Having a cold drink during the day is one way of staying hydrated. Just in case, has anyone ever told you drinking cold water isn’t good for you? Or maybe you’ve thought about the effects of drinking cold beverages yet you’re kind of shooting up at it? Personally, either with drinking cold water or taking a cold bath, I’m always hooked. Words cannot express my craving for cold beverages. Sometimes even when I have flu, cold drinks always give the impression of being more satisfying and I don’t feel any shame because I’m not the only one with a bad habit.
Unlike me, if you’re health savvy and really care about your well being this dry season, you’ll want to learn a little rehydration tips to cool off and avoid an outbreak of associated hot climate illnesses.
As a tourist coming to West Africa this hot season, you may not find it friendly. In Nigeria to be exact, you’ll need to be cautious of the harsh unwelcoming climate. Starting from November to March, temperature spikes during this period could reach about 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day in places like Maiduguri, but can swiftly drop below 12 degrees Celsius (54 degrees Fahrenheit) at night in places like Jos.
Apart from the cold, dry and dusty winds known as harmattan, heat from the scorching sun, could deplete your body’s water reservoir and increase your risk for heatstroke.
Drinking adequate water during this period cannot be overemphasized if you’re to keep the doctor at bay and prevent diseases like skin diseases, diarrhoea, vomiting, sore eyes, cough, colds, heatstroke, heat cramps, sunburns, meningitis etc.
However, drinking cold water during this season is one way people maintain body temperature and stay rehydrated. Yes, drinking cold water does have its benefits.
This is undoubted because drinking cold water makes it way easier for your body to keep a lower core temperature during the heat period. Similarly, Kathryn Watson of Healthline affirms that gulping that plain water, regardless of the temperature, can give your body more energy throughout the day.
WHAT DOES COLD WATER DO TO THE BODY?
According to experts, ‘chilled water and even cold beverages contract your blood vessels, thereby restricting digestion’. From their explanation, when you drink cold water, the body is preoccupied with trying to regulate your body temperature instead of focusing on digestion.
Do not forget that the body burns energy in the form of calories to generate the heat needed for this process, this can actually cause water loss which eventually may lead to dehydration and constipation.
WHAT DOES COLD WATER DO TO YOUR BLOOD?
According to an article by Tony Robbins on his website, ‘when you immerse your body in cold water, the blood rushes to surround your vital organs’. Consequently, this may be a defence mechanism. Your heart has to work harder to pump more efficiently, forcing blood through all your constricted vessels and supplying every part of your body with warm blood which carries oxygen and nutrients.
While this may be healthy for the heart muscles, a person with a weak circulatory system might not feel so good about this. Similarly, since pure water does not contain any nutrients, it heads straight to your small intestine, which is at around 20 feet (6.1 meters) long, this muscular tube with millions of spongy hairs efficiently absorbs water into the cell membrane and bloodstream. Water continues to travel towards cells across the body, providing them with the hydration to perform daily functions efficiently.
Very chilled water is less likely to travel at optimal speed. According to Matthew Perdue who writes for sciencing.com, ‘as the temperature of liquid increases, the molecules move faster thereby increasing the liquid’s kinetic energy’. Scientifically, due to the decrease in the temperature of water the average speed of it molecules would reduce. Even though, the body quickly burns extra calories to restore the temperature difference as the cold water travels through the body.
IS IT BETTER TO DRINK COLD OR WARM WATER?
While you’re gulping down that cold water, I bet the last thing on your mind is losing weight. Are you wondering how this happens? Your body cells generate heat by burning calories. Consequently, drinking cold or iced water would help you shed pounds more effectively than hot water. This is true for the reason that your body adjusts its temperature immediately after it receives any fluids or nutrients with different temperatures, resulting in a higher calorie-burning rate and greater perspiration.
According to Dr. Fatima Faiq of University of Bagdad, it’s advisable to take a sip of cold water after physical exertion through physical exercise because it helps to cool the body more effectively than warm water. She adds that it is preferable to ‘take cold water to clean the urinary tract and expel infections and can be added to the lemon in the form of boiled pieces or natural juice, which can help to reduce these infections’.
Preferably, taking a cup of warm water in the morning before breakfast can stimulate your intestinal motility, as hot water helps to relax and dilate the blood vessels thus sending more blood supply and stimulating the gut and thus facilitating the digestion process.
Taking lukewarm water means the body does not have to waste extra energy warming it up; therefore if you’re severely dehydrated, drinking lukewarm water would be a better trick to keeping your body balanced and promoting the body’s persistence by applying all its functions with no extra calorie loss.
Averagely, the human body temperature is about 37 °C (96.8 °F); this is a perfect environment for certain chemical reactions and microbial activities in the body which rely solely on enzymes. Technically, sipping on hot water on a hot day may reduce the number of toxins in your body. This is evident by spurts of sweats, leading to the discharge of toxins out of your body and purification of your bloodstream.
IS DRINKING COLD WATER DURING DRY SEASON GOOD FOR YOU?
Aside from irritating your tooth’s enamel, drinking ice-cold water in the scorching sun or after working out isn’t totally fatal, not deemed dangerous and won’t cause fainting. Keeping in mind that rehydrating and replenishing your body with the water of any temperature is rejuvenating and is important to decrease your risk of dehydration and boost your overall health.
However, a small study was carried as reported by Beth Sissons which states that ‘Drinking ice-cold water can also cause headaches in some people, particularly those who live with a migraine’. She went ahead to explain that, drinking cold water may worsen symptoms in people with achalasia which is a rare disease of the muscle of the lower esophageal body and the lower esophageal sphincter that prevents relaxation of the sphincter and an absence of contractions, or peristalsis, of the esophagus.
IS IT BAD TO DRINK COLD WATER WHEN YOU HAVE A COUGH?
Errm! Well… yes! During a cold, you’re more likely to experience coughing, headache, and chest discomfort. You may even run a high fever for several days and have body aches, fatigue, and weakness. While complications that result from having colds are somewhat minor, mind you, a case of flu can lead to a life-threatening illness such as pneumonia.
Drinking cold water or any cold beverage during a cold is a bad idea. Cold water or any cold drink can disturb the body’s physiology due to a simple fact that the body temperature is lower than usual. Cold water would simply irritate the throat, aggravating cough or cold and further worsening nasal congestion. Therefore it is advisable to avoid cold water or beverages in case of flu.
HOW TO AVOID HEAT STROKE?
The heating season can pose a lot of health challenges, however, if you must be in the hot sun, it’s pertinent to take precautions to prevent heatstroke. Clinically, Heatstroke is a medical emergency and can be fatal if not promptly and properly managed.
Nevertheless, prevention is by far better than a hospital admission or treatment. The best preventive measure is copious water intake, so, if I were you I’ll do that orally, else the emergency medical team would find a way to do it intravenously. Here are a couple of other things you should do to prevent overheating.
AWESOME TIPS TO PREVENT HEATSTROKE DURING DRY SEASON
- Wear loose-fitting and lightweight clothing.
- Stay away from the sun.
- Take lots of fluids.
- Be careful with certain medications. eg. Furosemide
- Don’t leave your kids in a parked car.
- Be mindful of swift temperature changes and take it easy during the hottest parts of the day. …
- Adapt quickly
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