Alternative health experts argue that drinking hot water is an easy way to improving a person’s health, though there is little scientific research to back benefits one can derive from drinking hot water. Drinking enough water can support skin, muscle, and joint health. Water helps the cells of the body to fight off infections and absorb nutrients. Drinking a few glasses of warm or hot water daily might offer even more benefits.
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8 Health Benefits of Drinking Hot Water
Folk medical literature is jam-packed with stories of how hot water can improve health, but researchers have only just begun to look into the benefits of drinking hot water.
- Body detoxification
Natural health advocates argue that hot water helps to detoxify the body. When water is hot enough to raise the body temperature of a person, it can cause sweating. Sweating helps to clean pores and to expel toxins from the body.
- Improved circulation
Hot water is a vasodilator which expands the blood vessels, thereby improving circulation. This can cause the muscle to relax and reduce pain.
Although no studies have directly linked hot water to sustained improvements in circulation, even brief improvements in circulation can support better blood flow to muscles and organs.
- Fighting colds and improving sinus health
Hot water can help to get rid of colds since heat applied to the sinuses can alleviate pressure caused by colds and nasal allergies. Drinking hot water helps unclog the sinuses. It may aid the free and quick movement of mucous.
- Reduced pain
Hot water improves circulation and blood flow, especially to injured muscles. No research has directly linked hot water consumption to pain relief, however, people routinely use heat packs and hot water bottles to reduce pain. Consuming hot water may offer some internal pain relief.
- Healthier digestion
The small intestine tends to absorbs most of the water consumed through food and drinking when a person does not drink enough water. This can lead to dehydration, causing difficulty during a bowel movement.
Chronic dehydration can cause chronic constipation which makes bowel movements painful and may cause other problems like bloating and hemorrhoids.
Drinking hot water helps to break down food faster than drinking cold or warm water. Hot water helps to reduce the risk of constipation by supporting regular bowel movements.
- Reduced stress
A soothing cup of hot water may help people manage anxiety and stress. A study found that consumption of hot liquids, such as tea and coffee, could lower stress and reduce feelings of anxiety.
- Weight loss
Drinking more water can help a person lose weight. This may partially be because drinking water increases feelings of fullness. Water also helps the body absorb nutrients, and it flushes out waste.
A study published in 2003 found that switching from drinking cold water to hot water could increase weight loss. Researchers found that drinking 500 ml of water before a meal increased metabolism by 30 percent.
- Encouraging consumption of coffee and tea
Hot water may offer extra health benefits when mixed with coffee or tea. Coffee and caffeinated teas can dehydrate the body, especially at high doses, but they also offer some health benefits in moderation.
Research published in 2017 connected coffee consumption to a longer life. Other studies has found a link between moderate coffee consumption and a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease, hearth health problems, type 2 diabetes, liver disease, and some cancers. Drinking hot tea may help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and liver disease.
Risk of Drinking Hot Water
The primary danger of drinking hot water is one of being burned. Water that feels pleasantly warm on a fingertip may still burn the tongue or throat. A person should avoid consuming water that is near boiling temperature, and they should always test a small sip before taking a gulp.
Drinking caffeinated coffee or tea may cause a person to become overcaffeinated or jittery. This can be prevented by reducing the cups of coffee or tea consumed, or simply replacing caffeinated drinks with hot water. A 2008 study reported an ideal drinking temperature of 136 °F (57.8°C) for coffee.
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