Dr. Bob on the ideal water temperature for hydrating during exercise.
Q: What is the best temperature for drinking water to hydrate properly? I’ve heard that it you drink it too hot — or too cold — your body won’t absorb it as well.
A: There’s no fluid temperature that will hydrate you any better than another, but the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that people drink liquids between 59 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Doctors there surmise that people who drink fluids in this temperature range will likely down more and will therefore become better hydrated. The only time I drink warmer beverages is during very long cross-country ski races, like the 55-mile Coureur des Bois. At 20 degrees below zero, there doesn’t seem to be anything better than hot soup, which helps to bring up body temperature. Of course, hydration isn’t just about the temperature of the fluid; particularly when you’re exercising for an hour or more, it’s important that there are electrolytes (mostly salts) in the liquid, which allow for better hydration.
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This article originally appeared in the April 2010 issue of Men’s Journal.