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Last Updated Thursday April 27 2017 06:27 PM IST

Hot or cold water – Which is healthier? Read this

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Hot water

Zero degree Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for drinking water. This means that the best water to drink is, undoubtedly, that of room or normal temperature. (60 degree Fahrenheit = 15 degree Celsius).

In certain situations like when you are ill or suffering from constipation, water, at a temperature of 50 degree Fahrenheit (10 degree Celsius), can be consumed. Water from natural sources is always the best but in case of polluted water bodies, it is safer to boil it before drinking. Two glasses of water as soon as you wake up and before you retire to bed boosts up the metabolism and aids in digestion. Drinking cool water has found to reduce body temperatures.

Benefits of hot water

» Decreases hunger and appetite

» Reduces level of Hydrochloric Acid in the stomach cavity

» Expands blood vessels

» Improves and speeds up blood circulation for some time but then this slows down.

» Good for body aches, swelling, hyper-acidity, and certain infections.

What are the impacts of consuming cold water?

» Increases production of Hydrochloric Acid in stomach

» Increases appetite

» Constricts the blood vessels

» Blood circulation is sluggish at first and then it gains speed.

Cold water is beneficial for diabetes, skin diseases, blood purification, and Irritable bowel issues.

When the water content in the body is less, the Vassopressin, Oxytocin, Aldosterone, Adrenaline, Thyroid (Thyroxine) hormones reduces the amount of water that the body expels in the form of urine or sweat and increases the distribution of water through the kidneys and large intestine. When the level of water is high in the body, this is again balanced by way of expelling the excess water out. Issues with the pituitary gland, adrenal cortex, thyroid and hypothalamus will affect the water levels in the body. This may go haywire when you suffer from conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure. In such cases it is important to consume enough water.

What happens to your body when you are dehydrated?

The body loses water through various routes. Through urine - 1500 ml, skin pores - 800 ml, through air passageways - 400 ml and stool – 100 ml. When the water level in the body decreases, there will be variations in the extra-cellular fluid and the intra-cellular fluid levels. You will also lose sodium, potassium and protein from the body. The level of blood reduces slowly and the production of sweat and urine gets affected too. This will lead to a build-up of toxins in the body. Your metabolism gets sluggish and that could affect the functioning of the kidneys. This is a sure call for various ailments. Diabetic patients should consume lots of water, at least 3.5 liter of water daily and in this way the excess glucose in the body can be expelled through sweat and urine.

Ways to purify water

» Trees like Amla or Chandada near wells or ponds can reduce the levels of mineral salts and acidity of the water. Certain trees can also reduce the acidity of the soil and maintain a balance in the PH levels. These trees can even control the and hardness of the water when grown in the surrounding areas near the well.

» Boiling does destroy harmful germs to some extent but still it is important to resort to other purification methods.

» Adding coal from burnt coconut shells to well or tank water is good to reduce the hard quality and other free radicals.

» Chlorination or bleaching powder is another commonly used method for well water. 2.5 gm per 1000 liters of water is the ideal quantity to use. Once in two weeks is a fair enough time for this purification method.

» Dried drumstick seeds added to the water for home use are beneficial for purifying.

» Storing water in mud pots helps to keep the water cool and pure.

(The author is a naturopathy practitioner and consultant based in Kottayam)

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