June 10, 2021

Are There Health Benefits to Drinking Hot Water?

The short answer from a dietitian

man drinking hot liquid

Q: I’ve heard drinking hot water has health benefits. Should I drink hot water?

Water is essential to life. And drinking it, whether hot, cold, or room temperature, obviously keeps you hydrated. But are there health benefits to drinking hot water? And does the temperature of the water you drink really matter?

Advertisement

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

There are claims that drinking hot water has health benefits, like helping with digestion and relieving congestion. But there is little scientific research to support the health benefits of drinking hot water as opposed to room temperature or cold water.

Most of us don’t drink enough water anyway, so however you can get your recommended daily allowance of water works. In general, that breaks down to about 15 cups per day for men, and about 11 cups per day for women. It’s always good to stay hydrated. But everyone is different. Some people prefer room temperature water, other people can’t drink room temperature water and prefer it ice cold.

Many feel that drinking hot water first thing in the morning helps with digestion and can help you go to the bathroom. But is it the temperature of the water, or just the simple fact that staying hydrated helps to have regular bowel movements? Or is it that the water is hot and helps to relax your bowels?

Advertisement

It’s a bit of a chicken and egg scenario. Your gastrointestinal (GI) tract is one big muscle, so perhaps the heat of the water relaxes your GI tract a bit to help things like constipation. If you have cold symptoms, drinking hot water can help with things like sinus congestion from the steam rising into your nasal passages.

The bottom line is, if you prefer drinking hot water and it helps to keep you hydrated, drink up!

— Registered Dietitian Beth Czerwony, RD

Advertisement

Related Articles

people finding their seats on airplane
October 19, 2023
How Airplane Travel Affects Your Body

Flying can cause dehydration and bloating and make you feel tired and stressed

water with a strawberry in it
October 13, 2022
How Much Water You Should Drink Every Day

Factors like your diet and physical activity can affect how much you’ll need to consume

A person sitting up in bed and drinking a glass of water while another person sleeps next to them
June 21, 2022
Is It Healthy To Drink Water Before Bed?

Short answer: Not really

empty water bottle
February 1, 2021
Are There Any Health Benefits to Drinking a Gallon of Water a Day?

What to know about this hydration trend

Overhead closeup of various types of lettuce
March 1, 2024
5 Health Benefits of Lettuce

Lettuce is a versatile vegetable loaded with antioxidants and good-for-you nutrients

A wooden spoonful of salt on a granite tabletop with salt scattered around
February 28, 2024
Why Too Much Salt Can Be Bad for You

Excess salt and sodium consumption is a worldwide health concern

Older couple standing in kitchen taking vitamins
February 26, 2024
Do Men and Women Really Have Different Nutrition Needs?

When it comes to getting proper nutrition, your assigned sex can play a role — but there’s more to it than that

Hand holding an artichoke over a basket of artichokes
February 23, 2024
10 Health Benefits of Artichokes

This unique-looking veggie is fiber-dense and antioxidant-rich, and can improve the health of your gut, liver and heart

Trending Topics

White bowls full of pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate and various kinds of nuts
25 Magnesium-Rich Foods You Should Be Eating

A healthy diet can easily meet your body’s important demands for magnesium

Woman feeling for heart rate in neck on run outside, smartwatch and earbuds
Heart Rate Zones Explained

A super high heart rate means you’re burning more than fat

Spoonful of farro salad with tomato
What To Eat If You’ve Been Diagnosed With Prediabetes

Type 2 diabetes isn’t inevitable with these dietary changes

Ad