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Author Topic: Should you avoid cold liquids when you are ill?  (Read 11824 times)

Aneel Darmalingam

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Should you avoid cold liquids when you are ill?
« on: 09/01/2010 04:30:02 »
Aneel Darmalingam asked the Naked Scientists:
   
When you're sick, but don't have a high fever, is it bad for you to drink cold liquids? 

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 09/01/2010 04:30:02 by _system »


 

Offline EatsRainbows

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Should you avoid cold liquids when you are ill?
« Reply #1 on: 10/01/2010 08:25:48 »
Personally i would say yes. I think hot drinks when one is sick is pretty traditional. Perhaps a reason could be that when sick the body needs all of its energy for fighting and if we drink cold liquids the body has to work hard to keep us warm internally in counteracting the cold fluid... just a guess!
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Should you avoid cold liquids when you are ill?
« Reply #2 on: 10/01/2010 08:39:26 »
I don't think it would matter. The energy used to heat up cold liquids is insignificant.

Let's figure out exactly what you're burning when you drink a 16-ounce (0.5 liter) glass of ice water:

    * The temperature of ice water can be estimated at zero degrees Celsius.
    * Body temperature can be estimated at 37 degrees Celsius.
    * It takes 1 calorie to raise 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius.
    * There are 473.18 grams in 16 fluid ounces of water.

So in the case of a 16-ounce glass of ice water, your body must raise the temperature of 473.18 grams of water from zero to 37 degrees C. In doing so, your body burns 17,508 calories. But that's calories with a little "c." Your body only burns 17.5 Calories, and in the grand scheme of a 2,000-Calorie diet, that 17.5 isn't very significant.

That's 73kJ for us that use the metric system.

I reckon drink whatever goes down easy for you. Being hydrated would be more important than the temperature of the drink.
« Last Edit: 10/01/2010 08:57:55 by Madidus_Scientia »
 

Offline LeeE

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Should you avoid cold liquids when you are ill?
« Reply #3 on: 10/01/2010 13:50:46 »
I agree that keeping yourself hydrated is more important than the temperature of the drink, but if you're very low on energy and in very low ambient temperatures e.g. in a tent after a long day of winter hill walking/climbing, cold drinks or food that requires any degree of digestion should be avoided.  That's not really the same as being sick though.
 

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Should you avoid cold liquids when you are ill?
« Reply #3 on: 10/01/2010 13:50:46 »

 

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