Hazards of Drinking Cold Water

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A refreshing drink of cold water on a hot day or after a bout of exercise is something many people enjoy. However, in recent years, rumors have persisted that cold water can be bad if ingested to excess, and worse, can lead to serious health conditions. While this isn't true, there are certain hazards you should be aware of when you drink cold water in large quantities.

During Exercise

  • Drinking cold water during exercise is a commonly accepted way of bringing down your temperature and making sure you keep hydrated. While this is a highly effective way of lowering your core temperature and cooling down, too much fluid of any temperature ingested in the middle of a workout can make you feel bloated and uncomfortable when you go back to exercising. This is particularly true of exercise with a strong cardiovascular component such as running or Judo.

With Sensitive Teeth

  • The most obvious hazard of drinking cold water is the effect it has on sensitive teeth. If you have tooth decay or a cavity, then drinking cold water or eating something cold will cause the sensitive area to react to the temperature extreme. This will lead to rapid pain and even a lasting ache over the sensitive area that's extremely uncomfortable to experience.

After Eating

  • Drinking cold water after eating is regarded by some as being potentially hazardous. The stated belief is that the water will cool down the hot food, causing it to solidify into oily lumps that are extremely hard to digest. This isn't true, as by the time food reaches the stomach, it's typically reached body temperature. However, drinking water while or after eating spicy food can make you feel uncomfortable as the water washes down anything in your throat, allowing the food's full "heat" to be experienced.

Long-term Health Problems

  • Some people believe that drinking cold water can lead to long-term health problems such as cancer. This is based on fundamentally flawed logic, revolving around the belief that the water cools down hot food, turning it into fatty, oily solids that collect in the lining of the intestine and ultimately lead to cancer. This simply is not true, because, as noted above, the heat of the human body rapidly equalizes food temperatures.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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