Health and Safety

Are there really benefits to drinking hot water?

January 23, 2014
By Kerri Winans Kaley CMA, AADP

Studies indicate hot liquids can improve overall health, mental wellness, and performance; helping digestion and circulation, while providing relief from congestion and sore throats.

Benefits of Drinking Hot Water:

1. Cleanses the Digestive System
Water helps to break down the food in your stomach and keep your digestive system on track – according to Dr. Michael Picco, a gastroenterologist with the Mayo Clinic. Hot water is found to break down food faster than cold water, which makes the food easier to digest. When the digestive system does not have to work as hard to break down foods,

it uses less energy, which results in improved health.

2. Flushes Out Toxins
Drinking hot water can elevate your body temperature above 98.6 degrees, causing your body to sweat to cool down. Sweating helps to flush toxins out of the body and purify the bloodstream, thus improving your overall health.

3. Enhances Stamina and Performance
When your body is not overloaded with toxins, it is better able to perform at peak performance. Because drinking warm water helps to flush toxins out of your body, it increases stamina and results in better overall functioning on a physical level.

4. Improves Emotional Responses and Thoughts
Holistic practitioners believe that toxic deposits from the body’s nervous system can have a negative effect on your emotions and thoughts. They believe that drinking hot water will help to remove those built up deposits from our nervous system.

Drinking warm or hot water is also said to help purify your mind and body and obtain a balanced mental state, allowing you to think more clearly. Deepak Chopra recommends drinking hot water as part of a vata-pacifying diet, particularly during late fall and winter, to maintain balance of the body and mind and keep you vibrant and grounded.

5. Improves Blood Circulation
Drinking hot water is said to improve your blood circulation. Good circulation is needed to move blood throughout your body in order to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and organs.
In addition to drinking warm water, soaking your body in warm water, particularly your feet, is said to boost blood circulation as well. If you notice symptoms of poor circulation, including tingling in the feet and hands, cold fingers and toes, bluish-tinted skin and slow-healing wounds, be sure to talk to your doctor.

6. Treats Constipation
Constipation is a very uncomfortable condition that typically occurs when the intestines lack proper hydration, causing stools to turn hard and dry and making them difficult to pass. Drinking hot beverages several times a day is said to help stimulate the bowels, returning your body back to normal functioning. But be careful of other drinks such as juice and soda, because they tend to contain excessive sugar that could actually make the constipation worse.

7. Helps Congestion
Drinking hot water can help to cleanse your nasal cavities, bringing relief when you’re congested. The hot water vapor helps to loosen the mucus buildup in your nasal cavities, helping to clear your nasal passages. Also, because the hot water makes you sweat out toxins, it promotes a quicker recovery if congested due to illness.

Flowing warm saline water through your nasal passages using a neti pot is another amazing remedy for nasal congestion. If you’ve never tried a neti pot before, you may want to check it out!

8. Sooths Sore Throats
Warm water can help to sooth a sore throat. If your throat is sore because you’ve been breathing through your mouth – perhaps because of nasal congestion – then drinking hot water can work to soothe your throat and help break up the congestion.

Gargling with warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt per glass of water) is also supposed to be a good home remedy to relieve/ treat the pain of a sore throat.

Tips for Drinking Your Water Hot

In Southeast Asia, where hot water was served as a regular part of all meals, the hot water actually has a soothing taste. I prefer drinking plain hot water, although some people have recommended putting a bit lemon in the water. Lemon has been known to speed up metabolism, which can’t hurt.

To get the detoxification benefits, it’s best for the water temperature to be hot enough to cause you to sweat, but not so hot that it burns your mouth.    Boiling water is recommended over using the hot side of the kitchen faucet, due to impurities that can come through from your water heater. To get the benefits of detoxification, try drinking hot water once or twice a week. Or drink it more often as part of a regular routine.

Most importantly, it’s best to develop a routine of drinking water throughout the day, regardless of temperature.    Happy hydration!

January 23, 2014

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