Is It Good to Drink Cold Water During Workout?

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Proper hydration during a workout is vital in keeping your body in optimal condition and fending off fatigue. While it is generally accepted that water and electrolyte-rich sports drinks are the best ways to hydrate during exercise, recent research has shown that even the temperature of the drink consumed during a workout can affect water consumption.

Importance of Water Consumption

Water consumption before, during and after exercise affects hydration. It is suggested that you consume a minimum of 20 oz. of water one hour prior to a workout in addition to normal daily fluid consumption.

Once the workout begins, you should consume between 14 and 40 oz. per hour of exercise. The exact amount you should consume depends on how much you sweat and how strenuous the workout is.

Unfortunately, most athletes don't consume anywhere near the amount that their bodies require. Research has shown that the average athlete consumes around 8 oz. per hour during exercise. This lack of hydration can have negative effects on the body, including increased heart rate, body temperature fluctuation, fatigue and loss of attention.

Effect of Water Temperature on Consumption

The American College of Sports Medicine's recent position stand on fluid replacement outlines that a key factor in maintaining proper water consumption during exercise is the palatability of the water. Researchers suggest that water 10 degrees or less below room temperature, which is about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, leads to more water consumption during workouts.

They write that "fluid replacement beverages that are sweetened (artificially or with sugars), flavored and cooled to between (59 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit), should stimulate fluid intake." Some studies have shown this temperature range to increase consumption by between 40 and 80 percent.

Effects of Cold Water on Body Temperature

In addition to finding cold water more refreshing, athletes often believe colder beverages will help cool them down faster. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The temperature of ingested liquid is quickly changed to your body's core temperature, having little to no effect on your core body temperature.

Hydration Tips

Just a few small changes in your routine can help ensure that you stay properly hydrated during your workout. Start by bringing a water bottle with you when you exercise. This allows you to monitor your consumption and ensures that the water is the proper temperature.

Secondly, make sure you are gulping water during your breaks. Gulping allows you to consume much more water when compared with sipping, leading to better hydration consistency.