Why Does Ice Water Taste So Good?

Two glasses of ice water

If you’ve ever reached for a tall glass of water on a hot summer day, you know there’s nothing quite as refreshing as ice water. But what makes it so satisfying? Scientists have a few theories. Read on to explore the appeal of chilled beverages and why an ice and water dispenser is a great choice for any household or workplace.

Craving Ice Cold Water? Here’s Why

Ice water is irresistibly appealing, especially in hot weather or after physical exertion. Let’s dive into the scientific and physiological factors behind the deep-seated desire for ice water and why it quenches your thirst like nothing else: 

1. Ice suppresses the flavor of the beverage it’s in

Researchers suggest that many people prefer ice water over a room-temperature option because it’s less flavorful. While this might seem counterintuitive, warm water — especially unfiltered — tends to taste sweeter and more acidic. Cold water, on the other hand, suppresses the sensitivity of our taste buds and quells any impurities that make water taste slightly different. 

2. Humans have an acquired taste for cold water

What sounds more appealing: a stagnant puddle or a flowing river? Most would opt for the flowing river since stagnant water, in nature, is often a breeding ground for bacteria and parasites. Interestingly, water in a flowing river doesn’t get the chance to warm up under the hot sun, making it less hospitable for harmful germs to thrive and reproduce. This means that the preference for cold water may be a natural protective measure against potential diseases. 

3. Ice water is more refreshing after a workout

Drinking ice water when you’re overheated can offer complete relief, which explains why you crave it during exercise. Heat-related conditions like heat exhaustion or stroke are even more common in the summer. So, consuming ice water before, during, and after a workout can help postpone or lessen the increase in your body temperature — delivering a refreshing sensation in the process.

4. The physical sensation of drinking cold water tells your brain that you’re rehydrating

Studies suggest that the instant relief you experience from drinking ice water is largely psychological. Think back to the last time you were thirsty and couldn’t wait to chug a glass of water. Did your thirst vanish immediately? You probably felt refreshed even before the water had time to enter your stomach or bloodstream. Why? Researchers from the University of California San Francisco reveal that brain neurons responsible for monitoring blood composition can activate thirst sensations whenever the body’s water levels are out of balance. Essentially, cold drinks trigger these neurons to diminish their signals, which stop altogether once you’ve consumed enough liquid.

Warm Water vs. Cold Water: Which Is Better for You? 

While ice water holds universal appeal, you might be curious about its comparison to hot or warm water. Warm water is often favored for its soothing properties, aiding digestion and potentially relieving muscle tension. It can also offer comfort in colder weather or for those with sensitive teeth. Research even suggests that water at temperatures between 50-72℉ aids faster hydration and may be absorbed more readily. 

On the other hand, cold water boasts its own set of benefits, like refreshing hydration — especially during hot weather or after physical activity. According to some studies, drinking cold water may slightly boost metabolism and calorie burning, as the body expends energy to warm it up. Despite concerns about cold water affecting bodily balance and slowing digestion, Western medicine lacks substantial evidence to support such claims. And in general, people still tend to prefer colder water. 

So, what does this mean? You’re more likely to stay hydrated by consistently drinking cold water than infrequently consuming room-temperature water. However, the ideal drinking water temperature ultimately depends on your personal preference, lifestyle, environment, and daily hydration practices. 

The Benefits of Drinking Ice Water

Regardless of temperature, proper hydration offers numerous health benefits, including:

  • Aiding toxin removal: Hydration supports kidney function, helping flush out toxins and waste products from the body. This promotes improved overall health and vitality.
  • Boosting digestion: Ice water aids in breaking down food and supporting nutrient absorption, both of which are essential for efficient digestion. This means less discomfort from digestive issues throughout day-to-day activities.
  • Preventing constipation: Proper hydration with ice water helps soften stools, ensures regular bowel movements, and prevents constipation. This translates to a reduced risk of digestive problems and associated conditions in the long term.
  • Enhancing cognitive function: Water intake supports brain function, improving concentration, alertness, and overall cognitive performance. You enjoy increased productivity and mental clarity as a result.
  • Improving physical performance: Ice water helps regulate body temperature and lubricate joints, enhancing physical performance and reducing the risk of exercise-related injuries. This means better athletic performance and recovery and improved overall physical health.
  • Increasing energy levels: Proper hydration maintains optimal bodily functions, keeping your energy levels high throughout the day. Greater productivity and resilience are a natural by-product of this benefit.   
  • Promoting healthy skin: Drinking ice water helps skin elasticity and moisture, reducing your likelihood of dryness, wrinkles, and blemishes. 

With this in mind, the advice from our Quench Water Experts is simple: Stick with what you prefer, because you’re likely to drink more of it. Consistently staying hydrated with water at your favored temperature, whatever it may be, is crucial for your overall health and productivity.

Access an Endless Supply of Clean, Great-Tasting Ice With Quench

If you’re looking to promote hydration at home or in your workplace this summer, consider installing a water cooler with an ice maker from Quench. Offering unlimited access to both water and ice can significantly increase hydration levels in any setting. We provide a range of ice machine rental options suitable for workplace environments

Ice maker machines not only encourage hydration but also enhance the overall atmosphere, providing a refreshing treat throughout the day. While you might already have a water cooler, upgrading to one with an ice maker can elevate the experience — especially during warmer weather.

Quench offers a selection of ice dispensers designed to meet the diverse needs of your household or workplace. Use our Product Finder tool to discover your ideal ice maker machine, or get a free estimate to get started today.