Ice Water: Is it Making You Fat?

Frosty killer? Digestion destroyer? Gut buster? Isn’t that a bit dramatic?

Maybe so, but ice does nothing good for your body. And if you chow down at nearly any restaurant, home, or hospital in the United States, nearly any drink you’re served will undoubtedly contain ice or be served very cold.

And why not? Ice is seemingly innocuous. Nothing like some cool cubes to make beverages taste highly refreshing and delicious. But that water of yours can make you chunky. Say what?

With a reported 31% of the United States considered obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control, changes in diet and lifestyle are crucial to reversing this trend.

C’mon, you don’t need stomach staples, diet pills, or anything so drastic. Ayurveda offers many simple, practical remedies that can lead to healthy digestion.

The old adage “you are what you eat” (and perhaps what you drink) isn’t just something your mom said to get you to stop chowing down on Doritos and Captain Crunch.

Agni…that fire in your gut

Agni is Sanskrit for fire, a term that also refers to the digestive fire in each of our stomachs. In Ayurveda, a healthy agni is one of the major keys to health and longevity.

At meals, very small sips of warm or room-temperature water helps digest food. Buckets of cold, fizzy soda, on the other hand, slow digestion. Your stomach has a certain level of acidity that helps to burn through food and speed it along to be further processed by the body. What happens when you dump a huge bucket of ice water on a fire?

As a result, food is not digested properly, leading to the formation of a sticky, toxic material–what Ayurveda calls ama–that is essentially undigested food. (Think of cholesterol, plaque, and other unwanted gunk in the body.) Ama, left unchecked, gets stuck in the body and can lead to disease and a number of health conditions – from obesity to allergies to acid reflux, and even heart attacks.

What your body absorbs (meaning what you actually digest, what isn’t ama, and what doesn’t turn into waste) is used to create your body’s tissues, called dhatus. Plasma, blood, muscle, fat, bones, bone marrow, and sexual dhatus are all formed in that order because of food you’ve eaten. Anything you do to hinder digestion encumbers your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and, in turn, create good-quality body tissues.

In obesity, there is pathology in the body’s fat tissues and in their formation. Healthy fat tissue exists to pad our bodies, to provide warmth, and protection. Many organs, such as the kidneys, contain fat that is crucial to their operation. In obesity, fat tissue is filled with excess fluid that can result in a flabby physique. Not to mention the fact that all of the areas requiring good-quality fat tissue will be affected, potentially leading to osteoporosis, infertility, kidney failure, and diabetes.

It’s amazing that the temperature at which you drink water has that much of an affect on the body, but it’s true. Once I cut ice out of my diet, my depression disappeared, digestion improved, and chronic pain in my body disappeared. Try cutting down your ice consumption and see what happens.

Tune in next time when we explore some water consumption tips.

Image courtesy of vshioshvili.