Does drinking ice water burn calories?

Neal Spruce
Neal Spruce on behalf of dotFIT
Everything you do burns calories. If you are asking if drinking ice water leads to a greater amount of calories burned than drinking warmer liquids, the answer is not much. The quick math is that it takes roughly 8 calories to raise the temperature of ice water, which is ~37 degrees to body temperature (98.6 degrees), but also keep in mind that room temperature and refrigerated fluids also need to be raised to body temperature so the net gain (maybe an extra 2-4 calories a glass) from drinking ice water compared to other fluids is basically insignificant in the daily scheme of things. If you consume 8 glasses a day of ice water versus regular fluids you would maybe burn an extra 25 calories, which is equivalent to about 3 pieces of sugarless gum (which, by the way, burns many more calories than drinking ice water if you chew it long enough). The bottom line is, don’t give up sound nutrition, exercise or simply moving more for drinking ice water for weight loss. And remember, standing burns almost twice as many calories than sitting and walking can burn 3-4 times more. So if you are planning on drinking ice water for weight loss, make sure you drink it standing up.
Yes your body will need to expend a few calories to take the water from a temperature in the low to upper 30’s up to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.  If you are trying to lose weight, drinking ice water will not burn enough calories to make any significant dent in your weight. It is good to drink water throughout the day for health.
Dominique Adair

There are a few studies that show that ice water may have a mild thermodynamic influence -- meaning that your body may use a little more energy to metabolize ice water.  But, in the grand scheme of what we should be doing to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, cold water is not going to do it.  See my "fixer-upper house" blog on my home page.  It is too easy to become distracted and focus on minutia, only to lose sight of the big picture -- we need to be eating healthier and moving more.  And, if you enjoy ice water or room temp water, that's your choice.

Dr. Robin Miller, MD
Internal Medicine
Drinking ice water will help you burn a few extra calories in order to warm the water in your body. Your body will burn 74 calories for every 8 glasses of ice water that you drink in a day.
Discovery Health

Does your body burn calories simply by warming up the water? Yes. But does drinking a lot of ice water help you lose weight, or keep weight off? The answer is qualified.

A calorie is the amount of energy it takes to raise water temperature. So it is safe to say that your body burns calories in order to raise the temperature of ice water up to your body temperature.

When you drink a 16-ounce glass of ice water, let's assume the temperature of the water is zero degrees Celsius. Body temperature is around 37 degrees Celsius. In the case of that glass of ice water, your body works to raise the temperature 16 ounces of ice water by 37 degrees C. In doing so, your body burns only burns around 17.5 Calories, and considering a 2,000-Calorie diet, that 17.5 is fairly insignificant.

But what if you adhere to the daily recommendation of eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day? That's 64 ounces of water, and to warm up all that water during the day, your body burns 70 Calories. So, while ice water consumption won't replace exercise or a healthy diet, try drinking cold water instead of warm water and in the process, burn some extra Calories!

Continue Learning about Calories


Every time we talk about food it seems we also talk about calories. Calories, those numbers found on nutrition fact labels and what diets tell us to watch. Calories are really the measure of how much energy is available to our bod...

ies from what we eat. Every calorie is the same, whether it comes from legumes or lard. We burn calories from food when we perform any activity. When we eat more calories than we burn, then our bodies happily store the remaining calories as fat. Each pound of fat stores about 3,500 calories. How many calories you should have each day depends on many things, from your level of activity to your age and desired body weight.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.