Drinking hot water can provide your body with the water it needs to replenish fluids. It can also improve digestion, relieve congestion, and even make you feel more relaxed.
Health benefits of drinking hot water
Most people who drink hot water as a holistic health remedy do so first thing in the morning or right before bed for optimal health benefit.
Warm water to a temperature between 120°F and 140°F. Hot water should not be hot enough to scald your taste buds (temperatures of 160°FTrusted Source or more can scald and result in significant burns).
Add a twist of lemon for a vitamin C boost, and you’re already on your way to better health.
Here are 10 ways that drinking hot water may benefit you.
Relieves nasal congestion
The warmth of hot water creates steam. Taking a deep inhale of this gentle vapor while holding a cup of hot water can help loosen clogged sinuses and even relieve a sinus headache.
Since you have mucous membranes throughout your neck and upper torso, drinking hot water can help warm that area and soothe a sore throat caused by mucous buildup.
Drinking hot water both soothes and activates your digestive tract. Water is, after all, the lubricant that keeps your digestion going. As the water moves through your stomach and intestines, digestive organs are better hydrated and able to eliminate waste.
Hot water can also dissolve and dissipate things you’ve eaten that your body might have had trouble digesting.
Calms central nervous system
Drinking hot water can calm your central nervous system and lubricate your body. When your nervous system is primed for healthy and controlled reactions, you’ll find that you feel fewer aches and pains, as well as less panicked throughout your day.
A person who has arthritis might get an extra benefit from using hot water — to calm their central nervous system.
Helps relieve constipation
Drinking hot water helps your intestines to contract. When that happens, old waste trapped in your intestines is able to pass out of your body. Drinking hot water regularly helps keep you, well, regular. But drinking it occasionally when you’re constipated isn’t a bad idea, either.
Keeps you hydrated
Hot water is no different than room temperature or cool water when it comes to keeping you hydrated.
A common recommendation from health authorities is that an adult should drink eight 8-ounce glasses (about 2 liters or a half gallon) of water a day. That’s a hard target for many people to hit.
Starting your day with a serving of hot water and ending your day with another will get you that much closer to being adequately hydrated. Your body needs water to perform basically every essential function, so the value of that can’t be overstated.
May aid in weight loss
Drinking hot water wakes your body’s temperature control system up. As your body compensates for the warm temperature of the water, it brings your internal temperature down, and activates your metabolism.
Hot water also helps your intestines contract to clear out waste products that are bloating your body, which gets rid of the dreaded “water weight”.
Taking a warm bath helps your circulatory organs — your arteries and veins — to expand and carry blood more effectively throughout your body. Drinking hot water can have a similar effect.
Healthy blood flow affects everything from your blood pressure to your risk of cardiovascular disease. As a bonus, warmth from drinking hot water or bathing at nighttime can help relax you and prepare you for restful sleep.
Can decrease stress levels
Since drinking hot water helps improve central nervous system functions, you might end up feeling less anxious if you drink it. If you add some warm milk to the mix, you might find that you’re feeling even more calm than after drinking hot water, according to one study.
Can help reduce toxins
Drinking hot water temporarily begins to raise your internal body temperature. When you drink hot water, or when you take a warm bath, your body’s endocrine system activates and you start to sweat.
And while sweating might be uncomfortable, it’s an essential part of getting rid of toxins and irritants that you’re exposed to in your environment.
Helps relieve symptoms of achalasia
Achalasia is a condition during which your esophagus has trouble moving food down into your stomach.
Researchers aren’t sure why, but warm water can help people with achalasia to digest more comfortably. Drinking warm water with oily food or a meat-heavy meal might be especially helpful for people with this diagnosis.
Limits and risks
Drinking hot water has plenty of benefits, but it isn’t a magical cure-all. And drinking water that’s too hot can actually damage the tissue in your esophagus, burn your taste buds, and scald your tongue. Be very careful when you drink hot water — pay attention to the temperature.
You shouldn’t drink hot water if you’re working in a hot climate or exercising. Research shows that drinking hot water makes you less thirsty. If you’re environment or activity raises your risk of being dehydrated, give yourself the best chance you can to stay hydrated by s drinking hot water.
Getting into the habit of drinking hot water doesn’t take a lot of work. Starting your day with water that’s been boiled and left to cool is an easy way to switch out your morning coffee.
Add a light session of stretching to your routine, and you’ll feel more energized and better equipped to tackle your day.
If the taste of warm water doesn’t appeal to you, add a twist of citrus — like lemon or lime — to the beverage before you drink it.
Drinking warm water before bed is a great way to wind down after a busy day. Knowing about the health benefits will have you sleeping soundly.
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