Is drinking hot water beneficial for your health?
The Water It is an essential element for life. We ourselves are water! It is estimated that it constitutes 65% of our body weight and thanks to it we stay healthy and hydrated.
Our life would not be possible without H₂O and in order not to die of dehydration you have to drink periodically. But what if we told you that, in addition to this fundamental mission, ingesting water in a very specific way can provide us with other medicinal benefits?
We talk about drink hot or lukewarm water which, according to the Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine (the main exporters of this theory to the rest of the world), can help improve digestion, relieve congestion and even promote relaxation (among many other properties) compared to the same liquid at a cold temperature.
Why are there people who drink hot water?
In China, the custom of drinking hot or lukewarm water is widespread. At an anthropological level it makes sense, since ingesting a hot liquid helps to preserve body heat in the coldest climates; and boiling the water allows us to kill microorganisms that could cause us some disease. But these are not the only reasons to drink hot water.
Actually, this custom is also very connected to the spirituality. Traditional Chinese medicine, originating more than 2,000 years ago, is based on the philosophy that disease is the result of inadequate flow of life force (qi), which can be blocked if there is no balance and harmony in the body between the forces natural opposites of yin and yang.
So, according to traditional Chinese medicine, drink cold water (yin) prevents the organs from working properly, a problem that is solved by boiling the liquid to eat it hot (feeding the yang).
Three benefits of drinking hot water
Traditional Chinese medicine is not the only one that claims that hot water has medicinal properties. There are also some Scientific articles that support this theory, although they are rare and difficult to find. But, from Novamás we summarize all the benefits. Keep reading!
1. Relieve stuffy nose, cold and sore throat
A cup of hot water generates steam. Hold a cup of hot water and inhale deeply this gentle steam can help loosen clogged sinuses and even relieve a sinus headache.
According to the scientific article ‘The effects of a hot drink on nasal airflow and symptoms of common cold and flu’, drinking hot water can help relieve sore throat caused by mucus buildup.
Likewise, ingesting this liquid at a certain temperature can also cause the mucus move more quickly and make coughing and blowing your nose more productive, states the paper ‘Benefits of warm water’.
All these properties can be obtained with other hot drinkssuch as tea or soups, however, if you feel unwell and you are going to drink water, you can try drinking it hot, since it will be much more effective than cold or at room temperature.
2. Improves digestion
Drinking water helps keep the digestive system moving. As water moves through the stomach and intestines, the body is better able to eliminate waste.
Some studies claim that drinking hot water is especially effective in activating the digestive system, as it helps to break down food faster than the same cold or room temperature liquid.
This is especially beneficial for people who suffer achalasiaa rare disorder that makes it difficult for food and liquid to pass from the esophagus to the stomach, according to the article ‘Response of esophagus to high and low temperatures in patients with achalasia’.
3. Improves circulation and increases the feeling of relaxation
Hot water is a vasodilator, which means it expands the blood vessels, improving circulation. This can help relax muscles Y reduce pain.
Although no studies have directly linked hot water to sustained improvements in circulation, even brief improvements can already contribute to a better blood flow to muscles and organs.
As an additional benefit, the heat of drinking hot water can help us relax and reduce stress levels, since hydrating with a liquid (and more if it is hot) helps to improve the functions of the body. Central Nervous System.
How do you have to drink hot water?
The good thing about this natural remedy is that it does not have any contraindications beyond those dictated by the logic. In other words, you should not drink boiling water and you should not drink hot water if you are looking to refresh the body.
That being said, for maximum benefits, you have to bring the water to a boil to later be able to take it throughout the day, once it has cooled down a bit and is hot or lukewarm.
The ideal is to ingest it in the morning, fasting, and late at night, before going to sleep. If, in addition, you want to enhance the satiating properties, drink a glass of hot water Before meals It helps to fill up less with food and to digest it better.