During a hot summer's day, there's nothing better than a glass of ice water to cool you down.
But does this refreshing, cold glass of water do more harm than good in the long run?
That's what people have been debating for centuries, and finally we have some answers.
There's compelling evidence that ice water is the source of many health problems.
Here are nine reasons why you should ditch ice water and find a more refreshing alternative.
1. Weight Gain
You might have heard that drinking cold water will increase your metabolism and help you lose weight. That's not quite true, but it's not entirely false either.
Water doesn't have calories, so you're not going to gain weight, it's just going to take you a longer time to lose the weight if you're drinking cold water all the time.
When you drink ice water, it affects your body temperature, which in turn affects your body's ability to digest foods.
And when you have trouble breaking down fats, you're not losing as much weight as you hope to.
2. Keeps You Dehydrated
On a hot summer's day, have you ever felt that no matter how much cold water you drink, your thirst is never quenched. You're onto something.
According to Dr. Vasant D Lad, who wrote The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies, studies have shown that cold water shrinks blood vessels.
Dehydration also lowers your blood flow and oxygen, so cold water is only going to make things worse.
3. Drains Energy
The first few minutes of drinking ice water you feel great. But then a few minutes later, you'll start to feel tired.
This happens because your body is using extra energy to warm up the cold water to bring it to the right temperature for your body.
Instead, you should be drinking lukewarm water, especially when exercising. That way you're hydrated and energized for longer.
4. Throws Off Digestion
As mentioned in the section on weight gain, ice water is terrible for digestion.
If you tend to experience an upset stomach, abdominal pain, or nausea in the summer, it may be because of all the ice water you drink.
Cold water solidifies food and doesn't help to break down fats efficiently. In turn, you may be experiencing more constipation or bloating.
Whatever you decide to do, just make sure you don't drink ice water after a meal.
5. Lowers Heart Rate
If you want to scare your heart, chug a glass of ice water.
The vagus nerve, which runs down the back of your neck, is taken by surprise when it senses extremely cold temperatures.
In response, your heart rate slows down for a little while until your body temperatures goes back to normal.
6. Irritates Throat
One of the main reasons that I've stopped drinking ice water is because it irritates my throat for hours.
Studies have found that cold water can block up your sinuses by creating more mucus.
And when there's more mucus in your pipes, the body's natural response is to signal discomfort.
7. Triggers Migraines
If ice water only gives you brain freeze that lasts for a few seconds, you're one of the lucky ones.
For some people, drinking cold water can result in headaches or intense migraines.
When you drink a cold beverage fast, the mouth doesn't have time to absorb the cold.
Once the nerves become upset, it can lead to discomfort that lasts for more than a few seconds.
8. Constricts Skin
You've heard this before: warm water opens your pores and cold water closes them.
Splashing cold water on your face is a good thing, but consuming warm beverages is better for the overall health of your skin.
This is because warm water increases blood circulation, which keeps your skin looking bright and healthy.
9. Destabilizes Body Temperature
Ancient Chinese medicine believes that drinking cold water creates an imbalance in your body, especially if you're drinking a cold beverage with a hot meal.
It's important to keep your body temperature constant because your organs tend to panic when things seem amiss.
If you must have a glass of cold water, don't put so much ice in your beverage. Whenever you can try, opt for a warm drink.
I know this is easier said than done, especially now that summers are getting hotter, but making the change is going to be better for your health in the long run.
Let your friends know about the drawbacks of cold beverages. Will you still be drinking ice water this summer?
Remember to talk to your doctor if you plan on making any sudden changes to your diet.