Yes, Drinking Cold Water Does Burn Calories. But…

I'll drink to that!

Yesterday, I wrote about a popular myth involving the importance of drinking hot water with your mealstotally untrue. But it seems that I have opened a Pandora’s box. My inbox was flooded with questions about the exact opposite: Cold water.

There is a common belief that drinking cold water is beneficial because the body must work to heat the water to its internal temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 Celsius). Inquiring minds want to know if this true – or if it’s yet another popular misconception.

Turns out, it is true. Sorta.

The body does use calories to heat cold water, but the body is very efficient. Let’s take an example wherein one cup of water is 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 Celsius). You drink it, and your internal temperature is a normal 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 Celsius). The body will spend about 8 calories to increase the water temperature. That’s it. It’s the caloric equivalent of 1/6th an Oreo cookie.

In case it’s of interest to you, the formula is pretty simple: It takes 1 calorie to raise 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius. But, since we’re converting calories to the kilo-calories that we see on nutritional labels, we must divide the result by 1,000 to get your answer.

Even though ice water doesn’t burn a significant number of calories, proper hydration does provide a number of great benefits. So don’t let this information deter you – drink up!

Need tips to stay hydrated? Check out my top six.

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.

Comments

  1. emmabee says:

    Hmm… well if you drink like 6 glasses of water a day that’s like 48 calories burned in a day ๐Ÿ™‚ i guess that’s why i’m able to keep my weight sustained because i mostly always drink water. Still not much but that 48 calories on top of you burning weight off in the gym means your burning a little more than you think.

  2. It would be pretty painful to “drink” water at 0 degrees celsius if you catch my drift! Yay science! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Yeah I got a bit irked when I read that. For those of you who slept through chemistry: water @ 0*C=ice.

      • Michael says:

        Close, but not quite correct. Zero C is the temperature at which water can be either water or ice.

    • Actually, Michael is correct. Until the water absorbs sufficient energy to transfer from the liquid to the solid phase (ice), it will remain a liquid at 0C. That’s why many freezers are set far below 0C.

  3. Since you’re talking about water, it is worth mentioning that the quality of the water you drink is important. Most filtered water is probably best to drink because the filtration process may reduce or eliminate harmful contaminates in the water. Some people consider Fluoride as a harmful contaminate. And there is a lot of debate over whether that is factual or not. At any rate, the obvious advice to drink the cleanest water you can is prudent advice especially if you are drinking a lot of it.

  4. Edmond says:

    In case anyone was interested:
    8 fluid ounces (US) = 236.59 milliliters = 236.59 grams
    236.59 grams x 37 calorie increase per gram = 8753.83 small calorie or gram calorie
    8753.83 small calorie / 1000 = 8.75 kilogram calorie or dietary calorie

    My suggestion: go for a swim in cool water, you will burn many more calories. Or maybe take a cold shower โ€“ ha ha!

    • k, smart guy.. whats that in joules?
      show youre work. use both sides of the paper if necessary.

      ~ cheers….

  5. Boy_wonder says:

    After seeing the pics Davey puts on here I always take a cold shower and it does burn calories . Only one side effect my right arm is way bigger than my left. Lol

  6. Just to throw this out there. When you have ice in water, which many people do when they drink it, that water is just about 0 celcius. Like, rediculously close, maybe a fraction of a degree warmer. Stick a thermometer in a glass of it and see for yourself. It’s definitely close enough to be called 0 for mathematical reasons.

  7. Its a good idea to drink ice water. Hey, l need to lose weight & l jog 50 mins a day

  8. I was always confused by conversions but normal body temperature in Celsius is 36 degrees. 37 is a “light” fever!