9 Scientifically Proven Health Benefits Of Drinking Hot Water

Be it sinus, stress, or weight loss, drinking hot water can be the solution to many things.

Reviewed by Thais Tisatto, BHSc Thais Tisatto Thais TisattoBHSc facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Experience: 8 years
Edited by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , BEd, MSc (Microbiology), Diploma In Nutrition Aparna Mallampalli BEd, MSc (Microbiology), Diploma In Nutrition Experience: 5 years
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Drinking hot water benefits in several ways. Many health enthusiasts make sure that they drink warm water every morning or right before hitting the sack. But what does science say about this practice?

According to studies, warm or hot water goes a long way in improving digestion and relieving congestion while providing hydration besides reducing stress levels. However, you have to ensure the water you are drinking is between 120 and 140 degrees F. Otherwise, you may end up burning your tongue and throat.

What are the other benefits that drinking hot water provides? Are there any potential risks? Keep scrolling to find out!

protip_icon Know Your Ingredient: Hot Water

What Is It?
Water heated above normal room temperature.

What Are Its Benefits?
Manages weight and stress, treats sinus, eases nasal congestion, promotes esophageal health, and improves digestion and blood circulation.

Who Can Use It?
Anyone except individuals with swelling in the body or suffering from a heat stroke.

How Often?
You can drink it every day to reap maximum benefits.

Caution
Excess consumption may lead to kidney, liver and heart problems and a burnt tongue.

How Can Drinking Hot Water Help You?

The most important benefit of drinking hot water is improved digestion. Hot water intake is also known to ease nasal congestion and the associated stress. It also promotes esophageal health.

1. Improves Digestion

Drinking hot water can activate your digestive tract. This improves the digestion process. Hot water also helps dissipate particles in your system that you might have had trouble digesting.

Hot water also widens the blood vessels and directs blood flow towards your intestine – further enhancing digestion. When you take hot water after a meal, the temperature emulsifies fats and makes them more digestible (in case you suffer from gastric reflux avoid drinking excessive water before and after meals, as this can dilute gastric juices making digestion more difficult, which may cause reflux).

Studies also show that meal temperature can have an impact on the rate of gastric emptying (1). This may help relieve constipation as well.

2. Relieves Nasal Congestion

Drinking hot water relieves nasal congestion
Image: Shutterstock

Hot water is a natural remedy that can loosen clogged sinuses and nasal passageways, clearing congestion. This way, it can also relieve a sinus headache.

You have mucus membranes throughout your neck and upper torso. Drinking hot water can help warm these areas and soothe a sore throat (often caused by a mucus build-up).

Studies show that hot liquids are superior to cold liquids in managing fluids in the upper respiratory tract and treating the related infections (2).
Hot drinks also work wonderfully well in relieving most symptoms of cold and flu (3). They help maintain respiratory health.

3. Eases Stress

Drinking hot water can boost the functioning of your central nervous system, helping ease stress as well. As per a study, adding warm milk to hot water can further promote the stress-busting effects (4). However, is important to remember that milk and dairy products promote mucus build-up. This might work for stress reduction, but it wouldn’t work for relieving nasal congestion.

Though the study attributes the stress-busting effects of the liquid to caffeine (that was added to the milk), it also stresses the role of the warmth of the beverage.


protip_icon Quick Tip
Drinking hot water may reduce brain fog and distractibility while providing mental clarity, which are common symptoms of dehydration.

4. Helps Treat Achalasia

Woman with achalasia may benefit from hot water
Image: Shutterstock

Achalasia is a health condition in which the lower part of the esophagus fails to relax. This prevents the food from passing into the stomach. Studies show that the intake of warm foods (water included) can assist in the relaxation of the lower part of the esophagus (also called lower esophageal sphincter, LES) (5).

In another study, hot water swallows were found to improve symptoms in patients with achalasia. Hot water traversed the LES more rapidly than room temperature water or cold water (6).

Another study showed that 88% of the patients found relief from chest pain after drinking hot water (6).
In fact, cold water was found to aggravate symptoms in patients with achalasia (7).

5. May Aid Weight Loss

Drinking hot water may aid weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

A theory suggests that hot water stays in your stomach a little longer when compared to cold water. This means you feel fuller for a longer period, which might aid weight loss.

6. Improves Blood Circulation

Hot water expands your arteries and veins, allowing for better blood circulation throughout the body (8). This also can regulate your blood pressure levels and promote joint health.

7. Relieves Pain

Woman with stomach pain may benefit from hot water
Image: Shutterstock

We saw that hot water could boost circulation and improve blood flow. Though no research has directly linked hot water intake to pain relief and inflammation, it might help.

People usually use heat packs to reduce pain. So, drinking hot water might ease the internal pain. But do note that heat can also aggravate swelling. Hence, you may consult your doctor in this regard.

8. Helps Flush Out Toxins

Drinking hot water increases your internal body temperature. Although temporary, this activates your body’s endocrine system, and you begin to sweat as a result of the detoxification process, providing an anti-aging effect.

Toxins in the body can also make you age faster. Clearing them may slow down signs of aging and improve your kidney function.

protip_icon StyleCraze says
Drinking warm water may also help with a hangover. Alcohol dehydrates, and water rehydrates your body and reduces symptoms like headaches.

9. May Promote Skin Health

Drinking hot water can significantly contribute to skin health as staying hydrated is crucial for promoting clear and radiant skin. Adequate hydration gives your skin a youthful and supple appearance by maintaining skin elasticity, enhancing blood circulation, and ensuring that essential nutrients reach skin cells (9). Additionally, anecdotal evidence also suggests that warm water intake improves digestion, which reflects positively on your skin, reducing issues like acne and inflammation. So, overall, regular consumption of hot or warm water can result in a clearer, glowing complexion, reducing skin problems. However further scientific studies are yet needed to confirm the specific effects of hot water.

Fumiko Takatsu, a vlogger, spoke about why she drank hot water in the morning. She said, “It wakes me up in the morning. It really detoxifies my system (i).

Drinking hot water helps. It might sound too simple, but it does have beneficial effects. But what about cold water? How is drinking it different from drinking hot water?

Drinking Hot Water Vs. Cold Water

Drinking hot water vs. cold water
Image: Shutterstock

Cold water does have some benefits, especially when your body temperature is on the rise. This can be when you are exercising or are involved in an intense activity. When you are traveling in the hot sun and face a risk of heat stroke, cold water works.

Drinking cold water brings your body temperature back to normal. It also helps you rehydrate more quickly. Drinking hot water in these instances could be a bad idea.

Excluding the above-mentioned instances excluded, hot water is always preferable. But then, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

What Are The Concerns With Hot Water?

Please understand that when we say hot water, we don’t mean water that is too hot. You don’t want to damage your esophagus or burn your taste buds. Neither would you want to scald your tongue!

You must avoid drinking hot water that is near boiling temperature. Testing a small sip before taking a gulp works best.
The temperature of hot water (or warm water) is between 120o F and 140o F. Of course, you won’t always be able to measure the temperature. So, a test sip should help.

Infographic: Side Effects Of Drinking Too Much Water

Water is an essential part of our diet. When you drink water, you not only quench your thirst and experience an energy boost, but also provide your body with all the minerals it needs each day for proper rejuvenation and cleansing.

While drinking plenty of water is generally recommended for good health, going overboard can cause more harm than good. Take a look at the infographic below to learn the side effects of drinking too much water.

side effects of drinking too much water (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Ayurvedic medicine suggests that regularly drinking hot water helps your body heal. Hot water also boosts digestion and eliminates toxins for your health and wellness. Drinking warm water benefits blood circulation and provides relief from nasal congestion. While cold water can help restore your body temperature to normal and rehydrate you, hot water can provide pain and stress relief while strengthening your immune system. However, you do not have to drink boiling hot water as it may scald your throat. Also, take a sip to ensure it is at the right temperature before gulping it down.

Frequently Asked Questions

How beneficial is drinking hot water before bed?

Drinking hot water before bed can keep you hydrated throughout the night and even rids your body of the toxins. You can drink hot water on an empty stomach in the morning too – this can kickstart your digestive system.

How good is drinking hot water with honey/lemon?

Drinking hot water along with a dash of honey and lemon can work wonders. In addition to the warm water benefits we have discussed, you can also enjoy the powerful nutrients in both honey and lemon. The drink can be a potent mix of vitamins B and C, potassium, and iron.
Lemon also helps increase the production of hydrochloric acid by the stomach, which leads to better digestion and better absorption of nutrients. Lemon in warm water is the perfect combo to have before meals and first thing in the morning to help quickstart the digestive system and aid elimination of toxins for improved vitality and general well-being.

Can hot water reduce belly fat?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that drinking a glass or two of hot water in the morning helps reduce belly fat. However, limited research is available in this regard.

Is hot water good for the skin?

Drinking hot water will help you stay hydrated and keep your skin plump and smooth, promoting skin health. However, using hot water on the skin is a strict no-no, as it may irritate the skin and cause dryness.

How much weight can I lose by drinking hot water?

Catherine Gervacio, Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian, says, “Water has no calories no matter what the temperature is, so you can tremendously lose a lot of weight.” Drinking hot water helps reduce weight due to its thermogenic effect (the rate at which metabolic rate increases after eating a meal (10). Since weight loss also depends on metabolism, results may differ from person to person.


Discover the unexpected advantages of drinking hot water. From detoxification to improved digestion, this video explores the surprising benefits that can be gained from this simple daily habit.

Key Takeaways

  • Drinking hot water improves blood flow and boosts digestion.
  • It also breaks up mucus build-up and effectively clears nasal congestion.
  • Though hot water drinking benefits in many ways, drinking cold water can help rehydrate your body quickly.
  • Avoid drinking boiling water as it can damage your esophagus or burn your taste buds.
Benefits Of Drinking Hot Water

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Personal Experience: Source

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Effect of meal temperature on gastric emptying…” Gut, US National Library of Medicine.
  2. Effects of drinking hot water, cold water, and chicken soup…” Chest, US National Library of Medicine.
  3. The effects of a hot drink on nasal airflow…” Rhinology, US National Library of Medicine.
  4. Effects of hot tea, coffee and water ingestion…” Psychopharmacology.
  5. Response of esophagus to high and low temperatures…” Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, US National Library of Medicine.
  6. Hot water swallows may improve symptoms…” Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, US National Library of Medicine.
  7. Effect of cold water on…” Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, US National Library of Medicine.
  8. 5 tips to improve blood circulation” Johnston UNC Health Care.
  9. Dietary water affects human skin hydration and biomechanics” US National Library of Medicine.
  10. Water-induced thermogenesis,” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, US National Library of Medicine.
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Thais Tisatto

Thais TisattoBHSc (Health Science)

Thais Tisatto is a Holistic Nutritionist from the Gold Coast, Australia. She has a very strong passion for women’s health, gut health, hormonal balance, and sports nutrition. She analyzes every single one of her cases in clinic from a holistic perspective, taking into consideration not only physical, but also emotional and spiritual factors that might be affecting an individual's health....read full bio

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