Hello my wonderful reader, in my previous post I stressed the need for us to drink water regularly because one can actually be sick not necessarily due to any particular underlying ailment or medical conditions but simply because we do deprive ourselves of this free gift of drinking water. Today, we will digress a little bit to discuss the impacts drinking cold water or beverages can have in our body. I believe that many of us including me composing this article love drinking cold or chilled water most especially after a sunny chaotic or hectic day in the streets or at work to at least calm the nerves and cool our body system. That’s quite alright! In fact, on several occasions we do enjoy preparing our beverages, snacks or even our dried African flakes (garri) with very chilled water from the freezer. However, I will like to unarguably tell us that there are more cons than pros when we indulge in such habits. It’s worthwhile and very important to know that despite the fact that we enjoy drinking cold water or chilled beverages because of its temporary soothing effect, there is always a downside of it when consumed regularly because everything that have advantages will equally tend to have some limitations.
Studies have revealed that drinking cold water or beverages on a regular basis can result to the following:
- REDUCTION IN RATE OF DIGESTION: Consumption of cold water reduces the time at which ingested food is digested. These cold drinks induce the shrinkage of blood vessels which automatically causes improper digestion and the consequent malabsorption or loss of nutrients by the body giving room for malnutrition. When cold water enters the stomach, our body tends to convert this liquid to the normal internal temperature (homeostasis) exerting enough energy in the process that should have been used to digest the consumed food. Our digestive system will now be busy regulating the cold drink temperature instead of working to extract the nutrients in the consumed food. Research have also indicated that as the cold water passes through our system most especially after a meal containing fats, the fats will solidify and become sticky favoring indigestion and other problems associated with this phenomenon.
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- HIGH CHANCES OF SORE THROAT: Taking cold water can cause the irritation of the respiratory mucosa-a protective layer of the respiratory tract and when this happens the respiratory tract will become exposed which increases our susceptibility to various infections thus the risk of one having sore throat is high. In the same vein, cold water consumption after a meal causes the generation of excess mucus in the body and consequently, the individual immune system will be weakened which can be very disastrous in immuno-compromised patients.
- REDUCTION IN HEART RATE: Drinking ice or cold water can lead to a decrease in heart rate. Studies have demonstrated that the vagus nerve which is the tenth cranial nerve that regulate the heart rate is been stimulated excessively by the low temperature of the ice water which causes the heart rate to fall. Also, cold water, beverages or juices tends to have a clotting effect on the blood preventing the blood from proper circulation over-laboring the heart in the process hence, creating a conducive and enabling environment for hypertension and other chronic heart diseases.
One can confirm this by conducting a little homework: get a bowl of cow’s blood from the market and add a cube of ice block and allow for about 5 minutes. You will observe that the blood clots and become very thick and sticky, thus cannot flow properly unless extra pressure is applied. This is exactly what happens in our body when we consume that chilled water, beverages or any ice or cold drinks like beer.
Conversely, drinking water at room temperature or warm water most especially after meals have so many amazing advantages including fast and easy breakdown of food, increased hydration, best bowel movement (warm water and lemon early in the morning is a plus for patients suffering from constipation), blood purification and optimum heart function among others.
Therefore with this basic knowledge, we should endeavor to limit our craving for cold or ice drinks in order to enhance proper functioning of our body system and prevent any catastrophic episode in the longrun. When next you eat, tell the servers to please, ‘Hold the ice’! okay?
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