Over the past few years, I've been teased for drinking hot water as often as I do. I have been compared with East Asians as it tends to be a cultural phenomenon there. I am an Indian and the funny thing is, I've lived all my life in Mumbai (a humid city).
Thinking back I suppose it started during my days as a flight attendant. With a hot water dispenser easily available, it was convenient. I've forever had a low tolerance for cold temperatures, and flights are maintained at a slightly nippy 21 degrees C. We were not allowed to use anything apart from the uniform cardigan so I always cosied up with a mug of hot water. And it really helped me hydrate too.
My friends thought I was weird. Travelling taught me that even the Chinese, Japanese and Koreans love their hot water.
I looked it up the internet and some famous ayurvedic books and studies. I was sceptical about my hot water habit. I even checked up with some doctors about the same.
Dr Lisa Mosconi once said, on Kwik Brain's podcast, that before a neurology test, doctors usually recommend drinking hot water to help patients' veins dilate keep them well hydrated. It is easier to study the brain this way and the brain feels good.
on the other hand, coldwater dilutes the acids secreted from the liver which helps digestion.
According to ancient Chinese medicine, drinking a glass of warm water in the morning helps kick-start the digestive system. Hot water and warm water, because of its temperature, supposedly aids blood flow. As your blood circulation increases, it helps detoxify your body and reduce painful contractions of muscles.
How can I wrap this up without a mention of the ancient Vedas. According to Ayurveda, drinking warm water aggravates the Agni (fire), which helps regulate the digestive system and speed up metabolism. This makes it easier for the body to break down food without unnecessarily storing it as fat.
After learning so much about a small habit that has helped me improve, I don't think I would ever look back. Life is too short to live unhealthily. Dr Lisa says, "Most people eat 3 times a day, you have 3 chances to do good for your brain every day".
Best way to drink hot water:
Infuse lemon wedges, honey or ginger to the water for additional taste and benefits.
Cumin seeds, coriander seeds and fennel seeds infused hot water is a great way to detox.