Monday, January 15, 2007

Drinking Ice Water can cause Death? Mythbuster Idea!

Here's the answer to a funny problem I had to deal with while I was in Libya. I don't know how many days I had a family member throw a fit over me and my kids drinking water that was ice cold or had ice in it. I was told it could kill you and my logical brain said "I have never heard such a big bunch of baloney". Once I came back to the US I decided to talk to some people about the possibility of that actually occurring and in what circumstance could it actually happen. I remember even reading it in the Tripoli Post a article written by an Imam saying that it could cause instant death and people should refrain from it. I thought oh my even the Imams are crazy!
I posted the question to WebMD and here is what they said and some other information I read the same day may pose some greater health risks than drinking ice cold water.
WebMD said that unless the person was in a state of hypothermia (low body temperature) or severe dehydration they saw no reason that drinking cold water could harm a person. One interesting subject I did find was drinking too much distilled water was now found to be hazardous to your health! Seems as the all important mineral sodium is removed from the water and drinking large amounts can cause the brain to swell. This was found in athletes who drank bottled water in excess of actual water loss after exercise. It thinned the blood and caused the brain to swell. The study went on to say that drinking safe water full of the natural minerals was better and actually connected to longevity! Our bodies need many of the minerals that bottled water removes. As long as it is free of bacterias that can cause illness we are better off drinking our tap water. Here is one site for more info on this subject www.ionizers.org/distilled_water.html
I have searched the internet looking for articles relating to death by drinking cold water and yet to see any. If anyone has a link I would love to run it by these medical professionals. Seeing as most people of Middle Eastern countries are buried quite rapidly an autopsy is not likely to have been done and had the person just happened to be drinking cold water when it happened I can see how the link could be associated with the water. But I fear that it is not likely the culprit of someones demise. Finally as one doctor said, "You don't see too many resturaunts wheeling out dead bodies from drinking the cold water they were served". Myth busted. So to my fellow friends drink and enjoy!

14 comments:

chico delrio said...

nope it will not hurt you! been doing it for 53 years!

Write One said...

Actually, I was reading in some old Baltimore newspapers(early 1800's) and at that time they were of the opinion that a person could die of drinking cold water. There were numerous warnings in the paper about doing just that and reports of people that had actually died doing so. Weird!

Om Zuzu said...

I lost a very healthy 30 year old friend in 2011. Heart attack apparently in the gym from drinking cold water after a serious workout. This did not happen in the US, interesting enough Lebanon...

Samuel Velasquez said...

Hey I have always been told not to drink liquids that are too cold after I overheat. I live in Texas and the weather sometimes hits 116 degrees. Well tonight I put a Sprite in the freezer for 3 hours and it looked like it was about to freeze up in a few minutes but no ice. I worked like I have not in three months and was covered in sweat when I took a big gulp of the Sprite and my chest felt like it was gonna burst. Seriousely I have never had it hurt so bad and I can recall about two to three times in the past 30 years that I have done a similar thing. I really thought I was gonna have a big problem. It has not killed me but it was very, very, very unplesant.

Samuel Velasquez said...

Hey I have always been told not to drink liquids that are too cold after I overheat. I live in Texas and the weather sometimes hits 116 degrees. Well tonight I put a Sprite in the freezer for 3 hours and it looked like it was about to freeze up in a few minutes but no ice. I worked like I have not in three months and was covered in sweat when I took a big gulp of the Sprite and my chest felt like it was gonna burst. Seriousely I have never had it hurt so bad and I can recall about two to three times in the past 30 years that I have done a similar thing. I really thought I was gonna have a big problem. It has not killed me but it was very, very, very unplesant.

Joe Beaver said...

Observations like these, with no scientific bases is the very route of folk lore.

H.M. said...

There is a mechanism reaction when you drink cold water after exertion. If your core temperature is higher than normal and you drink ice cold water, your body will automatically kick in to cool the water to normal body temperature by raising the core temperature of our body. If you are overheated, you should drink a hot glass of water, thus, making your core temperature reduce to cool down the hot water you just drank.

From a medical standpoint, there are many factors that contribute to a negative outcome when your body is overheated, and then you consume cold water. Exposure to heat alone disrupts homeostasis of our water and electrolyte balance. Thus causing, heat exhaustion, heat syncope, and heat stroke. Then adding coexisting external factors, no wind, humidity, etc. Our core body temperature depends on internal regulators that trigger responses that control our internal system to keep it working optimally. So, it is hard to say, that for sure drinking ice cold water when you exert yourself will cause death. I personally know a guy who was moving his yard outside in the heat, came in and chugged ice water, and ended up having a stroke, he lived, but it was a terrible experience for his family. Here is a link to a story you should read: (http://www.tandfonline.com.ezproxy.net.ucf.edu/doi/pdf/10.1080/00913847.2015.1001714)

Or if you have access to a library, look-up: (this is an APA citing)

Nolte, H. W., Hew-Butler, T., Noakes, T. D., & Duvenage, C. S. J. (2015). Exercise-associated hyponatremic encephalopathy and exertional heatstroke in a soldier: High rates of fluid intake during exercise caused rather than prevented a fatal outcome. The Physician and Sports Medicine, 43(1), 93-98. doi: 10.1080/00913847.2015.1001714

Feroze Mohamed said...

i ended up here as i was searching if it is possible for a person to DIE because of drinking WATER after a long workout in direct sun.

Dont know the exact medical reason, but just a few secs ago heard that a colleague's friend DIED. The reason mentioned was that He was playing in HOT sun for almost 5 hours and then drank water and collapsed.

Murmur said...

Been doing genealogy research and got an official death certificate for my great uncle.
The certificate was from Silver Bow County, Montana, dated August 12, 1896.
Cause of death on the certificate:
"Drinking ice water when heated."

Michelle Pontbriant said...

https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/14671201_10154110953398940_6661657032517776048_n.jpg?oh=4e5cee6549af3ef1df2e2c8cfe2fbc75&oe=5899FCFE

I found this in a Center Cemetery in Southampton, MA

Rachel said...

Actually, our 12th president, Zachary Taylor, died of drinking iced water after getting overheated. He suffered from severe stomach pain for five days before he died and was diagnosed wrong. Of course, I think you'll be fine as long as you keep ice water out of the hands of an overheated person.

Rachel said...

When your overheated, it's best to sit down with a cold wet rag(no ice) and a warm/refrigerated drink. Ice water/drink is very harmful when hot and (if untreated) fatal. Look up Zachary Taylor and how he died if your interested in an example.

Rachel said...

It's really not an observation. It's been proven that lukewarm water is much more beneficial than ice/cool water. One example is t12th pres. Zachary Taylor. He died after drinking ice water (while overheated) and suffered five days of severe stomach pain.

Rachel said...

Cold/ice water is what will kill you. Warm water will help cool you down. When drinking cold water while hot, your body raises the core temperature to warm the water up. When drinking warm water, your body lowers your temperature to cool te water down. It isn't pleasant to drink hot water while hot, bt it's a hel