The benefits of drinking water and staying well hydrated are numerous, ranging from everything from improving the health and appearance of skin to boosting metabolism to even increasing energy.
Most people turn to ice water, or at least room temperature water, but some people believe there are specific benefits of drinking hot water.
In fact, some people make it a ritual to drink warm water or hot water rather than cold water or room-temperature water.
But are there benefits of drinking warm water or benefits of drinking hot water instead of cool water?
Does drinking hot water promote weight loss? Does drinking warm water improve hydration?
In this guide, we will discuss the benefits of drinking hot water and whether you’ll reap additional benefits of drinking warm water vs. cold water.
We will cover:
- 12 Benefits of Drinking Hot Water
Let’s jump in!
12 Benefits of Drinking Hot Water
#1: Drinking Hot Water Can Relieve Nasal Congestion
One of the benefits of drinking hot water is that the steam that is generated above a cup of water due to the water vapor can help reduce nasal congestion.
If you have a cold, sinus infection, or another source of nasal congestion, hovering your face above a mug of hot water can help loosen congestion and get your sinuses flowing.
Keep in mind that steam is hot, so you want to keep your skin far enough back from the steam to prevent burning your delicate mucosal membranes.
Drinking hot water has a similar effect because when the hot water enters your mouth, the warmth and steam will help dilate the nasal passages and stimulate the flow of nasal secretions.
If you have a sinus infection or stuffy nose, drinking a cup of hot water can be a great home remedy relief.
#2: Drinking Hot Water Can Ease a Sore Throat
One of the benefits of drinking warm water is that it can soothe a sore throat, particularly if you add a squeeze of lemon and a teaspoon of honey.
The warm water helps lubricate the mucosal membrane in your mouth and throat and can loosen mucus that might be coating your throat, causing irritation or a phlegmy cough.
#3: Drinking Hot Water Can Relieve the Symptoms of a Cold
Because the benefits of drinking hot water include reducing nasal congestion, stimulating nasal flow, and soothing a sore throat, drinking a cup of hot water can be a useful remedy for the symptoms of the common cold.
In fact, studies suggest that drinking a hot drink, such as tea, which is essentially the same as drinking hot water, is an effective way to provide quick, long-lasting relief from a sore throat, coughing, stuffy nose, and fatigue associated with having a cold.
Moreover, drinking a hot drink was more effective than drinking room-temperature water.
#4: Drinking Hot Water Keeps You Hydrated
The primary benefit of drinking water at any temperature is that it helps hydrate the cells within your body and ensure that your total body water levels are optimal.
Although there is evidence to suggest that drinking cool water may be most effective for rehydration, this is not to say that drinking hot water will not also be an effective way to hydrate your cells, especially if you stay on top of your hydration.
However, if you become particularly dehydrated or are looking for the best way to rehydrate after exercise, choosing cold or cool foods might be a better option.
Of course, any fluid when you are dehydrated is better than nothing, so if drinking warm water is more palatable or the only thing accessible when you are thirsty or dehydrated, you should absolutely guzzle it down.
#5: Drinking Hot Water Can Aid Digestion
There is little evidence to support the fact that drinking hot water is particularly beneficial for digestion, but staying well hydrated and drinking water, in general, promotes digestion.
It helps bulk up the stool, promotes peristalsis of the intestine, and provides an aqueous environment needed to digest and metabolize the food in your stomach and intestines.
Dehydration is one of the main causes of constipation, and ensuring that you are drinking enough water will help your body in eliminating waste.
Some people think that one of the benefits of drinking hot water specifically is that it helps better dissolve food particles in the digestive tract, but there is little scientific evidence to necessarily support this.
With that said, if you believe that drinking warm water helps your gut feel better, by all means, crank up the temperature; it’s not going to hurt, and there is a small amount of evidence to support the fact that drinking warm water may help decrease intestinal gas.
#6: Drinking Hot Water Can Improve Nervous System Function
Although not necessarily a benefit of drinking warm water specifically, research shows that one of the benefits of drinking water, in general, is that it improves the activity of your central nervous system, aids neurological performance during demanding tasks, and can reduce anxiety and elevate mood.
#7: Drinking Hot Water Can Warm You Up
Nobody likes to feel uncomfortably cold, and one of the benefits of drinking hot water is that it is an effective way to warm up the body’s temperature.
Even if you are not fully experiencing something as severe as hypothermia, if you come in from the cold or feel a chill, drinking a mug of hot water can help restore your body temperature, especially if you are shivering.
In fact, studies have found that drinking hot water helps the body maintain a normal core temperature in freezing conditions and can reduce shivering when the body temperature does drop due to the cold.
#8: Drinking Hot Water Can Help You Relax
Although there isn’t necessarily a lot of scientific evidence to support this, many people find that drinking a warm beverage, or drinking hot water, is a good way to help them relax before bed. Warm beverages can be soothing and may help relieve tension.
One study found that drinking more water in general improved mood, feelings of well-being, a sense of calmness, and positive emotions.
#9: Drinking Hot Water Can Improve Circulation
When the body is dehydrated, blood plasma level drops, so the volume of blood pumped by the heart during each beat can decrease, or the heart has to beat faster (increasing your heart rate) to compensate and ensure adequate oxygen delivery to the tissues.
Drinking water helps ensure that the plasma level in your blood is ideal, which improves circulation, increases stroke volume, and decreases heart rate.
Although there is no scientific evidence to support that a benefit of drinking hot water specifically will boost circulation more than room-temperature water, it might be that the warm temperature augments circulation even further because heating tissues of the body increases circulation and dilates blood vessels.
Better circulation will improve overall physical health and performance, as blood carries oxygen and nutrients and removes metabolic and cellular waste.
#10: Drinking Hot Water May Reduce Joint Pain
According to the Arthritis Foundation, drinking water reduces inflammation, lubricates the joints, and may help prevent gout, all of which will make your joints healthier and less painful.
While there’s nothing to say that a benefit of drinking warm water in particular is even more beneficial for joint health, it is reasonable to think that the increased temperature couldn’t hurt; after all, heat increases circulation, so your joints and the synovial fluid within them may be better lubricated by drinking warm water.
#11: Drinking Hot Water Can Support the Kidneys
People are often looking for ways to detoxify the body.
As long as you don’t have a serious medical condition, your liver, kidneys, skin, and digestive system together take care of detoxifying your body.
However, you can support detoxification by drinking more water because staying well hydrated helps the kidneys filter blood and produce waste.
One study found that drinking more water in general—regardless of temperature—may be an effective way to improve kidney function because better hydration levels help dilute harmful waste compounds in the blood.
#12: Drinking Hot Water Can Increase Weight Loss
Evidence has long supported the notion that drinking more water can support weight loss. This is thought to be due to the fact that staying well hydrated can encourage a feeling of fullness, decreasing appetite and thus caloric intake.
Water may also help aid the digestion process, helping the body absorb nutrients and remove waste.
Overall, you can almost never go wrong by drinking more water as long as you are not at risk of hyponatremia. If you do choose to drink hot water, make sure that the temperature is not scalding; sip slowly at first to prevent burning your mouth and tongue.
Now that we’ve gone through the benefits of drinking hot water and why you should keep your body well-hydrated, what about drinking water with lemon? Does that have its own benefits? Check out our article on Lemon Water To Lose Weight for more information.