Drinking Water in Winter   Leave a comment

One of the things about living in a house where the thermostat is set to 60 degrees F is that you learn what works to keep you from being too cold. One such thing is the importance of drinking water. During the summer we all know that we need to drink plenty of water to help us feel cooler, and so that our bodies’ cooling systems can work. It’s less obvious that drinking water in the winter can help to stay warm. I’m not talking about hot beverages here, I’m talking about any temperature of liquid.

The realization came after lots of self observation, and then experimentation. Some days I felt really cold, others weren’t so bad, even though the house temperature and probably the effective temperature (accounting for drafts, etc.) were the same. But when I felt really cold and then drank a lot of water (cold tap or room temperature water), I started to feel more comfortable. This was most apparent in extremities like fingers and toes.

Not being well-studied in anatomy and physiology I can only offer conjecture as to why this would be the case, but I’ll give it a shot. My guess is that when the body is not fully hydrated, blood circulation is not as efficient and so transfer of heat throughout the body is not as efficient. After all, cold fingers are used as a symptom of poor circulation, like for Raynaud’s disease.

So if you’re like me and can’t manage to finish a cup of hot tea at home before it gets cold, drink it anyway knowing that it’ll help you keep warm. Although, holding a nice hot cup would be much more pleasant.

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Posted February 17, 2011 by mayakey in food, health

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