Does Drinking Cold Water Help You Lose Weight?

If you're trying to lose weight, you may be eager to find any boost that helps speed up the process. Drinking cold water is a smart choice because your body thrives when properly hydrated. That said, there's only so much that cold water will do to help you achieve your goals -- food and exercise choices are still vital for losing weight, as you must eat fewer calories than you burn to see results.

Cold water may help you lose weight faster.
Credit: DAJ/amana images/Getty Images

The Research

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day could help you lose weight, according to an article published in "Obesity" in 2008. Researchers used data from the Stanford A TO Z weight-loss intervention and found that increased water consumption was linked to greater long-term weight loss among women. While researchers made no distinction in water temperature, cold water may be a superior choice if you enjoy it and drink more of it as a ltresult.

Coldness and Calories

The results of the "Obesity" study notwithstanding, if you're adding ice cubes to your water to because you heard you'll lose more weight drinking it cold, your efforts may largely be in vain, according to Beth Kitchin, Ph.D., R.D., of The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Kitchin notes that while you may burn a few extra calories by drinking cold water instead of warm, the difference is too minimal to impact the scale.

Cool Rehydration

Drinking water cold may have little effect on your metabolism, but it could help you better rehydrate as you exercise, allowing you to last longer and burn more calories during workouts. Not only does chilled water help cool your core temperature -- which rises during physical activity -- but your stomach absorbs cold water faster than warm water, according to Columbia Health. Chill your water to 41 degrees Fahrenheit or colder to help prevent energy-sapping dehydration.

A Smart Trade

If you regularly sip on sweet or creamy drinks, switching to cold water could help you save hundreds of calories per day. While a 16-ounce whole-milk latte contains 265 calories, a 12-ounce glass of orange juice has 168 calories and a 12-ounce can of regular cola contains 136 calories, water is calorie-free. One pound of fat contains about 3,500 calories, so removing 350 beverage calories per day could potentially help you lose 1 pound every 10 days -- provided you don't compensate by eating more food. If you don't enjoy plain water, try adding a squeeze of lemon or lime, or some fresh cucumber slices.

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