While clean water is acclaimed to be the healthiest and safest liquid to drink at any time of the day, the right temperature of water could draw the line between good and ill health and life and death.
A time there was when drinking cold water after meals was enjoyable and cooling as it were. But now, medics, after years of research and comparing cases related to water intake, have concluded that the habit could be deadly.
Also, panic messages currently trending in the social media also lend credence to the fear that drinking cold water after a good meal is killing your system.
In a discourse with The Daily Times on the development over the week, a general medical practitioner at Fairfield’s Clinic, Iju Hills, Lagos, Dr. Regina Ojo, has highlighted severe health conditions – some fatal, that resulted from people drinking the wrong temperature of water.
“It’s not really a secret; everybody ought to know that drinking cold water during or immediately after meal is dangerous. I think the problem is that people are just not paying attention,” the medic began.
“This clinic has registered severe health cases – even deaths, simply because people drank the wrong temperature of water at the wrong time.
“Natural and ordinary as drinking water into our system may appear, members of the public ought to follow tips that come periodically from the medical and scientific community.
Therefore, while drinking water solves most of our health problems, we all should drink right; that is, drink with knowledge, understanding and with caution.”
Drinking cold water causes indigestion
“When you drink very cold water immediately after meals, you virtually numb the process of digestion; this accounts for majority of digestive problems and the reason why most people have inflated bellies.”
Should we therefore abstain from taking cold water before, during or after meals? When is it really safe to take really cold water?
“While drinking cold water, especially in hot weather can be heavenly as it helps you cool down in a matter of seconds, it should not be done an hour before or three hours after meals. If you are not comfortable with warm water, drink water at room temperature,“ Dr. Ojo advised.
The people speak
Recounting her experience with cold water, a receptionist with a private firm in Lagos Island, Ms Veronica Dailu, stated her experience with cold water.
“I took me some time to notice that drinking cold water after eating, especially oily meals, aches my stomach and sometimes, it makes me nauseous.
I found out that just as oil congeals when put in the fridge, so will oily foods congeal in my throat and stomach, leading to an accumulation of oil or cholesterol, poor digestion and possibly, high blood pressure,” Miss Dailu said.
Ms Dailu’s experience was buttressed by a Lagos based nutritionist, Mr. Michael Onikoyi, who explained that, unlike warm water which opens our pores and loosens our skin, cold water closes our pores and constricts our skin and this can cause our blood vessels to shrink.
Another responded, the CEO of a Royals, a natural oil production company, Mrs. Gisela Itunu, told our correspondent that drinking very cold water immediately after a meal creates excess mucus in your body, which can lead to a decrease in the immune system function, making one vulnerable to cold and other illnesses.
“Worse still, instead of working to digest the food and absorb the nutrients to create energy, your body expends energy to regulate your temperature and this can lead to water loss and weight loss,” she said.
According to a message trending on Whatsapp, titled “Medical Alertness: Benefits of Warm Water” and signed by one Dr. Mensah-Asare, a group of Japanese doctors have published that if cold water does not affect you when you are young, it will harm you at your old age.
The Japanese doctors said cold water closes four veins of the heart and causes heart attack. It also makes fat stuck in the liver, reason why most people who have to undergo a liver transplant are victims of cold water. In addition, cold water is said to negatively affect the internal walls of the stomach, resulting in Cancer.
Zobo drink unsafe for expectant mothers
A pressing question pregnant women want answered is whether or not it is safe to drink zobo-on-ice or just cold water generally, while pregnant.
According to a report published on Mamalette, a women’s healthcare online website, Zobo or Zoborodo, a Nigerian beverage made from dried hibiscus plant flowers is unhealthy for expectant mothers.
Zobo, is usually served cold and because of its sour taste sugar and pineapple juice are often added to it; therefore, not recommended for pregnant women in their first trimester or those who are undergoing fertility treatments.
This is because it can lower levels of oestrogen in the body and can prompt menstruation which could ultimately lead to a miscarriage. Those in their first trimester especially should avoid drinking this drink.
A research on oestrogen, pregnancy and fertility performed at the Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology in India indicate the oestrogen qualities of the tea may interfere with healthy reproductive activity and affect childbearing and female fertility.
Side effects from consuming hibiscus tea on fetuses are unclear.” After the first trimester, when the pregnancy is established, zobo may be safe for pregnant women and could deliver some potential benefits.
The warm water therapy
Drinking warm water, on the contrary, is 100% effective in resolving many health problems such as migraine, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, pains in the joints, cough, asthma, blockage of veins, headache, epilepsy, increased level of cholesterol and bodily discomfort, amongst others, Dr. Asare notes.
He further prescribes a warm water therapy which entails drinking approximately 4 glasses of warm water on empty stomach as an effective remedy to health issues such as diabetes, poor appetite, uterus and related diseases, heart diseases, epilepsy and paralysis.
So make your choice, readers; drink all you like, but drink with knowledge, and with caution.