Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
Why is it most healthy to drink water at room temperature?
A: Your stomach is at a certain temperature. This warm internal temperature is essential for proper digestion. The common way to serve drinks in the United States is with ice. When you drink too much cold water, it reduces the stomach temperature quickly and dramatically alters the digestive function. Over a prolonged period of time, this can impair digestion and injure the body’s Yang energy.
To put it another way, think of this: if you had an oven heated up and prepared for cooking, would you douse it with ice cold water? That would slow down the cooking and ruin the dish, would it not?