‘It is dangerous to drink cold water despite hot weather’ – Health Experts

The urge to drink a glass of chilled water due to the prevailing hot weather can be strong, however, cardiologists and public health physicians say taking such a gulp poses more danger than can be imagined.

They warn that it can lead to serious heart conditions and other health problems.

According to the experts, adults who frequently consume cold water, especially during hot weather put themselves at risk of heart-related health complications.

Speaking exclusively, the physicians explained that drinking extremely cold water increases the chances of a sore throat and nasal congestion.

They added that it can lead to the contraction of blood vessels, which in turn disturbs digestion.

The experts explained that cold water causes the stomach to contract, making digestion more difficult after eating.

A Cardiologist, Dr Akintunde Falola, said drinking chilled water, especially after a meal, causes extra mucus to build up in the respiratory tract and exposes it to a variety of inflammatory infections.

While urging Nigerians to avoid cold water, the expert maintained that the digestive system is quickly affected by it.

He added, “Many adults, particularly those in tropical regions, are at risk of developing arrhythmia and cardiac arrest due to drinking chilled water. The cold temperature constricts blood vessels and forces the heart to work harder to maintain proper blood circulation.
“Consuming cold water has been linked to high blood pressure and an increased heart rate, gastrointestinal distress including indigestion and cramps. It can also weaken the immune system and decrease resistance to disease.”

In light of these risks, the cardiologist recommended that adults should avoid drinking cold water, especially during periods of high heat and physical activity.

Falola further explained that cold water constricts blood vessels, forcing the heart to work harder to maintain proper blood circulation.

This, in turn, he said, can lead to potential organ damage and an increased risk of cardiac arrest, particularly in those with pre-existing heart conditions.

Expanding on this point, he noted that consuming chilled water can not only affect the heart but also lead to a weakened immune system, which makes the body more susceptible to diseases.

“When the body is already struggling to maintain its core temperature, drinking cold water can overwhelm it and negatively impact its ability to fight off infections and illnesses,” he warned.

Corroborating him, a public health physician, Dr Emmanuel Ifeajuna, urged Nigerians to be mindful of their drinking habits.

He stressed the importance of staying properly hydrated by taking water that is at room temperature or warm water, particularly during hot weather.

“In these instances, it’s vital to ensure that the body’s core temperature remains regulated and stable, which can help to prevent unnecessary stress on the heart or other vital organs,” he said.

The public health expert also advised individuals with pre-existing heart conditions to be particularly careful about their water intake during hot weather.

He added, “Those who are already at a higher risk of heart-related issues should exercise caution and avoid exposing themselves to any unnecessary strain on their hearts. Chilled water can also cause gastrointestinal distress, such as cramps, bloating, and indigestion.

“This is because cold water can slow down metabolism and interfere with the body’s ability to properly digest food, which can lead to digestive issues.”

Ifeajuna added that excessive consumption of chilled water can also have a negative impact on blood circulation, potentially leading to numbness or tingling in the limbs.

“People often think that drinking cold water will help cool them down in hot weather, but in reality, it can actually shock the system and put the body under unnecessary strain. It’s important to keep in mind that hydration and maintaining a healthy body temperature are key factors in preventing heat-related illnesses and heart-related problems,” he explained.

The physician also warned that drinking chilled water can cause dental issues such as tooth sensitivity, making it difficult to chew or drink.

Meanwhile, a study published in the Journal of Physiology found that drinking cold water within 10°C, during exercise in the heat that is 34°C, increased the rate of gastrointestinal distress compared to drinking water at a room temperature of 20°C.

The study discovered that drinking cold water increased the frequency of stomach cramping, nausea, and vomiting, with an overall prevalence of 50 per cent for the cold water group, compared to only 28 per cent for the room temperature group.

The authors concluded that drinking cold water during exercise in hot weather can lead to gastrointestinal distress and may negatively impact performance.

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