Drinking Water Temperature
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.
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.
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Update: June 2012