Drink Ice Water – Lose Weight

Today, from the wacky world of water science I bring you the most revolutionary diet method ever devised. Drinking large amounts of ice water to lose weight. Now mind you, I didn’t discover this method, but oh how I love to engage in the conversation. So let’s have at it.ICE CUBE 1

People mention the word calorie in every day conversations, but let’s all get on the same page by understanding what a calorie is. A calorie is a unit of measurement for energy, or more specific to this conversation heat. You can use BTU, Watt, calorie or any other host of conventions, but these things are all units of energy and can be converted mathematically from one to the other. For sake of this conversation we will use only the calorie, since dieters understand counting calories. Let’s start with the definition of a calorie.

1 calorie equals the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celsius.

Now to play with the numbers. Here is our given information.

  • An 8 ounce glass contains about 236 grams of water.
  • Normal Body Temperature = 37° C
  • Ice Water = 1º C (34ºF)

Now the fun starts. If you were to drink 8 ounces of ice water as listed, to bring that water up to body temperature, your body would have to produce

(36 º Degree Celsius Change) x (1 calorie / degree Celsius) x (236 grams of water) = 8,496 calories.

It is generally accepted that if you change your intake of calories by 3,500, depending if you are eating or fasting, you will gain or lose 1 pound of weight. So by the science of this, every time we drink 8 ounces of ice water we should lose 2 1/3 pounds of body weight (once we get rid of the eight of the water). Holy Mackerel!

Is this true? Well, in the lab, yes, but in the real world no. There are a variety of natural factors that affect this theory. First off, once the water begins to move out of the glass, it gets exposed to ambient air, and warms. The air exposure in one’s stomach also warms cold fluids.

This is one of those cases in which science can be used to validate a totally bogus scientific claim. The science behind man-made global warming for instance, is the same kind of mumbo jumbo. In this instance, we actually burn about 20 – 25 calories per glass of ice water.

Just more fun in the water!





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