Should you drink cold water while eating a meal?

A lot of us may have heard that drinking water while you are eating can increase your weight. However, this has been confirmed by many studies to be untrue. One reason that some people believe drinking water while eating can increase weight is that it can fill up the stomach, which will cause the stomach to get bigger. However, many believe that this is not the case. Many studies have suggested that drinking water while or before eating can cause weight loss, according to this article, drinking water before or while eating can help satisfy our hunger and thus cause us to consume less food. However, the article I found did not mention If it is better to drink cold or warm water while eating to maximize benefits. So, I decided to do a research into this topic and look for any experiments that tested this hypothesis to know whether or not there is a difference in drinking either cold or warm water while eating.


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Alternative Hypothesis: Drinking cold water while eating is better than warm water for your body.

Null Hypothesis: Drinking cold water while eating has the same effects on your body as when drinking warm water.

According to an article in Collective Evolution, drinking water while eating can be helpful in speeding up your metabolism. However, this is not necessarily always true. The article says that drinking cold water while eating can actually have negative effects by making your body consume more energy than when not drinking water at all. The hypothesized causation is that cold water takes more time to be warmed inside your stomach than warm water does. Not to mention that this wasted energy that your body uses to heat cold water should be used for digestion, which could cause weight gain. The hypothesized mechanism is: as the body consumes too much energy in heating the cold water, the digestion system becomes less efficient, which will prevent your body from assimilating food and getting rid of waste and thus cause weight gain. Therefore, the article says that it is better to drink warm water while eating than to drink cold water.

I think that the conclusion that the article reached is very convincing because the article has provided a mechanism for the process. However, the article did not mention enough detail on how the studies, which the article’s conclusion was based on, were done, nor it mentioned the results of other meta-analysis studies that were done on the hypothesis. This could indicate that the results the article came up with could suffer the File Drawer Problem.

Fortunately, I found a study done in 2009 that done an experiment on the effects of cold meals the body digestion system. While it is right that the study does study the exact hypothesis that I mentioned in the post, the study examines the effects of meals of different temperature on the digestion system, which could have similar effects on the body to what cold water does.

The study tested 25 participants, most were males, and gave them three different liquid or solid meals, each with a different temperature. The study measured the efficiency of the digestion system for each meal by measuring the gastric emptying each time participants were given a meal.

The study used a control trial to test the hypothesis, which is, as we learned in class, a method that can provide reliable results. Furthermore, I think that the study could not use the placebo effect because participants can recognize cold meals from hot meals. In addition, the study did not provide any mechanism for the hypothesis being tested nor it provided detail on the exact results, which could help us learn how significant the difference in the digestion system efficiency when the participants were given meals of extreme temperatures and when they were given meals of the room (warm) temperature. The study has also tested a small number of people, which could increase the risk of getting false positive results or due to chance. Not to mention that the participants in the study were 22 males and 3 females. This could result in inaccurate results, as the digestion system in males’ body might be different than that of females.

The study found that when participants were given meals of temperatures more extreme than the body’s typical temperature, their body took more time to digest that meal. Similarly, the hypothesized relationship between cold water and the time the body needs to heat it, suggests that the colder the water is, the more energy the body will need to consumed and time the spent in the process in order to heat it. This correlation, in my view, makes perfect sense to why drinking warm water is better than drinking cold water while eating. However, I still need to be skeptical about the results, so I decided to look for the results of other studies.


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I found another two studies that also test the same hypothesis and came up with the same reults as the previous study did. One study that was done in 1988 found that gastric emptying in the participants’ bodies was less efficient when the participants were given cold liquids. The study also found the hot food, but not extremely hot, took less time in the digestion system than warm food did. The other study, done in 1998, found that liquid meals that have temperatures that are either colder or warmer than the body’s temperature can cause the body to consume more energy and time to digest them.

In addition, I found a study that was done in 1989 the came with a different result than the other studies I mentioned in the post. It found that the temperature of the food people eat has no difference on the digestion system. However, the study results might have a greater chance to be due to chance, because the study has tested many variables such as gastric acid secretion, gastrin release, and gastric emptying, which could cause the study to suffer from the Texas Shooter Problem.

Bottom Line: there are not a lot of studies that did experiments on the hypothesis being tested; however, many meta-analysis studies that had tested similar hypotheses provided good evidence for me to believe that it is better for me to drink warm water than cold water while eating. Furthermore, there are many articles that support the hypothesis that drinking warm water while eating is better than drinking cold water, even though they did not provide evidence for experiments, they did provide a convincing mechanism for the hypothesis. In addition, while it is true that drinking warm water while eating can help you lose weight, drinking cold water has appeared to have less effects on weight loss than the effects that warm water has on your body, such as weight loss, because drinking cold water while eating body causes your body to consume the energy that your body should be using for digestion and therefore, have less energy available to consume for the digestion system.




14 thoughts on “Should you drink cold water while eating a meal?

  1. Maximilian Arthur Kesner

    Really cool topic for a blog post! I honestly never thought that the temperature of the water I drink while I eat would make a difference. I do think that the post itself could have been a bit better if you incorporated a study in addition to the article you used. I feel as if your blog lacks depth. Here is a study that you could have used in your blog. Also, you bolded the word “weight” but forgot the “t,” which obviously is not a big deal, but it caught my eye. If I want to retain my current weight, should I drink room temperature water with my meal? Anyways, great post!

  2. Kameron Villavicencio

    First thoughts- wait, I didn’t know drinking water while eating caused weight gain? I’m doing that right now. Second thoughts- I’m confused. In your bottom line, you say that drinking warm water can help you lose weight, and then you contradict yourself, right after. I think that this article has a great start, it just needs more detail. Also I don’t know how to feel about a website called “”. I found an article listed below that seems to be of a better source, except Andrew’s class makes me question the legitimacy of everything. It’s short, but it says that drinking water while eating helps to liquify food, helping with digestion. The author is an assistant professor of medicine at NYU as well if that counts for anything.

  3. Jacob Alexander Loffredo

    This was a very interesting blog post with a topic that has never crossed my mind before. The blog was a little bit all over the place; considering that the topic was whether drinking water is healthy while eating I expected the blog to be more about the health factors behind it an less about weight gain. This is a article I found online that actually disagrees with the facts you preset in your blog, it talks about how any consumption of water during a meal aids digestion as well as softening stool, and killing bacteria we may be consuming in our food. I personally always enjoy a cold beverage while eating dinner that is mainly why I enjoyed reading this because it directly affects me.

  4. Charles Hart

    As someone who only drinks bottled water or seltzer, I found this topic very interesting. However, as I was reading your blog I did wonder does the height of a person affect one’s stomach to grow. The article seems to not mention this and I think that would be a huge confounding variable. After all, this seems to be an observational study because the scientists don’t appear to be administering nor limiting the amount of water their patients consume. Obviously another confounding variable could be the amount of water consumed. Could this be a case of too much of something is harmful? I’d love to see more studies done on this to find out. Lastly, do you think maybe this could be a case of the File Draw Problem? Is it possible that someone who is trying to decrease water sales to increase say soda sales published this one positive study but buried all the other studies that showed this study to be a fluke. It is very possible.

  5. Christopher Ronkainen

    This is an interesting topic choice that I would have never though of! A while back I remembered hearing someone say that cold water is worse for you than room temperature water. Why? I don’t know, but your posts sheds some light on what was a mystery for me. The reasoning behind your claim makes sense as well. However, I wish you would have referenced an actual experiment in your post. Anyways, while doing further research on your topic I came across this article that I think you would find interesting. It talks about the benefits of drinking warm water vs. cold water.

  6. Molly Mccarthy Tompson

    I often get strange looks at restaurants because I never drink and eat at the same time. I’ve actually heard a myth before that eating and drinking simultaneously disrupts normal digestion. I wish you went a bit more into the details about the scientific mechanisms and experiments that caused the scientists to draw the conclusions they did. Otherwise, this was an interesting post.

  7. Anna Strahle

    Very interesting article! Like you, I had heard very mixed reviews on what drinking water while eating can do to your body. I had also heard that drinking cold water can quicken your metabolism, so that is a habit I have tried to maintain over the years. I did not know that it would use up so much energy though! I will definitely try to take your advice and start drinking warmer water with meals. Another interesting fact that I have discovered recently is that it is bad to drink tea after you eat because it prevents the body from being able to absorb the nutrients in the food. I like to drink a lot of tea, especially in the winter, so this was a bit of sad news for me. It is beneficial to drink green tea before eating. According to an study completed in 2010, the subjects that drank green tea in addition to water during an 8-week period lost five pounds more than the subjects that only drank water. That seems pretty impressive!

  8. Daniele Patrice Loney

    I hadn’t ever considered the temperature of the water I was consuming as a factor in weight loss/gain. It does make sense though! As one of the other comments mentioned, some of your statements seemed to contradict each other but I think I eventually made sense of your main point. A theory that popped into my head that would explain why cold water can possibly increase weight deals with how you said it takes more energy to consume and digest cold water since the body has to first warm it up. Warming up the water and using energy means that the body will need more energy (aka food) which would lead to an increase in food intake.
    Other than that, the idea of temperature affecting weight seems odd to me, but if I saw enough case studies I would probably be convinced!
    Overall great blog post and good idea that could be expanded on.

  9. Reetu Shah

    Your post seemed like it had a few contradicting times in the beginning, but then it started to make sense as I got to the middle end of it. This is a very interesting topic. I just wish you expanded on it a bit more or created a study, just so we could really get a look on how people, who drank water and those who didn’t, compare after having a meal.

    So I personally always got full drinking water with a meal. I am a pretty small person so this consisted of me not eating enough food in the first place. Again, the topic is interesting because I never thought consuming water with a meal could be harmful to one’s body. Going a bit more in-depth to what you said I found an article on the same topic. The article is by Stephanie Eckelkamp from a site called Prevention on why one should not drink water with their meals. From the start she references a book called “Go with Your Gut” by Robyn Youkilis and in the book, Youkilis talks about you shouldn’t drink water half an hour to an hour before eating a meal. You might dilute the stomach of its hydrochloric acid which helps in breaking down the food in your stomach. Drinking liquids throughout eating meals can lead to indigestion and feeling bloated. Fun fact, it can also lead to nutrient malabsorbtion.
    The article then goes into how our stomach likes to keep an acidity of 1-2 on the pH scale because this helps with breaking down proteins, and digestion. It also helps absorb vitamins and other nutrients. On the other hand, drinking water (and other liquids) sloes this process down, and sometimes results in the stomach feeling bloated.
    As Eckelkamp concluded the article she just emphasized that drinking between meals is a good option. Other things to help with digestion could consist of eating acidic foods like apple cider, or eating bitter foods. This helps take in the nutrients and this lets the food break down well.

    So overall, a nice glass of water sounds refreshing alongside a meal, but might do more harm than good.

    Here is the link: Why you shouldn’t drink water with meals

    Eckelkamp, S. (2016) The Surprising Reason You Shouldn’t Chug Water with Your Meals. Prevention.

    Youkilis, R. (2016) Go With Your Gut. London: KyleBooks.

  10. Michael Robert Szawaluk


    I think that this is very important topic in relation to today’s society. I would have never guessed that the temperature of the water you are drinking could impact weight gain. I try my best to drink the recommended daily amount of 64 ounces a day, but I do not drink water purposely to lose weight. However, a study,, done with a large subject field found that drinking water and staying hydrated helped manage weight. Some advocate constantly drinking water to stay hydrated, even when you are not thirsty. The study showed that there is a link between a person’s Body Mass Index or BMI, obesity and the lack of hydration in a person’s body. The conclusion suggests that water and staying constantly hydrated may in fact be a significant factor in managing weight and BMI.

    To add to this blog, I would recommend that you organize your thoughts more clearly and use more credible sources to back your findings. Overall, I found myself learning something that I was not aware of, so, thank you!

  11. Jeremy Perdomo

    Dear Asaad,

    If there is anything I can commend you on, it is that you did an excellent job at grabbing my attention with the title; the thought that water can have any effect other than a positive one automatically caught my attention! However, that is where my compliments stop. I agree with some of the other comments that state you could have added a bit more information and more scientific studies to back up your claims. It would have then kept my attention more, because as the article is now, it is pretty mediocre. In addition, I didn’t seem to find a final conclusion on whether drinking water with food is healthy or not. In the last paragraph, you spoke about how it helps you lose weight, but does this necessarily equate to being healthy or not? Just questions you might ponder about!

    Finally, since I mentioned at the beginning of my post how I could not fathom there being negative effects of water on the human body, I thought I would do a little research of my own; the results I found were interesting! Did you know that you could drown from the inside if you consume an excess amount of water? Read this article if you want to learn more:

  12. Julia R Martini

    Good topic to write about! I liked the images you used and how you went about writing this. A few tips I would give are to organize it more. Add an introduce, conclusion, etc. I would also find an experiment found on google scholar about water and digestion. It would validate this claim a little more. Lastly, I would add more words to hook the reader. It’s a great start but adding those three things would benefit this post a lot.

  13. Michael David Kresovich

    Great job on the article, it was effectively written and it caught my attention with the pictures as well. This pic is very interesting to me because it is something that I have always wondered. I always believed that it did not make a difference as to when to drink water, but this blog post really put things into perspective and I found it very interesting how the warm and cold water have different affects.

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