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Is it better for your kids’ health to consume cold or warm water?

Water is vital to the growth and well-being of children. Ensuring children consume enough water each day to be hydrated is beneficial to almost all of their developing bodies’ systems and functions. But should you offer your child a glass of cold water, straight out of the freezer, with ice cubes when it comes time to pour them a drink with their meal or snack? Or warm, after heating it up in the microwave or kettle?

This article will examine if there is any real health difference between children drinking cold versus warm water. We’ll explore factors like digestion, dental health, immunity, and more when looking at the potential upsides or downsides of each temperature.

How Cold vs Warm Water Impacts Digestion:

One area where temperature may make a difference is in digestion. Gulping down very cold water while eating or right afterward could potentially slow digestion. The abrupt change in stomach temperature causes the stomach to temporarily contract. This may momentarily alter the churning and mixing of food during the digestive process.

However, for most healthy children, any effect cold water has on digestion is transient. After a few minutes, the stomach warms again to its normal functioning temperature. Researchers have found no lasting negative impacts on digestion from drinking cooler water with meals. In fact, some studies suggest very cold water may actually increase calorie burn slightly since the body has to work harder to warm it up.

So, while parents may want to advise kids against gulping down icy glasses of water with their meals, especially if they seem prone to indigestion or stomach aches, a more moderate temperature is fine. And serving water chilled rather than warm may be beneficial for boosting metabolism.

Effects on Dental Health:

Another consideration is the impact water temperature could have on children’s dental health. Very cold water tends to be uncomfortable to drink for those with sensitive teeth. And alternating frequently between hot and cold foods and beverages can contribute to cracks or chipping in the enamel.

However, experts agree that cool, room temperature or moderately chilled water poses no risks to healthy tooth enamel or gums. It does not cause thermal shock. So allowing kids’ water to be nicely chilled, rather than insisting on room temperature, should not harm their oral health.

In fact, some dentists think cool water may be preferable after eating, as it helps wash away food debris from the teeth more effectively. This may support better oral hygiene.

Influence on Immunity:

Might water temperature influence kids’ immunity as well? This is a common question many parents have. And most medical experts agree there is little cause for concern here either.

Drinking cold beverages like water, milk, or juice does not appear to substantially raise most children’s risk of illness. Viruses and bacteria are spread primarily through contact and airborne transmission, not ingestion. As long as the water source itself is safe and clean, its temperature should not have an impact on immune function.

Now, for a small subset of children prone to chronic tonsillitis, avoiding very cold foods is sometimes recommended, as extremes in temperature can exacerbate swelling. But for most healthy kids, water temperature does not seem to sway immunity or infection rates.

Kids’ Preferences:

The lack of strong evidence showing major health advantages to either chilled or warm water means kids’ own personal preferences should likely dictate temperature. Children are more likely to stay optimally hydrated if they are served water they find refreshing and appealing.

On the whole, most kids seem to greatly prefer drinking cooler water to room temperature or warm, particularly in warm weather or climates. Supplying water well-chilled from refrigeration may be the best way to ensure kids associate drinking water with feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. Making water an enjoyable experience supports healthy hydration habits.

Setting Reasonable Limits:

However, parents will still want to set some reasonable parameters around how cold children’s water is and monitor intake appropriately. Serving water with quite a lot of ice could lead to brain freeze headaches if consumed too rapidly. And allowing access to chilled water from the fridge dispenser may need some supervision depending on the child’s age and tendency to overpour or spill. But finding a balanced temperature kids genuinely relish should encourage plentiful hydration.

Additional Health Considerations:

Beyond digestion, oral health, and immunity, some additional areas to consider when evaluating chilled versus warm water for kids include:

Blood Circulation:

Drinking very cold water requires more internal heat to be directed to warming it up as it goes down. This can cause a slight, brief constriction of blood vessels. However, for healthy children, this is unlikely to have any lasting impact or meaningfully alter circulation overall. And serving cool-chilled water rather than icy may mitigate.

Core Body Temperature:

There is also little evidence drinking cooler water substantially lowers children’s core body temperature or makes them more prone to hypothermia. In moderation, the body can effectively adjust and regulate temperature from ingested water sources through means like perspiration and heart rate changes. Children also produce more innate body heat than adults proportionate to size. So, concerns about cooler water dropping kids’ temperature appear minimal in most scenarios. But parents might wish to exercise extra caution giving chilled water to infants or toddlers showing signs of fatigue or temperature instability for other reasons until stabilized.

Urination Frequency:

Very cold water intake may correlate with a small, transient increase in urination as the body warms the liquid. However, this effect is unlikely to be dramatic enough to disrupt healthy hydration levels overall or lead to dehydration for most children. The exception could be smaller infants with lower fluid reserves and higher surface area to volume ratios. But for older babies and up, cold water drinking habits should align fine with adequate hydration once diapers transition to training pants and underpants.


While brain freeze headaches from too-rapid consumption of icy water or drinks may occur on occasion, these are self-limiting and temporary. Teaching kids to ingest extremely cold items slowly can help prevent discomfort. Beyond that, cooler water temperatures do not appear linked to chronic headaches or migraines, according to existing data. In fact, staying well-hydrated with water may help reduce headache frequency for some children prone to triggers like dehydration or hunger.

As with the other areas explored, parents should use reasonable discretion based on kids’ medical histories. But current evidence suggests cool over warm water offers children more potential gains than drawbacks overall. The key remains encouraging plentiful hydration regardless of exact temperature preference.

Takeaways on Kids Drinking Cold vs Hot Water:

When it comes to kids’ water intake, temperature choice centers far more on personal preference than health advantages. Research suggests serving children’s water moderately cool, well-chilled, or even with some ice generally poses few medical downsides related to digestion, dental health, immunity, or other considerations. As long as the source is safe and clean, the temperature appears to be mostly a matter of taste. And picking one kids genuinely enjoy should motivate them to stay well-hydrated.

For more such interesting blogs, Visit EuroKids

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