Does Ice cold water takes toll on us ?

Column Lifestyle : Shaman Hegde

Do you grab a bottle of chilled water from refrigerator soon after coming back from hot sun to quench the thirst?  With mercury rising everyday, it feels necessary to drink down chilled water as often as possible. Drinking cold water, especially in summer, feels heavenly. It helps us to cool down in a matter of seconds. It’s time to think if its a safe practice? Let’s know how this thirst quencher take takes toll on our body.


Ayurveda is  against the practice of drinking chilled water. Drinking very chilled water during a meal or any time is considered to be an unhealthy practice. The reason being that it can disturb the normal functioning of the gastric juices and also upset the balance of doshas. And the cooler the water, the harsher are the consequences.


Experts claim that chilled water or beverages contract our blood vessels, thereby restricting digestion. It also hinders the natural process of absorbing nutrients during digestion. The body’s focus is diverted from digestion as it tries to regulate our body temperature and that of the water, which can actually cause water loss and make us feel dehydrated. The normal temperature of the body is 37 degree Celsius, and when we consume something of a very low temperature, our body compensates by spending energy to regulate this temperature. This extra energy that is  used to regulate the temperature would have been originally used in the process of digestion and absorbing nutrients. Hence, it is always advisable to have water at room temperature.


Some studies have also shown that cold water may have a role to play in decreasing our heart rate. Drinking ice water supposedly stimulates the tenth cranial nerve – the vagus nerve. This nerve is a significant part of the body’s autonomous nervous system, and it mediates the lowering of heart rate. When we consume chilled water, the low temperatures of the water stimulates the nerve to cause the heart rate to drop.


Hence, in the soaring temperature it is a must to keep our body hydrated at all times. Consuming water at room temperature or warm water packs have umpteen benefits like blood purification, detoxification process other than just increased hydration and faster digestion. So load up on this wonder liquid, but make sure it’s not ice-cold.


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