Does Drinking Cold Water Help You Lose Weight?

Just when you started drinking warm water to lose weight, “cold water for weight loss” pops up on your computer screen! Honestly, the internet is packed with such varied information on weight loss that it’ll even confuse the Gods! On a serious note, it is not wise to believe in anything that the internet is trying to sell. To find out if cold water really aids weight loss, I did a little digging, and shared the information that I gathered from various scientific journals in this article. So, scroll down to bust the myth and unravel the truth! Too dramatic, is it?

 Cold Water For Weight Loss – A Rumor With Logic!

Rumor has it that cold water can help burn calories. And this seems like a pretty awesome deal as compared to controlling food intake and exercising. Moreover, the logic behind this myth is really convincing. Basically, it’s the difference in the temperature of the cold water (say at zero degree Celsius) and your internal body. It is said that in order to bring the cold water’s temperature to the body temperature (37 degrees Celsius), your cells have to work extra hard thereby utilizing the stored calories. The end result? You lose weight without sweating in the gym! But hey, nothing comes easy, particularly weight loss. And if it does, you better take a second look into it. Find out what scientific studies have to say about it in the next section.

Cold Water For Weight Loss – Is There Scientific Proof?

While searching for concrete evidence on this particular weight loss myth, I found some interesting studies that researchers performed on human participants.

  • Researchers studied water-induced thermogenesis in 14 participants of average weight. They were given 500 ml of water to drink. The energy expenditure and metabolic rate of these individuals were measured. It was found that drinking 500 ml water increased the metabolic rate, 40% of which was from raising the temperature of the water from 22 degrees Celsius to 37 degrees Celsius. Interestingly, in women carbohydrate stores were used up as fuel to bring the cold temperature of water to body temperature (1). So, it seems that science agrees that cold water increases metabolic rate. But hey, this study was conducted on participants whose weight was normal, did not record the optimum temperature for weight loss, and moreover, only carbs got used up in the process of getting the water temperature to that of the body.
  • Another study found that drinking 1500 ml water did induce a thermogenic effect in the bodies of overweight participants. It helped reduce body weight, body mass index, and improved body composition but it was not cold water (2).
  • Just to get to the root, I also found another intriguing report published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 45 male adults were allowed to consume cold water (4 degrees Celsius) and water at room temperature (22 degree Celsius) while they completed two sets of 60-minute workout sessions. Their core temperature was measured every 15 minutes. It was found that the core temperature of the participants who drank cold water raised slowly as compared to those who drank the room temperature water. This helped increase the exercise performance of those who consumed cold water. And surprisingly, the bench-press performance of participants who drank cold water decreased (3). So, perhaps cold water can reduce the core temperature and increase your exercise performance thereby increasing your working out stamina. This, in turn, can help you lose weight. The problem with this study is that it was was not conducted on overweight participants, it was conducted on male adults and not on women, and this study doesn’t say anything about regular workout routines that include cardio, strength training, and weightlifting.

Now, before you jump into a conclusion, let me give you one more reason to rethink and take the better way and not the easy way.