Growing up in New Zealand you couldn’t beat an ice cold drink on a hot summer’s day - it’s ingrained in our culture. Our restaurants pride themselves on serving iced water with meals and dairies sell a huge range of cold drinks. But, have you ever noticed at a Chinese restaurant they serve hot water? Or at a Japanese restaurant it's often tea?
Well, this Eastern wisdom has a good point; according to Ayurveda (the Indian ‘Science of Life’) drinking warm water first thing in the morning helps to flush out toxins, and it should be sipped throughout the day to continue removing impurities from our system. It also has a number of other health benefits including: aiding digestion, improving central nervous system function, relieving constipation and reducing stress (for many cultures, offering a cup of tea is the first port of call when something goes wrong).
It may seem counterintuitive, but drinking warm water increases our body temperature, which in turn raises our metabolic rate, which Ayurveda says can aid weight loss.
In traditional Chinese Medicine, hot water is used to get rid of excess cold and humidity from the body, and is believed to promote blood circulation. This in turn helps to detoxify the body and relax the muscles.
To make your water a little more exciting, add a slice of lemon or lime. This has the added benefit of alkalizing the water, which can then neutralize acidity in the body.
It makes sense right? If it’s cold outside putting cold things in your body is only going to slow down your digestion. So enjoy a warm glass of water first thing in the morning and get your internal fire burning.