Is Eating Ice the Same as Drinking Water?...The Answer

Is Eating Ice the Same as Drinking Water?...The Answer

Is eating ice the same as drinking water? Does eating nugget ice hydrate you? It’s a question that many avid ice chewers and crunchy ice maker owners and enthusiasts are wondering. If you consider yourself one of them, then you came to the right place!

To cut right to the chase, yes, eating nugget ice does hydrate you. Ice of any kind is simply frozen water, which means the once the ice is melted (which will happen either before or during consumption) it’ll turn to water and can therefore be used to hydrate the body.

That being said, chewing on ice does not have exactly the same effect as drinking water. The optimal temperature drink of water in terms of hydration is considered to be between 50°F (10°C) and 69°F (21°C). The heating process (which did you know is a calorie burning exercise!), combined with the fact that each ice cube or nugget contains a relatively small amount of water means that although delicious, ice isn't the most efficient way to hydrate the body. It is however the most delicious in my opinion!

nugget ice maker

How the Body Processes Ice and Water Differently

So, how does the body handle ice compared to water? When you drink water, your body absorbs it quickly into your bloodstream, which helps to hydrate your cells and regulate your body temperature. However, when you eat ice, your body has to work harder to process it. First, it has to melt the ice into water, which takes energy and slows down the hydration process. Additionally, the cold temperature of the ice can constrict your blood vessels and make it more difficult for your body to absorb the water.

It's important to note that while ice may not be the most efficient way to hydrate your body, it can still be a refreshing and enjoyable treat on a hot day. Plus, some people find that chewing on ice can help to alleviate stress and anxiety. As with anything, moderation is key.

Another interesting fact about water is that it has a high heat capacity, which means that it can absorb and retain a lot of heat without changing temperature. This is why water is often used as a coolant in industrial processes and in the cooling systems of cars and other machinery.

Overall, while ice and water may seem like simple substances, there is a lot of fascinating science behind them. From the different states of water to the way our bodies process them, there is always more to learn about this essential substance.

The Hydration Benefits of Ice and Water

In 2005, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) had published recommendations that they called adequate intakes (AIs). They include 3.7 liters per day for men, (including about 3 liters in the form of beverages) and 2.7 liters per day for women (including about 2.2 liters in the form of beverages).

Water being poured in a glass for hydration

Taking this into consideration, you can definitely try to find a healthy mix between nugget ice, water, and other beverages for your daily water intake.

Hydration Levels: Ice vs. Water

Studies have shown that drinking water is the most effective way to hydrate the body. This is because water is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, which helps to replenish fluids in the body and regulate body temperature. Drinking water can also help to flush out toxins and improve digestion.

While ice is made of water, eating ice can provide some hydration benefits, but it is slower and less effective than drinking water. This is because the body needs to warm up the ice before it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Therefore, if you are feeling dehydrated, it is best to drink water rather than relying on ice to hydrate your body.

The Role of Temperature in Hydration

Temperature also plays a role in hydration. Drinking cold water can help to lower your body temperature and improve your exercise performance. This is because cold water is absorbed more quickly by the body than warm water, which means that it can help to cool you down faster.

However, drinking water that is too cold can cause stomach cramps and discomfort. It is recommended to drink water that is at room temperature or slightly chilled. This will help to hydrate your body without causing any discomfort.

Eating ice can also cool you down on a hot day, but it may not provide enough hydration to prevent dehydration. Therefore, it is important to drink water regularly throughout the day, especially during hot weather or after exercise.

In conclusion, while both ice and water can provide hydration benefits to the body, drinking water is the most effective way to stay hydrated. It is important to drink water regularly throughout the day to maintain good health and prevent dehydration.

Are There Benefits To Eating Nugget Ice?

The benefits of eating nugget ice are similar to the benefits of drinking water (since nugget ice is just frozen water).

Considering up to 60% of the human adult body consists of water, it is definitely essential for your health. Water affects every cell, tissue, and organ in your body, so keeping hydrated is a must.

Some of the benefits of keeping yourself hydrated are:

  • Regulation of body temperature
  • Protecting your joints
  • Protecting soft tissue
  • Help the body expel waste products

Considering nugget ice is water, chewing nugget ice can help prevent dehydration.

What Happens If You Constantly Eat Nugget Ice?

There aren’t any real drawbacks when it comes to eating nugget ice. In contrast to traditional ice cubes, nugget ice is not bad for your teeth. Due to its soft and chewy texture, chewing nugget ice has no negative effect on your teeth, enamel, and gums. That is one of the main reasons why nugget ice has become so popular over the years. If you want to find out more you can check out my article "Is Chewing Nugget Ice Bad for Your Teeth?" here.

Nugget ice

For some people, chewing nugget ice does become a bit of a compulsive habit though, so be aware of that.

Calorie Burning and Weight Loss

One potential advantage of eating ice is that it can help to burn calories and promote weight loss. This is because your body has to work harder to melt and process the ice, which increases your metabolism and energy expenditure. However, this effect is likely to be minor and is not an effective weight loss strategy on its own.

It is important to note that while eating ice may burn a few extra calories, it is not a substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise. In fact, relying on ice as a weight loss strategy could be harmful to your health, as it may lead to nutrient deficiencies and other health problems.


So to conclude, eating nugget ice does hydrate you as it has the same benefits as drinking water.

This is true for all types of ice, including flake ice (which is different from nugget ice), traditional ice cubes, crescent ice, block ice etc.

Though it is not recommended to rely solely on nugget ice for your water intake, it can definitely help!

If you’re looking for a nugget ice maker of your own, I highly recommend you to take a look at my homepage. It contains all kinds of fun stuff about nugget ice and ice makers!

If you have any questions, feel free to let me know in the comments below.


Is eating ice the same as drinking water?

Essentially, yes but technically, not really, since ice cubes are made of much less water. Relying on just nugget ice for your daily water intake will need you to consume massive amounts of ice each day!

Does eating ice hydrate you?

Eating ice does hydrate you but you will have to consume a lot of ice to get to the recommended hydration levels as opposed to drinking liquid water. As stated previously, ice cubes contain much less water.

Is a cup of ice the same as a cup of water?

No, as water expands when it freezes, so a cup of ice has less volume of water than a cup of water. In fact, to get the volume of water that a cup of ice contains, you can simply multiply the volume of the ice by 0.92. Therefore, 1 cup of ice usually is equal to 0.92 cups of liquid water.

Why do I crave eating ice?

The craving and chewing of substances that have no nutritional value are described by the term "pica". Craving and chewing ice are usually associated with iron deficiency with or without anemia. Iron deficiencies might lead to less oxygen flow throughout the body which leads to lower energy levels. A study proposed that the act of chewing ice gives people a mental boost resulting in higher energy levels and alertness.

Check out the article I wrote on "Why Can't I Stop Eating Ice" here.

Why does eating ice calm my nerves?

It has been observed that by chewing on ice, it activates the parasympathetic nervous system which has a calming or distracting effect. The parasympathetic nervous system is a network of nerves that relaxes your body after periods of stress or danger.

Does eating ice boost your metabolism?

Eating ice does increase our metabolism. The act of eating ice provides you with a feeling of "fullness" due to tricking the brain that you are actually eating something as well as getting your stomach filled by feeling bloated (from the liquid water when ice melts). It has been reported that by consuming 33oz of ice will burn up to 160 calories.

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