Forget The Ice! Why 1.3 Billion People Think You Should Be Drinking Hot Water

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By Cooking Panda

This summer, as temperatures rise and millions of Americans put away their winter coats in favor of shorts and sundresses, you might want to think twice before grabbing a refreshing glass of ice cold water.

Nicole Liu, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, recently exposed the ancient Chinese practice of drinking hot water. Liu writes that in China, cold water is considered bizarre, and even unhealthy. Instead, Chinese citizens prefer to drink plain hot water, regardless of the season or temperature outside.

While this may seem strange to Americans, the practice is supported by ancient Chinese medicine. As reported in Yahoo News, Mee Lain Ling, a practitioner of Chinese medicine, explains, “In regards to the body, cold blocks the meridian channels, slows and even congeals blood circulation and diminishes organ functioning to less than optimal ability.”

Liu echoes this sentiment, writing that while “[cold] water gives you cramps,” hot water “is believed to promote blood circulation and toxin release.”

In addition to the supposed medical benefits, however, there is also a historical basis for China’s water preferences. Scholars believe that the trend originated after the 1949 communist revolution, when China’s tap water became infested with diseases and parasites. Because the act of boiling water kills dangerous microbes, it quickly became standard practice across China to drink hot water, rather than cold.

Despite the fact that Americans still prefer their water cold, evidence suggests that China’s hot water trend is catching on around the globe. Flight attendants for several major airlines have become accustomed to customers’ requests for plain hot water, and other Asian countries have adopted China’s penchant for steaming refreshments. Nevertheless, many Chinese tourists still travel with a teakettle, just in case the countries they visit are unused to their beverage preferences.

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So, while you may not be ready to pack your teakettle along with your swimsuit and sunglasses for your next trip to the beach, consider forgoing the ice cubes and pouring yourself a steaming glass of hot water next time thirst strikes!

Sources: Los Angeles TimesYahoo News / Photo Credit: kpgolfpro/pixabay

Tags: Chinese Medicine, Hot water, Summer drinks
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