Cold Water: Your Unknown Nemesis
One of the biggest, and potentially easiest, changes you can make to your health is to stop drinking cold water and beverages. This may come as a surprise to many, as Western culture loves its cold drinks. Think back to any time you've eaten out at a restaurant. You likely had a nice, tall glass of ice water placed in front of you by your friendly server the moment you sat down. However, drinking iced drinks on a regular basis could actually be doing quite a bit of harm to your body.
Now, I know what many of you are thinking, “But what about in the summertime when it’s hot outside? I use cold drinks to cool me off!” Well think about it this way, your internal body temperature is quite warm (on average between 97.7–99.5 °F.) By putting iced liquid into your body where your organs are used to being all warm, happy, and cozy, you’re shocking them suddenly by introducing them to an unnaturally cold substance. Cold has the effect of contracting and slowing. Drinking a cold beverage will therefore cause the blood vessels in your digestive system to contract, thus reducing your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, slowing blood flow, and interrupting your organs’ natural rhythm and functions. Moreover, because cold beverages deplete your digestive heat, your system is then forced to generate more heat to compensate. This will actually cause a rise in your internal temperature (exactly the opposite of what you want on a hot day.) In fact, by drinking a beverage that is cool by nature rather than temperature (such as warm green or peppermint tea) you will cool your body off much more effectively than by guzzling a glass of ice water.
Drinking cold water repeatedly will eventually lead to an imbalance in one’s internal body mechanism. This may potentially lead to a myriad of health concerns such as cold hands and feet, painful menses in women, varicose veins, weak appetite, poor digestion, abdominal pain, bloating, loose stools, weight gain, chronic fatigue, depression, and chronic pain. So as we enter into the warmer months of summer, do yourself a favor, keep those internal organs happy, and take it easy on the cold drinks.