Is Drinking Cold Water Bad For You

Posted on 30. Aug, 2013 by in Alkaline Diet Tips, Blog

Do you like to drink cold water to quench your thirst? There are many people just like you who prefer to drink cold water since they find it tastier and better than hot tea or water, room temperature or tap water, and vegetables and fruit juices. But in reality, cold water is not better than all of these drinks. In fact, it is actually bad for our health.

Cold Water and Digestion

Drinking cold water disturbs our healthy digestion. In fact, it can slow down and halt the normal digestive process. Drinking cold water or eating and drinking foods that are lower than room temperature has been linked to stomach cramps, discomfort, and bloating. In addition, Bob Dorris, doctor of medicine in Florida, has stated that drinking cold water can alter our normal digestive process. He has also mentioned that drinking cold water can cause poor digestion of foods and drinks. If we have poor digestion, our body will develop sludge or stagnant foods that can cause fatigue, allergies, headaches, sinusitis and weak immune system.

Drinking cold water when you are eating food can be very harmful for your body. Here is an analogy: Imagine you are deep frying foods in a hot wok. All of a sudden, someone throws cold water into the hot wok. What will happen to the wok? This is very dangerous as all the oil and water may splutter out of the wok. Damage to the vitreous enamel may occur as well.

Imagine the wok is your stomach when you eat a hot meal, chances are your stomach will be very warm. If you suddenly drink cold or icy water, it will be like adding cold water into a hot wok. Of course, it is not as bad as the hot wok, but in the long run, it can still harm your stomach.

Cold Water and Headaches

Cold stimulus headache is a generalized type of headache that follows exposure to a cold stimulus such as drinking cold water. According to Peter Mattsson, a researcher from neuroscience department at Sweden University Hospital, drinking cold water can cause headaches and migraines. His 2001 study showed that a significant amount of women have experienced a headache after drinking  ice-cold water.

In addition, Dr Ivan Garza, doctor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, has supported the research that was conducted at the Sweden University Hospital. He also noted that after drinking cold water, the pain usually begins within a few seconds and peaks between 20 to 60 seconds. The pain usually lasts for a few minutes, but for some, it can last for up to five minutes. The headache is commonly felt at the mid-frontal, followed by the occipital and bi-temporal lobes. Furthermore, whenever cold water drinking causes a headache in patients suffering from migraines, the pain can be more of a throbbing.

Why Should You Drink Warm Water First Thing in the Morning?

Based on many different alternative forms of healing, like traditional Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is recommended to drink warm water in the morning.

In regards to Traditional Chinese Medicine, they believe that when we first wake up in the morning, our body is in a warm state. Each morning, we are starting to light the candle in our body. If we drink cold water, it will put out the fire, and in the long run, our internal systems will become weaker.

Drinking warm water first thing in the morning is a classic Ayurvedic recommendation for balancing Vata and Kapha dosha, strengthening digestive power, and reducing any metabolic waste (Ama) that may have accumulated overnight.

Cold Water and Cancer

Does drinking cold water cause cancer? There are some people who actually believe that cold water drinking can actually cause cancer. They base their beliefs on one common misconception that is circulated around in emails, blogs and other websites. The people who support the idea that the cold water drinking can cause cancer have stated that drinking cold water solidifies the oily stuff that we consume. Once the solidified oil reacts to our stomach acid, it breaks down and is absorbed faster into the intestine compared with other solid foods. Consequently, this is turned into fats and eventually leads to cancer.

However, it is important to know that there is no scientific evidence supporting this idea. Does drinking cold water really cause cancer? The answer is a big no. In fact, the American Cancer Society has noted several factors that can cause cancer such as diet, physical activity, sun exposure, pollution, genetics, and lifestyle, but drinking cold water is definitely not one of them.


Drinking cold water is harmful to our health. It is proven to cause various health problems such as headache and improper digestion. In addition, Alon Marcus, author of Foundations for Integrative Musculoskeletal Medicine, has noted that drinking cold water can also damage our lungs.

So what can we drink? Fresh vegetable and fruit juices are very much recommended by many healthcare professionals. Not only do they contain as naturally high water content, they can also promote overall health. According to Louise Chang, a medical doctor, regular drinking of vegetable and fruit juice will also strengthen the body, prevent degeneration of the skin, glands, and organs, and promote good digestion. Warm or room temperature water is also perfectly acceptable.

About the Author:

Isabelle is an avid alternative health researcher especially in Traditional Chinese Medicine. She also has a passion for cooking healthy foods and is the best-selling author of a number of cookbooks.

Which wonderful friends in your life would appreciate this information about drinking water? Please help them by sharing this eye-opening article with each of them using any of the social media and email buttons below.

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23 Responses to “Is Drinking Cold Water Bad For You”

  1. avatar


    08. Oct, 2013


    Great article, do you have any more sources that I can read into. The statements listed seem to make sense and I will be trying it out for a while. Just curious.

    Thank you,


    Reply to this comment
    • avatar


      27. May, 2015

      This article is unfounded!!! I suppose cavemen did not drink from cold streams. Oh my, maybe they died of cancer or some other unthinkable tragedy. It’s a personal choice.

      Reply to this comment
  2. avatar


    09. Oct, 2013

    I have developed a swelling problem in my right leg and it is getting to be hard to walk and function normally. I am 75 years old but in fairly good shape but it is slowly breaking down. Can you give me any advice.

    Reply to this comment
    • avatar


      06. Jan, 2016

      go see someone who does applied kenesiology! it’s amazing what they can do for us, I’m a walking example.

      Reply to this comment
  3. avatar


    09. Oct, 2013

    What can you drink???? Ummm…how about warm water? …or green or white tea, or rooibos tea, or oolong tea, etc. etc.

    Also the author should state that by “fresh juice”, it doesn’t mean store-bought, loads of sugar-added juice, it means freshly-squeezed, real-fruit juice.

    Reply to this comment
    • avatar

      Pearl Clark

      19. Apr, 2015

      And who can afford “real” fruit juice? I stopped drinking bottled juice in order to keep my diabetes under control with out medication. And I find cold water to be very refreshing. You should not need to drink water while eating anyway and you should be avoiding greasy foods. Most teas annoy my kidneys so I don’t drink them either. My liquid of chose? Ice cold water.

      Reply to this comment
  4. avatar


    05. Dec, 2013

    My grandmother always drank warm water first thing every morning. The way she put it was “It gets things moving”. I do this every morning and add the juice of a lemon. This should be drunk 10 min. before eating anything. It removes the toxins in your body.

    Reply to this comment
    • avatar


      22. Mar, 2016

      That is the really thing to have in the morning. Every body should start their day that way.

      Reply to this comment
  5. avatar

    fulton hanson

    03. Jan, 2014

    Warm herbal teas for great at anytime during the day. Ihave a pot of tea on the wood stove all winter long and the water temp. is perfect.

    Reply to this comment
  6. avatar

    Carolyn Bragg

    18. Apr, 2014

    This article is misleading in the title and body in several areas…

    If you think about it, drinking water that is so cold it causes pain requires specific effort or a refrigerator turned down much lower than it should be. Ice-cold water can cause problems, yes. That’s one of the reasons we don’t jump in the ocean and drink the water (salt is another big reason, but not the only one). Also, the ice-cold water would have to be consumed quickly in order to maintain the extremely low temperature. It is implausible that a large number of US residents meet these stringent criteria which could result in harm.

    Aside from the lazy use of the word ‘cold’ by itself changes the meaning entirely because cold water, refreshingly cold, is not only fine, it is easier for the body to use after exercising, helps to refresh and cool when a person is hot and perspiring, and tastes delicious.

    It is mentioned that juices are a good alternative. Don’t people usually keep juice cold for preservation as well as flavor? If so, then how is ‘cold’ juice okay but water is harmful? And what about frozen yogurt or ice cream? If eaten in moderation, barring any other health concerns, they are “perfectly acceptable.”

    Touting the virtues of only drinking warm or room temperature water is as ridiculous as saying that people will have optimal health if they only go outside when it’s warm. And what is your definition of ‘warm’ water? Steaming-hot liquids; the temperature level that many coffee and tea drinkers prefer, is destructive and results in scar tissue among other things.

    Providing a website about health and a nourishing diet is a big responsibility. I suggest that being more precise and less alarmist and misleading in your articles will raise your credibility significantly.

    Reply to this comment
    • avatar

      David Anderson

      02. May, 2014

      Carolyn, you are exactly correct. I think warm tea or drink after a meal helps in the digestive process, in addition to your comments.

      Reply to this comment
    • avatar

      Big sexy

      27. Jul, 2015

      Thank you!

      Reply to this comment
  7. avatar

    Gary Poindexter

    27. Jun, 2014

    I don’t think it is reasonable to think that drinking cold water is dangerous. By the time cold water has passed through the mouth, throat, and esophagus, it will have warmed considerably (due to your high body temperature) before dumping into the stomach. Then once in the stomach it will rather quickly warm to body temperature. So what started out as cold in the glass, relatively quickly becomes warm.
    Now your body does have to add heat energy to the water, so your core temperature will lower, which may not be what you want to do in cold weather or if you are in poor health, but it can be beneficial when you are overheated and need cooling.
    And as far as the headaches, that sounds like the infamous “brain freeze”, whereby you consume something extremely cold (ice cream, snow cone, ice water, iced tea, etc.) and as it passes over the nerves and arteries along the back of the mouth and throat, the stimulation causes the pain. I’ve never heard of this being dangerous for your health – maybe if you are already in a compromised state? Most kids think it’s fun!

    Reply to this comment
  8. avatar

    Kay Shutt

    12. Aug, 2014

    I always drink cold water. Where I live the water has chlorine in it and the taste is disgusting. Drinking cold water helps eliminate the chlorine taste.

    Reply to this comment
    • avatar


      19. Jan, 2016

      Why not eliminate the chlorine from your drinking water? it is bad for you along with fluoride and all the other crap they put in the water.

      Reply to this comment
    • avatar


      22. Apr, 2016

      it may help to eliminate the chlorine taste but does not eliminate chlorine… suggestion: filtered water

      Reply to this comment
  9. avatar

    Pauleen Floyd

    26. Aug, 2014

    I agree whole-heartedly with Carolyn Bragg. I am 85yrs old and in perfect health. I have always added ice to my water and soft drinks even in winter time. I did however experince “brain freeze” as a child, when I ate ice cream too fast!

    Reply to this comment
  10. avatar

    Donna Lee Ford

    09. May, 2015

    I do drink warm water … I like it that way 🙂 glad to know these facts

    Reply to this comment
  11. avatar


    13. Dec, 2015

    This Topic is informative kids don’t listen…now I can give them facts… is bad not dangerous:)

    Reply to this comment
  12. avatar


    14. Dec, 2015

    seems that everything and anything we humans consume eventually end up on the “NOT GOOD FOR YOU” list, keeping that in mind it’s a wonder that man kind has lasted all these years. Maybe, just maybe it isn’t the food that we eat BUT ALL THE DAMN ADDATIVES and MODIFICATIONS that are put into the foods we consume…..

    Reply to this comment
  13. avatar


    06. Jan, 2016

    isn’t vegetable juice and fruit juice cold???
    so what is the difference between cold juice and cold water
    with NO calories?

    Reply to this comment
  14. avatar


    10. Feb, 2016

    Cold water after a meal is not good. I’ve known this for many years but there are still people who don’t think it to be a problem until proven in the lab. It’s not only cold water but any food that is cold is harmful whether is yogurt or ice cream. It’s not because we have the habit of gulping down icy water or frozen desert that we need to ignore this fact. Human being have tendency to refute anything that is not scientifically proven, and that’s each one’s right. But I know for fact that cold water is not good for anyone during or right after a meal. My father always drinks warm water in morning and after meal and he’s fine- 90 years.

    Reply to this comment
  15. avatar

    Donald Wilkes

    13. May, 2016

    I Have never heard of such craziness , people have been drinking cold water for hundreds of years How do you think people cooled off in the summer years ago, no air conditioner nothing but a window fan, that is how i grew up I am 62 years old and will continue to drink my ice water, after all we where not put here to live FOREVER!!

    Reply to this comment

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