Go Ad-Free
logoThe People's Perspective on Medicine

Does Water Temperature Matter During a Workout?

This study shows that water temperature can play a role in recovery: it takes only half as much ice water as ambient-temperature water.

When you are working out in hot weather, you need to replace the fluids you lose through sweat. That is only common sense. Researchers in Missoula, Montana, wondered whether the water temperature matters, so they devised a test.

Studying Water Temperature and Re-Hydration:

The scientists had healthy athletes exercise for three hours at 88 degrees Fahrenheit. Then they compared the effectiveness of three re-hydration strategies: drinking air-temperature water at a rate of 2 grams of water for each kilogram of body weight; drinking the same quantity of an ice slurry of shaved ice and water; and drinking half as much ice slurry. The drinks were provided at 10 minute intervals, and the athletes were randomly assigned to the rehydration strategies.

Which Water Temperature Worked Best?

The athletes maintained their body temperature, heart rate and physiological well-being best with the full amount of ice slurry, but the reduced amount of slurry was just as good as ambient-temperature water. The researchers believe this information will be valuable for the military and firefighters working on forest fires. That’s because when people carry more water in such high-exertion warm-weather situations, they have to carry less gear. The researchers gave no advice on how to keep an ice slurry cold in extreme conditions.

Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, Sept, 2016 

Be Wary of Hyponatremia:

Consuming a smaller quantity of ice water for recovery might also reduce the possibility of hyponatremia. When active people consume extra water in an effort not to become dehydrated, their sodium level could become too low. Essentially, the sodium in the blood becomes over-diluted. This puts a serious strain on the system and can produce symptoms such as muscle cramps, nausea and vomiting, confusion and even seizures.

Rate this article
4.8- 14 ratings
About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
Tired of the ads on our website?

Now you can browse our website completely ad-free for just $5 / month. Stay up to date on breaking health news and support our work without the distraction of advertisements.

Browse our website ad-free
Join over 150,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

We're empowering you to make wise decisions about your own health, by providing you with essential health information about both medical and alternative treatment options.