In order to lose weight, you must expend more calories than you take in and unfortunately there isn’t anything that you can consume, that will “burn” calories. Does this mean that drinking ice water will help you lose weight? Unfortunately, the idea that ice water uses up more calories is a myth. If drinking ice water burned measurable amounts of calories, there wouldn’t be an obesity epidemic. While it is technically true that your body has to expend more energy to use ice cold water, the difference is not significant.
How Water is Absorbed
When you drink a glass of ice water, your body has to convert it to a temperature it can use to hydrate your body. In converting an 8 ounce glass of ice water to your body temperature, your body expends approximately 1 to 8 calories (or unit of energy) per each 8 ounce glass of ice water. The specific numbers vary depending on exactly how cold the water is and your specific body temperature.
How Many Calories You Burn
One pound of fat is equal to approximately 3,500 calories. If a person were able to consume 400 to 3500 glasses of ice water, they might see a difference on the scale. Physiologically, it is not possible to lose weight from drinking ice water. If a person tried to consume such a large quantity of water, they would suffer adverse health effects before any possible weight loss could take place.
Too Much Ice Water
While it is not common, it is possible to drink too much water. The most common reason for drinking too much water is the fear of dehydration, particularly in beginning endurance athletes. The over consumption of water can lead to hypoatremia. This occurs when a person drinks so much water that they disrupt their blood osmolarity and organ failure takes place. Again, hypoatremia is very unlikely if you are not an avid marathon runner, but it is still more likely than losing weight from drinking ice water.
How Much Water You Need
The average person should consume approximately 64 ounces of water each day. If you exercise, you should be consuming 8 more ounces for every 30 minutes that you exercise. The American Heart Association recommends drinking no less than 64 ounces, but it is not a “hard” rule. Each person will be slightly different and your ideal water intake will depend on your weight, medications, caloric intake and your activity level. Drink water at a temperature that feels comfortable for you; ideally room temperature water.
Water and Healthy Weight Loss
Water is necessary for cellular functions and for healthy weight loss. This does not mean that you need to drink ice water in order to lose weight. It is safe to say that drinking excess amounts of ice water to lose weight is a myth. In fact, drinking excess amounts of ice water will do more harm than good to your body. It is common for people to mistake their thirst for hunger, but this is really the only way that drinking more water can help you lose weight. Staying adequately hydrated will help you reach your weight loss goals.