Does your body burn more calories when you drink ice water? Yes, it probably does, but the amount is not significant. In fact, drinking a glass of ice cold water burns fewer than 10 calories.
On average, the adult body is about 60% water. We lose water every day through urine production, sweat, breathing and as a byproduct of metabolism. Replacing water adequately day in and day out is important for overall health.
Water is needed for digestion, lubricating joints, regulating body temperature, protecting cells and getting rid of waste materials from the body.
How much water you should be drinking per day varies depending on age, body size, activity level, environment and other health factors.
In general, the recommended total fluid intake is 15.5 cups per day for men and 11.5 cups per day for women.
This may seem higher than the popular 8 cups per day guideline, but keep in mind this amount is total fluid intake including food.
On average, about 20% of total fluid intake is from food. Whatever is left is from fluids you consume. The vast majority of fluid intake should be water. How much water you need can vary.
Besides trying to get enough water throughout the day, some people focus on the temperature of their water intake. Some websites promote drinking ice cold water can cause a boost in metabolism because the body has to burn energy to get it to body temperature.
However, even though drinking ice cold water may cause a very slight increase in calorie burn, the amount is too small to notice a big difference.
Importance of drinking enough water, whatever the temperature
If you are even slightly dehydrated, you may feel thirsty, tired, have decreased urine output, dry skin, lowered ability to concentrate or headache. If your body is slightly dehydrated, that may also trigger a signal in the brain to eat something when really we could just use a glass of water.
Because of this, staying hydrated may help with appetite regulation and weight balance.
How do you know if you’re getting enough water? An easy, quick way to vaguely assess hydration status throughout the day is by urine color. The darker your urine generally means the more dehydrated you are.
The paler/clearer your urine, the more hydrated you are. Aiming to drink at least 8 cups of water a day can be a starting point, but you may need more fluids than this depending on activity level, sweat loss and other health factors.
If you have a hard time feeling motivated to drink more water, try adjusting the temperature. Cold, room temperature and hot water can all add to your fluid intake.
Maybe drinking hot water, like in tea, can increase your fluid intake if that’s more appealing to you. Or maybe making your water cold may help you be more apt to drink more especially if it’s hot outside. You can also add slices of fruit, cucumbers or herbs to your water to add some natural flavor without adding sweeteners.
Calorie burn from drinking ice water
Does your body burn more calories when you drink ice water? Yes it probably does, but the amount is not significant. In fact, drinking a glass of ice cold water burns fewer than 10 calories.
This is not a significant calorie amount and isn’t a main contributor for weight loss. If you like drinking room temperature water, it isn’t imperative to switch to drinking ice water to increase your calorie burn throughout the day.
Drinking cold water during exercise can increase performance
If you are exercising, especially in the heat, drinking cold water may be better than room temperature water. Cold water may actually leave the stomach quicker than warmer water. Exercising in the heat can increase body temperature to dangerous levels and can hinder athletic performance.
Therefore, staying hydrated and dropping body temperature can help athletic endurance and keep you from danger of being too hot.
A 2008 study (1) found drinking a cold beverage before and during exercise in the heat can lead to an improved athletic endurance.
Exercise time was longer in participants who received cold beverages compared to participants who received a warm beverage before and during exercise.
A 2006 study (2) also found benefit of drinking cold beverages during exercise in the heat. Researchers concluded drinking cold fluid during exercise increased fluid consumption which helped attenuate rise in body temperature and lowered risk for heat stress during exercise in the heat.
Is there benefit from drinking warm liquids?
If drinking cold water potentially causes a very small calorie burn, does drinking warm liquids cause a small calorie burn? The answer may be yes, but again the calories expended would be very small.
Because drinking cold water can leave your stomach quickly, drinking warm liquids may sit in your stomach longer. Therefore, drinking warm liquids, like unsweetened tea or coffee, may help you feel full longer.
Some weight loss advocates suggest drinking warm liquids before a meal may help you eat less.
However, keep in mind sipping hot cocoa or other higher calorie beverages won’t do your waist line any good, as these are high in sugar and extra calories.
Conclusion: Does drinking ice water burn more calories?
Yes, drinking ice water may burn a FEW extra calories, but it isn’t significant. The bottom line is no matter what temperature you like to drink your water, just drinking enough is the most important factor.
If drinking ice water increases your overall water intake, drink it because of that not because you think you’re burning more calories.
If you are exercising in the heat, some research has shown drinking cold beverages can help lower body temperature and encourage fluid intake.