It is well known that drinking lots of water is very beneficial to our health. But did you know that it’s even more important to drink warm or hot water? I discovered this when I traveled in Asia and particularly in China. Are you ready to have a healthy digestion, to detox and relax your body? Keep on reading to learn about the 10 reasons to drink hot water for amazing health benefits! You will also learn how to transition to drinking warm water, so that it tastes good!
Is drinking hot water good for you?
Even though this might seem strange, especially if it’s warm outside, but switching to drinking warm and hot water has had a big impact on my health!
I have been testing this for a while now and what I have noticed is that when I do drink cold water, I can feel my stomach sort of contract and it doesn’t feel well.
Even though I occasionally drink something cool like kombucha, on a daily basis, I prefer to drink hot or lukewarm water to feel at my best. I feel that it’s even more important when I am feeling low in energy or if it’s that time of the month for us women.
There are quite a few reasons to start enjoying warm water, just check out the following 10 health benefits and I am sure you will want to try it too!
Drink hot water health benefits
Drinking hot water helps you:
- Have a healthier digestion
- Lower stress and anxiety
- With weight loss
- Fight a cold, help with nasal congestion, clearing sinuses and soothes a sore throat
- Prevent and relieve constipation
- Detoxify the body and clearing out toxins
- Improves circulation
- Better skin
- Menstrual pain relief and muscle relaxer
- Prevent constipation
Hot water to lower period cramps
Hot water helps to have a better blood circulation and relax your muscles from the inside. And I can definitely confirm that drinking hot water helps me a lot with period pain! I don’t only put a hot water bottle on my belly. But I also bring warmth from the inside by drinking hot water or warming tea. This is a time when I really don’t like to drink any cold drinks at all. Try it and listen to your body, you will see the difference.
Hot water helps with fighting a cold
In this study, having a hot drink helped instantly in reducing “symptoms of runny nose, cough, sneezing, sore throat, chilliness and tiredness”, but those who had a room temperature drink had less benefits.
Hot water helps you digest better
Simply drinking water helps you get rid of the waste in your intestines. But hot water is even more effective in breaking down your food and permitting you to digest even better.
Personally, when my stomach hurts because I am having trouble digesting a certain food, what helps me every time is to drink hot water with peppermint tea. And if it’s really bad I add one drop of peppermint essential oil with the hot water.
Drink hot water for constipation
To start out with, constipation can be worsened or even caused by not drinking enough water. But if you drink hot water, it’s more effective than cold water to dissolve your food and prevent constipation since it helps to have better bowel movements.
How to make hot water taste better?
So, you want to start drinking warm or hot water now, but…you don’t like the taste of it when it’s on its own? Well, it’s quite normal if you live in a western country to not appreciate this fine beverage. For a lot of us, we were brought up drinking cold water and other cold drinks!
I know that I didn’t used to be a big fan but now I don’t even like drinking cold water anymore. So, it’s definitely something you get used to over time.
But you don’t have to go straight into it right away. Let me share with you some tips to gradually transition to drinking warm water! These helped me so much!
- If you haven’t yet, you can start with simply drinking some green or white tea
- Try this warming tea recipe that I shared (it only has 3 spices 😉 )
- Ginger tea
- You can simply put fresh mint leaves in your warm water (this is great for a stomach ache and to help digestion)
- Warm water with lemon juice or other citrus fruit
Drink hot water with lemon
There are actually a lot of benefits to drinking your warm water with some lemon. It’s a good source of vitamin C which helps to better absorb iron, it helps your immune system, reduce skin wrinkling and may help prevent cardiovascular diseases. Warm and hot lemon water can also greatly benefit your digestion and even help with bad breath!
Also, if you want to truly benefit from your lemon juice, it’s better if you can use organic fresh lemons and juice them yourself!
Drink hot lemon water every morning
Seeing all of these benefits, it’s definitely interesting to add a cup of warm water with lemon to your morning routine. I actually love to drink hot water with lemon juice every morning because I feel like it gives me that extra little boost to wake up!
The risk of lemon water?
What you need to be careful with when drinking lemon juice is if your teeth enamel is fragile. Because lemons can damage your teeth enamel over time. To avoid this problem, you can either drink with a straw (preferably a reusable one for the planet 😉 ) or swish some water in your mouth when you’re finished with your lemon drink.
Drink hot water in Asia
For one year, I traveled through Asia. Well, for several countries there, it’s absolutely normal to drink warm water everyday, such as Sri Lanka, China or Taiwan.
The first place I went to was Sri Lanka. I was staying in a buddhist temple where I had already volunteered two years previously. So, I had started getting used to it already from the start. But for a long time, I actually thought that they were giving us hot water so that we wouldn’t get sick, since it’s not drinkable water for us. But it was more than that…
When I arrived in China, I was again really surprised that everyone was drinking warm or hot water there. I would soon understand why when I went to train in a temple in the Wudang mountain Range.
My experience with hot water at the temple
At the Five Immortals temple, it made sense that the water we were drinking that came from the mountain needed to be boiled everyday. This was actually my first task for helping maintain the temple. When the water was finished boiling, I would put it in these big bottles that kept it hot all day. Our shifu (teacher in Mandarin) didn’t want us drinking cold water…
I first started learning more when one of the students was having stomach pain when she got to the temple. The first question Li shifu asked her was “Have you been drinking cold water before coming here?”, she was surprised by his question and answered yes she had been. She started drinking the hot water from the temple’s bottles and quickly her stomach felt better!
Traditional chinese medicine and hot water
In traditional chinese medicine, drinking cold water is definitely a no no. It must be at least room temperature! Just like in the list, traditional chinese medicine has believed for far longer than us that hot water is important for a healthy digestion. It helps to get rid of the “cold”, detoxify the body and will benefit your blood circulation. Especially if you are often cold such as in your extremities, have stomach issues or you’re tired a lot and feel lethargic, it’s important to do that switch by drinking hot water and bringing in some yang energy!
Try boosting your energy with some qi gong as well! Here is an exercise I described with a video to follow, on how to do the standing meditation!
Drink hot water after eating
We are so used to drinking liquids during or right after our meals but is it really good for us?
In “Healing with whole foods”, Paul Pitchford explains that drinking water is definitely better for us if done no less than 30 minutes before eating or an hour after finishing our meal, especially if we drink large quantities. This is because of digestive enzymes being diluted. But! If you wish to drink when you’re finishing your meal or you want a few sips while you’re eating, you can if it’s warm water and no more than a half a glass. You definitely don’t want a cold drink at this time since it weakens your digestion. Why not try a ginger tea to help with your digestion?
Drink hot water in Ayurveda
Ayurveda is an alternative medicine and has existed since the dawn of time! According to the author of many ayurvedic books and pioneer of ayurveda in France, Kiran Vyas (reference at the end) explains that drinking warm water helps the body to get rid of toxins, help with your digestion and do a cleansing from the inside. Hot water will dissolve these impurities called ama in Ayurveda. Especially if you eat any food with fat in them, if you drink cold water, it will make your food more solid and harder to digest, you need heat to dissolve the food.
In ayurveda, hot water will also lower stress, fatigue and assist your lymphatic system!
Drink water in a copper bottle
If you want to take this a step further, consider investing in a copper bottle to store your hot water. Drinking your water that was kept in a copper recipient is called usha pan, in ayurveda. By keeping your water in copper, it charges up in copper ions so it will have an anti-bacterial effect on it.
Drinking this copper charged water will benefit your liver, health and energy! Also, copper permits your body to absorb vitamin C correctly, which is essential for a healthy immune system.
The water must be kept in the copper vessel overnight to be efficient, or at the very least 4 hours.
Is it safe to drink water that has been stored in copper?
As claimed by Kiran Vyas (check at the end for reference), their concentration is low enough that it’s safe for everyone to drink. And in this study , it shows that even after 16 hours in a copper pot, the water remains safe for our health. But don’t keep the same water in the bottle for days, it should be changed every 24 hours.
What are the risks of drinking hot water?
Have you ever drunk your hot tea or coffee too soon and burnt your tongue and your taste buds? Then, you went on the rest of the day not being able to taste anything? Maybe you even hurt your throat by damaging it with burning water?
Besides when using extreme temperatures, like when you just boiled some water and you start sipping right away, there aren’t any issues with drinking warm or slightly hot water. You simply need to let it cool down for a few minutes. Then enjoy the many benefits of drinking hot or even lukewarm water!
What is the right temperature for drinking hot water?
So what is the right temperature to drink your hot water for gain from its health benefits? According to this study, in 2008, the right temperature of your warm drink should be around 136 degrees F or 57.8 degrees C to avoid burning yourself but to still enjoy your warm beverage.
Another study says that you can actually safely drink water between 130 and 160 degrees F or 54 to 71 degrees C.
Well, in my case, I heat it up to 50 degrees C but then I still wait a couple minutes before drinking to have it just right!
if you also enjoy a nice warm cup ot tea, obviously you must heat the water much more than that. I let my tea leaves steep in the water most of the time around 75 or 80 degrees C if it’s green tea or warmer than that if it’s for example peppermint leaves. Then, I wait for it to cool down several minutes, I feel how warm my cup is and usually I know by then if I can start drinking!
This is why you should drink hot water!
So, now you have learned about why it’s so important to drink hot water for all its health benefits. If you want to have better digestion, have more energy, detoxify your body, lose weight, get rid of a cold faster and much more, start you hot water drinking journey! If hot and warm water bother you, remember that you can add lemon, ginger or peppermint leaves to make it taste better.
Have you noticed any changes in your health while drinking hot water? Share in the comments!
Extra sources from books
- (In French): Le bien-être par l’ayurvéda, les bienfaits de la cure ayurvédique, de Kiran Vyas (p. 99)
- Healing with Whole Foods, by Paul Pitchford (p.128)