How A Cold Water Bottle Sent My Body Into Shock

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So, we’ve all heard, don’t drink really cold water in the heat, but a lot of us haven’t heard the why or experienced it first-hand.

Cold water is good, so how could it be bad? Well, yesterday I found out.

We were out working in 100° weather (not a good idea in itself) when my dad noticed my face was getting pretty red and suggested that I take a break. I immediately grabbed a cold bottle of water and drank it.

After we did a little more work he suggested that I get in the truck and blast the air conditioning. I drank some more cold water (another bottle) and very shortly I started feeling strange… I started seeing spots, my stomach got extremely nauseous and my hands and feet started tingling.

I felt like I was going to throw up, so I opened the truck door and the next thing I know I fall face-first to the ground and my dad’s rolling me over and wiping off my face. He said my eyes had rolled back a bit and I didn’t come to for a few minutes.

EMT arrived and asked what was going on. Immediately the guy knew what happened.

Apparently, if you’re too hot and chug a bottle of cold water, it can send your body into shock. Your body thinks that the stomach is going hypothermic and so it takes the warm blood and sends it to the stomach. You can lose consciousness.

He said cold water is good, but only in sips.

Room temperature water is better if you need fast rehydration. I just figured I would share in case anyone could benefit from my mishap.

Please stay cool. I wish I had learned this a long time ago.

*Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor so please don’t take my experience or what I was told as a reason not to talk to your own doctor. Do not take my personal experience as advice.

In case it wasn’t clear enough, drinking water throughout the day and staying hydrated is very important. If you mess up though, as I did, don’t make the same mistake as me.”

man takes selfie in car with face injury after going into bodily shock from cold water
Courtesy Adam Schaub

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Adam Schaub of Houston, Texas. Join the Love What Matters family and subscribe to our newsletter.

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