the risks ?
Drinking water that’s too hot can damage the tissues in your esophagus, burn your taste buds, and scald your tongue. Be very careful when drinking hot water. It’s best to drink cool, not hot, water for rehydrationTrusted Source. In general, however, hot water has no harmful effects and is safe to use as a remedy.
It’s easy to get into the habit of drinking hot water. Try starting your day with a cup of boiled water and letting it cool for a while. If you’re not a tea or coffee drinker, try hot water with lemon. Drinking hot water before bed is a great way to relax after a busy day. By knowing its health benefits, you can rest easy.
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