Saturday, May 12, 2012

Can Drinking Ice Water Burn Calories?

I've heard that drinking ice water can make your body burn more calories. Is this true? If so, would it burn enough to help a person lose weight?   thanks, Marjorie C.

Hi Marjorie,
There are all sorts of diet myths that are partially true, but have been blown out of proportion. This is one of them. The human body expends many calories during a typical day keeping the body temperature as close to 98.6 degrees F as possible. (This metabolic burn is already accounted for when you hear that the average person burns about 2000 calories.) 
Drinking ice water makes the body burn calories to keep the core temperature up to normal; about 9 calories per 8-oz glass! So even if you're drinking the recommended 8 glasses per day, you aren't up to an extra hundred calories. It takes about 3500 calories to burn off a pound of fat, and drinking too much water can actually be toxic, so this route is not an option. 
Likewise for hanging out in very hot or very cold weather--a bit of increase in metabolism occurs, but dangerous frostbite or heatstroke could occur long before a person lost a few pounds!

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