In general, I like to drink water that I consider cool. However my parents keep forcing me to drink warm (and sometimes hot) water as they said it is better for me.

Their reasoning was that cold water would 'freeze' up the fat consumed in my body, causing blockages. Additionally they said cold water will induce my body to produce more stomach acid.

What is the lowest temperature that is safe to drink for everyday consumption? Of course I don't want to drink freezing cold water.

  • I think this question is dead. D;
    – Bradman175
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 23:31
  • 1
    Sounds like total nonsense. Asides for that.. Just curious how does water that enters your body as a liquid turn into ice or cause anything to freeze.
    – YisraelU
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 0:45
  • What does that have to do with cold temperatures
    – YisraelU
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 1:19
  • @yisrael Well I don't mean literally freeze. Try getting something fat and liquid-like and leave it on a plate. After a while you will see it turn hard.
    – Bradman175
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 1:22
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    oh, not in any medical way, sorry for being unclear, but I have drunk so much icy water (glass of water 60% ice), drinking warmer water tastes (probably the wrong term) bad to me
    – nelomad
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 2:12

3 Answers 3


1. Freezing cold (4 °C) beverages do not increase the secretion of the gastric acid more than lukewarm or hot beverages, according to this study:

McArthur KE et al, Gastric acid secretion, gastrin release, and gastric emptying in humans as affected by liquid meal temperature (PubMed).

Coffee (360 mL) was infused into the stomach through a nasogastric tube at 58 (steaming hot), 37, or 4 degrees C (ice cold). Intragastric temperature, measured by an intragastric temperature sensor attached to the nasogastric tube, returned to body temperature 16.7 +/- 2.7 min after the hot meal and 23.8 +/- 1.1 min after the cold meal. Gastric acid secretion increased after hot, warm, and cold coffee but the initial temperature of the meal had no effect on gastric acid secretion.

2. Cold beverages slow down stomach emptying, that is passing of food from the stomach into the small intestine, according to this study:

Collares EF et al, 1981, Gastric emptying in children. I. Influence of the temperature of a hydration solution for oral use (PubMed)

Each baby had measured its gastric emptying for two different temperature solutions, approximately 27 degrees C and 4 degrees C, room and cold temperature...The results showed a significant larger gastric retention for low temperature one.

This suggests that drinking cool water after the meals can slow down the digestion a bit and possibly cause an uncomfortable feeling of prolonged stomach fullness. This could be what the OP's parents referred to as "blockage."

As mentioned in the first study above, freezing cold (4 °C) coffee changes to the body temperature in about 20 minutes after it reaches the stomach, so it should not "freeze" the fats in the same sense as it can on the plate.

In conclusion, from the limited evidence presented above, it seems that cool water drunk with meals might cause some stomach discomfort after the meals. Someone would need to be quite observant to become aware of such feelings.

  • I think this answers many parts of my question. But does it freeze fat and would that be unhealthy?
    – Bradman175
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 23:48
  • @Bradman175 No, it doesn't freeze fat. It would take a huge amount of ice to accomplish that. Your gut is a very warm environment and anything that enters it cold doesn't stay that way long.
    – Carey Gregory
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 4:43
  • @CareyGregory Then what explains when you leave the juice of beef on a plate and after a while, it hardens? How about brainfreeze?
    – Bradman175
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 5:40
  • @Bradman175, in the last paragraph of my answer I mentioned that even freezing cold liquids in the stomach attain the body temperature in minutes. So all the "freezing" potential of water is pretty much lost in the stomach. Digestion of fat occurs further in the small intestine, where your cool water would be just at your body temperature, so it wouldn't really affect it. The second study shows that freezing cold liquids slow down stomach emptying and thus slow down the digestion. So, it is possible that "cool" water slows down it also a bit.
    – Jan
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 7:55
  • @Bradman175 Warm that plate to body temperature and that won't happen. As for brain freeze, that's just an expression. Your brain doesn't freeze.
    – Carey Gregory
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 14:23

No, drinking cold water will not freeze the "oil" (?) in your body, and will not cause any blockage.

However, freezed ultra cold water (salted water or alcohol can reach -15°C and stay liquid), can cause cold "burns" (not sure of the word, but it harms your skin anyway), just like winter burns on your hand if you play too long with snow.

This is part of the human thermoregulation process, which is done (in part) by the hypothalamus (a part of the brain, grossly).

Concerning your stomach, I cannot say if it will produce more acid or anything due to cold water consumption. However, any water consumption will tend to dilute the secretions, making digestion a bit longer.

If you want to know how your body can produce heat, it can simply be by burning fat or activating muscles (this is also the reason why you shake tooth in freezing cold outside temperature).

  • 1
    The problem with my question is it is hard to find a correct answer, as many people have different opinions. I would probably expect an answer that would have a lot of links to evidences and be pretty long. I will wait for now.
    – Bradman175
    Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 13:16
  • Man, this is simply basic medical school Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 23:03
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    So produce an answer with a lot of references, also being very detailed. The thing is, my question asks whether drinking cold water in the long run would have any negative effects. I know most people would say no because they like drinking cold water but is that really the case?
    – Bradman175
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 23:46
  • @Bradman175 Considering the warm welcome I've got into this site (significant number of downvotes for medically significant questions) I am far from gently willing to write any answer, nor take time to search for any references Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 8:42
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    You could also delete your answers that are downvoted to get your reputation back. That also helps the question asker (aka OP) as the question looks more appealing being unanswered.
    – Bradman175
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 13:29

It is said that drinking cold water right after a meal can lead you to indigestions.

This happens because the body focuses the majority of our blood to the digestive system. Then as a consequence there is less blood in the brain during this process, and that's why we are tired and sleepy after we ate.

Drinking cold water can dramatically block the digestive process by shrinking the abdomen vessels, thus blocking the whole blood flow, causing you to faint.

  • Why downvoting with no reason explained?
    – Phate01
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 9:30
  • I didn't down vote, but maybe look at my comment in the other answer.
    – Bradman175
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 14:55

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