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Does Drinking Cold Water Help Speed Up Your Metabolism?

author image Rica Lewis
A health-care professional for more than 10 years, Rica Lewis has obtained numerous certifications in the industry. In 2006 she began channeling her knowledge into health-related articles for print and online publications. Her work has appeared in "Metroparent Magazine," "Anew Heart Healthcare Magazine" and community newspapers. Lewis earned a diploma from LongRidge Writers Institute.
Does Drinking Cold Water Help Speed Up Your Metabolism?
Woman drinks water after exercising Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

A speedier metabolism could translate to a thinner you. To get one, some people use risky and outrageous methods, which may leave you wondering if something as simple as sipping water could do the trick. In truth, drinking cold water could help you lose weight, although employing additional methods will ensure even greater results.

Recommended Intake

Water makes up 60 percent of your body weight and is essential to a host of bodily functions, including carrying nutrients to your cells and creating a moist environment for nose, ear and throat tissues. Since your body neither makes nor stores water, drinking fluids everyday is necessary to restore what you lose through sweat and urination. Cool water is the best fluid for hydration during and after workouts. Everyone should drink at least 8 cups daily, although athletes need more, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, or AAOS.


Drinking cold water may increase your metabolic rate, according to a study in the December 2003 issue of "The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism." A small part of this increase is attributed to the fact that your body works to heat the fluid to your core temperature. Researchers at the University of Utah discovered that subjects who drank eight to 12 full glasses of water daily had higher metabolic rates than those who drank only four glasses. So throw an ice cube in your water and enjoy an extra metabolism boost.

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In addition to its effect on your metabolic rate, sipping cold water throughout the day may cause you to eat less because your body cannot distinguish hunger from thirst. Rather than reaching for a snack, you may feel satisfied with a glass of cold water. You might also eat less at mealtimes because you feel fuller with a glass of cold water in your belly. Additionally, to stay hydrated the AAOS recommends you consume water even if you don't feel thirsty because thirst is not a reliable indicator of your hydration needs. In fact, by the time you feel thirsty, you've already lost around 2 percent of your body weight and will likely feel fatigued as a result. This is especially important before a workout or athletic competition, as a lack of water can lead to poor performance.


How much you weigh generally depends on your caloric intake and physical activity level, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Although cold water is a valuable tool to have in your weight-loss arsenal, it will not likely have a huge impact on your weight if you ignore the weight-loss basics: diet and exercise. To make the biggest difference, work with a dietitian to develop your ideal diet menu and make a habit of exercising most days of the week. Aerobic exercise helps burn calories and increase cardiovascular health. Strength training helps build muscle mass, which also increases your metabolic rate because muscle burns calories at a faster rate than does fat.

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