Why do people drink hot water?
Many Chinese people have a custom of drinking hot water as soon as they wake up in the morning. Why? The reasons vary depending on whom you ask, but many people feel that hot water can help kick-start the digestive system.
In fact, in ancient Chinese medicine, this is taught to the practitioners and therefore, many Chinese people have been taught this practice from a very young age.
It is also believed that both hot and warm water will help improve blood flow and increase blood circulation, therefore helping to detoxify your body and even reduce any painful muscle contractions you might be having.
If you’ve ever wondered, why do the Chinese drink hot water, these are the main reasons for it, with many Chinese people feeling that hot water is a cure-all for just about everything.
Which Cultures Drink Hot Water?
Although it is Asian people who you’ll find drinking hot water more often than other cultures, that doesn’t mean that other populations don’t drink it at all. In Great Britain, they love their hot tea several times a day, but of course, they usually don’t drink hot water on its own.
Still, hot water is hot water, and even if the hot water you’re drinking has tea leaves in it, you should still be able to reap the benefits of drinking it.
Some cultures – again, this includes England – enjoy hot water with herbs in it, such as ginger and even rosemary, among others.
The herbs give it a little extra flavor and make it easier to drink, and it’s extremely healthy for you because ginger, for example, is an anti-inflammatory and works wonders for digestive problems as well.
Chinese Medicine Drinking Water
According to traditional Chinese medicine, the body can only be healthy if there is an internal balance of yin and yang at all times.
When this duo gets out of balance, that’s when illnesses happen. They believe that drinking hot water keeps the yin-yang dynamic in perfect equilibrium, which means better overall health and fewer illnesses and discomforts.
Hot water, according to Chinese medicine, will enrich yin and tonify the yang in your body, making them work better together in the end.
In other words, hot water brings the body back into balance, which is why many doctors who practice traditional Chinese medicine tell their patients to drink hot water to get rid of symptoms associated with colds, the flu, and many other ailments.
They call it a method of “resolving exterior,” and indeed, many patients who drink hot water for these types of ailments swear by the results.
The Benefits of Drinking Hot Water
According to many people, drinking hot water has numerous health benefits. They include the following:
- Helps with nasal and respiratory problems: it breaks up phlegm and provides relief from a sore throat.
- Helps with acne: it deep-cleans the body and therefore eliminates one of the main causes of acne.
- Helps with stomach problems: it can help the digestive system work better and even help you have healthier bowel movements.
- Menstrual cramps: it has a calming effect on the abdominal muscles and relieves cramps.
- Prevents premature aging: it removes toxins from the body, repairs skin cells, and keeps skin smooth and elastic.
- Works wonders on your hair: it gives you soft, shiny hair and promotes hair growth by activating the roots; it even helps prevent dandruff too.
Keep in mind that the water should not be boiling but either hot or warm for it to give you the results you want. The right temperature is important both for achieving the desired effects and keeping you safe.
Drink Hot Water to Lose Weight
Yet another advantage of drinking hot water, according to many Chinese medical professionals, is that it can help you lose weight. How does it do this? First of all, drinking hot water can help speed up your metabolism, which means faster and easier weight loss.
If you add lemon to the hot water, it works even better. In addition to this advantage, hot water helps break down the adipose tissue – also called body fat – in your body, which helps you shed those pounds even faster.
Does Drinking Hot Water Dehydrate You?
Because drinking hot water can make you sweat and lose fluids from your body, some people are concerned that you may become dehydrated if you regularly consume this type of drink.
Fortunately, this is rarely a problem. Although you can become dehydrated if you sweat too much, this can be offset simply by making sure you drink enough water throughout the day to replace what you’ve lost.
Keep in mind that once you become thirsty, your body is already starting to dehydrate, so it’s best to never feel thirsty.
If you do feel thirsty, however, simply drink several glasses of water to replenish what was lost and you should be fine. Dehydration can cause a host of physical and mental ailments, so listen to your body and drink water on a regular basis.
The Side Effects of Drinking Hot Water
Much like anything else, drinking hot water does have its disadvantages.
If you stick to one or two cups in the morning, you shouldn’t have any problems, but even with just a few cups, problems can arise. These include the following:
- It can dilute the electrolytes in your body.
- It can put too much of a strain on the kidneys.
- It can result in mouth ulcers and minor burns in the mouth.
- You can consume contaminants if the water isn’t warm enough and you don’t have healthy water in your area.
- You can suffer burns in the lip and mouth area if you’re not careful.
Most of these problems, however, can be avoided simply by not drinking too much of it and by making sure the water isn’t too hot.
Is Cold Water Bad for You?
In most instances, cold water is not bad for you, but traditional Chinese medicine teaches that it can cause muscle contractions, which is why this type of medicine always recommends warm water.
In fact, in most societies, drinking cold water after a workout can be very beneficial because it can help bring your body temperature back down after you exercise.
In the end, it is really up to you if you want to drink your water warm or cold, especially if you drink a lot of it during the day.
Drinking Hot Water vs. Cold Water
The “rules” that apply to hot versus cold water have many exceptions, which is why people have to decide for themselves which one to choose.
Although drinking cold water after a workout is beneficial, most health experts today recommend drinking your water either warm or at room temperature.
A few tips to keep in mind when you’re trying to decide which one to choose include the following:
- It is usually not good to drink cold water when eating your food. It can slow down the digestive process because your body will concentrate a lot of its energy on increasing its temperature instead of digesting your food. This in turn can cause severe indigestion.
- Do not drink warm water after exercising because your body temperature is already a little high and it may take you too long to cool down. Instead, drink water that is cold or at room temperature for the best results.