July 14, 2010

Ice water in your veins?

This single stat will make you never ask for ice water ever again.

A study that revealed 70% of the time ice at a fast food restaurant is dirtier than their toilet water (abcnews.go.com)

If you want to be healthy, here’s a rather obvious tip: watch healthy, active people closely. And, after asking them a few “dumb” questions, imitate them.

This glass of ice water will yuck you.

“Water without ice, please.”

Update: “An award winning middle schooler’s science project showed that on average 70% of the time ice from fast food restaurants is dirtier than toilet water.”

A few years back, I noticed many of my Boulder and/or Buddhist and/or Adventure friends—folks versed in healthy living, in and out—always made a casual point of asking for “water without ice, please” at restaurants. I’d often done the same, when I thought of it, for years—not for any health reason, but because my sensitive little teeth and gums hadn’t ever liked the cold (you should see me at The Spot Climbing Gym, trying to drink quickly out of the water faucet before it cools down and is too painful for poor little me to drink. Now that I think about it, it’s warmer these days, I don’t have the same issue there. Anyway).

So at some point I asked my mom or a friend, “Why don’t you like drinking ice water? Is it bad for you?” And I always got the same response: “Tibetan Medicine says it’s bad for you. Advises drinking room temperature water. If you think about it, it makes sense—your body has to work harder to heat up freezing water that’s suddenly dumped in its innards, so you actually wind up heating up.” Something like that, anyways. Interestingly, these Buddhists (many of whom had lived in India) advised drinking warm water, even when it’s hot out, as it somehow balanced everything.

Now, I clearly don’t know nothing here. So I’m asking, not telling: is ice water at all bad for us? Is room temperature water the way to go?

One thing’s clear, in any case: ice takes a great deal of energy to create and keep cold. So it’s more eco-responsible to shun the cold stuff.

That said, a cold beer once in a while…slightly more than once in awhile…is a little bit of heaven.


With thanks for the story idea to Melanie our intern, and Hapa, and their water with or without ice.

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