Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Drinking Water Temperature
Name: Debbie
Status: other
Grade: other
Location: GA
Country: N/A
Date: April 2006

How should people intake drinking water? Should the water be several degrees below room temperture? Or should it be cold?

I don't think there is any optimal temperature for drinking water. Obviously, it shouldn't be so hot that it burns your mouth, or so cold that it is uncomfortable. But people routinely drink ice water at essentially 0 C. In the heat of summer people usually prefer cooler water but this is more a perception than increased metabolic cooling since the heat capacity of water is 1 cal / gm C. This is one thermal, not food calorie. One food calorie is equal to 1000 thermal calories so you would have to drink one liter (almost a quart) to provide your body with a single food calorie.

Vince Calder


I'm not aware of any strong benifits to drinking water at any given temperature. While many people prefer cold water to help cool them down, or just because it feels better, many public speakers will drink thier water at or slightly above room temperature while speaking. The reason for the warm water is that it's said to help keep the vocal cords relaxed, and prevents loss of voice.

Ryan B.

Click here to return to the General Topics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory