top of page

Warm Water Vs. Cold Water: The Ayurvedic Showdown For Optimal Health



I hope you're doing well and have some exciting plans for summer! As the weather heats up, I thought it would be timely to share Ayurveda's wisdom on hydration. 

Those who know me are familiar with my preference for warm or room-temperature water over cold. In fact, a friend was recently quite surprised to see me bring a thermos filled with warm water on a hike, instead of the usual "thirst-quenching" cold water. This preference wasn't always the case. In fact, I used to enjoy chugging ice-cold water regularly, especially after an intense workout or while playing sports.

However, my immersion in Ayurveda two decades ago opened my eyes to the benefits of warm water. I'd love to share these benefits with you, hoping they can contribute to your well-being too.

It's important to clarify that Ayurveda doesn't entirely dismiss cold water; there are exceptions. However, Ayurveda does provide simple yet compelling reasons to incorporate warm water into your routine. At least I think so. Let’s dive in! 

Supporting cellular hydration for optimal health.
To ensure the water we drink reaches all our cells for maximum hydration, it's important to consider how temperature affects absorption. When we drink cold beverages, our blood vessels constrict as a natural reflex to maintain body temperature. This constriction can hinder the efficient delivery of water to every cell. So, while cold water might feel refreshing and thirst-quenching, it might not be as hydrating as we think.

Maintaining healthy digestion.
In Ayurveda, the digestive system is referred to as 'agni'  the digestive fire responsible for breaking down food. Think of your digestive system as a warm, steady flame. Introducing very cold beverages can be like throwing ice on that flame which can weaken the digestive system, potentially leading to sluggish digestion, bloating and even gas. As I’ve shared before, according to Ayurveda, healthy digestion is the cornerstone of health - so we should support its function and optimization.


Cold water hinders elimination.
Eliminating waste products and toxins is essential for good health. However, excessive consumption of cold beverages may hinder this natural bodily function, potentially leading to stagnation and toxin accumulation in the body.


Think of it like this: Imagine washing greasy dishes. Cold water causes the grease to solidify, leaving a stubborn residue. Warm water, on the other hand, cuts through the grease, making rinsing and cleaning easier.

While our bodies are far more complex than dirty dishes, I’m using this analogy to illustrate how warm water can be more effective in supporting elimination. In Ayurveda, proper elimination is crucial for detoxification, nutrient absorption, gut health, and maintaining a healthy balance of fluids and electrolytes.

As I mentioned earlier, Ayurveda has exceptions. Here are some situations where occasional cold water consumption might be just fine:

  • Healthy digestion: you experience regular digestion without issues like bloating or constipation.

  • Healthy respiratory system: you have minimal mucus production and do not have a tendency for congestion, bronchitis, asthma, allergies or throat infections.

I know there may be some resistance to cutting back on cold water, but I encourage you to give warm/room-temperature water a try. Give it at least a solid thirty days to experience some of the benefits. And if you still don’t notice any benefits, well at the very least you’d be hydrated :)

We’re now getting into summer and if you are to cut back on cold water then it only makes sense that you’re scratching your head wondering how to stay cool this season. Well, Ayurveda recommends consuming drinks and foods with cooling properties. So this summer, try some of these options that promote optimal hydration while also maintaining digestive health:

  • Lassi (buttermilk) with a pinch of cumin or mint.

  • Coconut water

  • Sugarcane juice

  • Lemonade made with fresh lemon juice, water, a pinch of cane sugar and ginger

  • Aloe vera juice

  • Herbal-infused water: steep cooling herbs like fennel, coriander seeds or mint in hot water. Once cooled, enjoy the refreshing and flavorful drink.

  • Fruits and vegetable juices especially pomegranate, cucumber or watermelon.

🎯  Quote of the week

If anyone is magically going to appear and just suddenly make your life better, just know that person is always going to be you.
— Brianna Pastor

🎥 Recommendation of the week - documentary

Blue Zones.jpg

I recently watched 'Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones' on Netflix, which explores communities around the world with extraordinary longevity rates. The Blue Zone principles struck a chord with me, mirroring the holistic approach of Ayurveda. Both emphasize a balanced life focused on healthy eating, mental and emotional wellbeing, mindful movement, strong social connections, living in tune with nature and having a sense of purpose. It's fascinating how these geographically diverse communities – Okinawa, Sardinia, Ikaria, Nicoya, and Loma Linda – share similar philosophies for well-being that can be applied anywhere. Let me know your thoughts if you check it out.

bottom of page