Saturday, June 11, 2022

Are Cold Drinks Better When You Exercise?

A question I received from one of our blog's readers is whether one can drink cold water or beverage during exercise? He said that he was advised by friends that he should drink room temperature or even warm water/ beverage after exercise as cold drinks are 'too cooling' for the body.

Well, what does research and science tell us? Exercise authorities such as American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) both recommend water and other hydrating drinks be cold when used during exercise (Kerksick et al, 2018). 

There are a few reasons for their suggestions. Our core temperature rises when we exercise and to keep cool, we lose fluids through sweating. Remember a lot of energy is spent regulating and keeping our temperature down when we exercise. Drinking ice water or ice slushie helps keep our core temperature from rising (Hosseinlou et al, 2013). This also prevents excessive water loss through sweating while exercising.

Moreover, cold drinks are definitely more palatable compared to a warm drink and one tends to drink more when cold drinks are available. A meta-analysis found that subjects consumed 50% more cold (0-10 degrees Celsius) or cool (<22 degrees) beverages than a control group (>22 degrees) during exercise (Burdun et al, 2012).

Researchers also found that drinking cold water improved performances in 49% of participants in the broad jump and 51% of participants in a cycling to exhaustion test (LaFata el, 2012).

I don't know about you, I definitely prefer an ice cold drink during and after exercise. However, if you prefer room temperature or even warm water, don't fret. Drinking whatever appeals to you during and after exercise to get adequate hydration is most important.


Burdon CA, Johnson NA, Chapman PG et al (2012). Influence Of Beverage Temperature On Palatability And Fluid Ingestion During Endurance Exercise: A Systematic Review. Int J Sp Nutr Ex Metab. 22(3): 199-211. DOI: 10.1123/ijsnem.22.3.199

Kerksick CM, Wilborn CD, Roberts MD et al (2018). ISSN Exercise & Sports Nutrition Review update: Research & Recommendations. J Int Soc Sp Nutr. 15(1): 38. DOI: 10.1186/s12970-018-0242-y

LaFata D, Carlson- Phillips A, Sims ST et al (2012). The Effect Of A Cold Beverage During An Exercise Session Combining Both Strength And Energy Systems Development Training On Core Temperature And Markers Of Performance. J Int Soc Sp Nutr. 9: 44. DOI: 10.1186/1150-2783-9-44

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