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Ice Water and Digestion

Jun 28, 2010

Some people may have heard that you should not drink ice water with a meal. If they have heard this, many are unsure of the reasoning behind this information. Many other people have never even heard that drinking ice water, or other cold drinks, with their meal can be detrimental to their digestion. In this article, we will explain the reasons behind why your digestion could suffer from your intake of cold beverages.

The Chinese were the first to know and understand that drinking ice water with a meal could harm your digestion. They have, for many years, chosen to instead drink warm or hot beverages, such as water and tea, with their meals.

How Improper Digestion Can Harm You

Not being able to properly digest your food can be harmful to you in many different ways. Your body must turn the food you consume into energy in order for your organs to function properly and give you the energy you need to perform your daily tasks. Also, your body retrieves essential vitamins and minerals from the food you eat. If your body cannot work properly to retrieve these elements, it will suffer. Your immune system, which works to fight off colds and other illnesses, can also suffer from poor digestion because it does not have the energy it needs to function correctly.

How Ice Water Harms Digestion

Ice water can be harmful because it damages your body's ability to properly digest food and drink. Drinking cold beverages with a meal can slow down your body's proper digestive actions. You can think of it as almost freezing your insides temporarily so that they cannot do what they need to do at that moment. So, instead, food goes by improperly digested, and your body's unable to retrieve the nutrients and energy from it that it needs. By decreasing the activity of your digestive system, cold beverages rob you of the nutrition of the food you ate.

Also, when you drink cold beverages, your body has to use energy in order to warm up that liquid inside your body. This is also robbing your body of the energy it needs to properly process the food you have eaten. Instead of working to get all the nutrition of the food, your digestive system is instead working on regulating the temperature of the cold drink.

What You Should Drink Instead

Instead of ice water or other iced beverages, you should opt for room temperature drinks or even warmer liquids, such as hot water or hot tea. Do not drink beverages straight out of the refrigerator. If a beverage must stay chilled in order to keep, make sure your pour a glass and then wait until it has warmed to room temperature before drinking. When you are in a restaurant, be sure you tell your waiter to hold the ice.

Drinking warmer liquids will aid your digestive system by increasing its activity. This will, in return, allow your body to absorb the proper amount of energy and nutrition from the foods you consumed.

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