It is around summer, and you have come home from an intense gym session/casual cricket match with your friends. You take a bottle of ice-cold water or any chilled beverage from the refrigerator and chug it at once. You can feel the immense amount of pleasure you get from this just by reading this. But what if I say that your body hates this even though you like it? This article brings upon the ill-effects of drinking ice water and a sustainable solution/alternative to that.  

Ice water has some of its own benefits like ice water stimulates thirst enabling further consumption of water. Hence ice water can keep you hydrated. Also, ice water can keep one mentally active and awake. Research says that athletes who consume cold water are able to exercise or perform longer.

However, the benefits of ice water are countable and limited. On the other hand, there are many ill-effects of consuming ice water. Consumption of ice water and any chilled products can lead to “brain freeze”- an intense headache that is seen within few seconds of consumption of a chilled product. It is a principle that cold produces vasoconstriction (contraction of blood vessels) and this sudden experience of cold can make the blood vessels in the brain contract.

cartoonic representation of brain freeze

Hence there is limited blood and oxygen supply to the brain. This in medical conditions is known as shock. So in order to balance this more blood is supplied to the brain and hence the vessels swell. This can be considered as a mechanism of the brain in order to avoid consuming the cold substance. Hence this can be the reason for children not eating the ice cream after getting brain freeze. It is a natural defensive process and is not dangerous when it goes away within seconds but can be detrimental if prolonged. Repeated consumption can lead to migraines (heavy headache accompanied by nausea).

Also, ice water can disrupt the process of digestion. According to Ayurveda, there is a fire (jatharagni) inside us that helps in the process of digestion. This can be compared to the digestive enzymes and juices which aid in digestion. There must be an appropriate temperature for the digestive organs to work. This has also been proven scientifically which says that a minimum of 38’C of core body temperature is required. The ice water can disrupt the internal heat environment and can prolong digestion. This is not advisable in the long run.


The entire process of digestion is prolonged especially in the regions of the stomach and intestine. Ice water can affect the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine. The intestine contract as a result and there can be chances that the stool becomes too hard. So it can lead to constipation. The worst time to drink ice water is after a meal. The reason is that the body raises the core temperature so as to start the process of digestion and ice can disrupt it. There are even more ill effects like a decrease in heart rate, improper fat metabolism, and throat irritation, and so on.

So a solution to all these problems is to avoid drinking ice cold water. But if we do so, we cannot rejoice in the pleasure we get from it. So we have to find an alternative method/source of ice water which is healthy for us. The answer lies with our ancestors. Years ago, there were no refrigerators then how was it possible for them to have cold water? They used earthen pots to get chilled water.

Earthen pots or Matka have been used for many years. They produce chilled water by the process of evaporative cooling. The pores present in the pot release the heat out by capillary action hence making the water ‘cool’. It is important to understand that the water is cool and is not cold.

This water provides the benefits of refrigerated ice water and rules out all its ill effects. The pot water does not only affects digestion problems but also enhances digestion. The minerals that are present in the water help in digestion and create a balance in the Ph. The minerals in pot water make it alkaline which balances the acidic Ph of the stomach. This can prevent a lot of digestive problems which can be caused due to excess acidic Ph.

pot water is considered an effective method to reduce acidity, hence preventing acid reflux and GERD (Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease).

Pot water does not irritate the throat and does not cause sore throat. Also, it refreshes the body with mineral-rich water and prevents dehydration and sunstroke in summer. The pot water also boosts metabolism. The earthen pots act as natural filters and remove the toxins. Apart from that, earthen pots are sustainable, eco-friendly, and also cheap to use. The fridges release chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) which is an important cause of ozone depletion. No such problems are seen in earthen pots.

the earthen pots kept on the streets for the passerby to quench their thirst

On the whole, the earthen pots have produced the benefits of refrigerated water and on the contrary, they have no ill effects as compared to refrigerated water. And the important point is that we can get these benefits at minimal cost and do not harm Mother Nature. So from here afterward, chug upon a pot full of Matka water after an intense gym session or long and tiring sports match. This time, your body also enjoys the water along with you.


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