If you're not sure whether drinking water is best served cold or at room temperature, the New York Times says it's more relevant to think in terms of volume levels and not temperature scales.
Photo by grendelkhan.
A reader wrote in to the NYT asking whether lukewarm water is absorbed more quickly and whether it's true that cold water helps burn calories.
According to the paper and an American College of Sports Medicine study, "The biggest factor (concerning absorption rates) is sufficient fluid volume in the stomach" and "a big factor in ingesting enough fluid is palatability". All of which is to say that the temperature of water doesn't really matter apart from choosing a temperature that makes it easy for you to drink it, since what matters most for hydration is how much water you can get in your stomach (duh).
However, if you still insist on knowing the right temperature level, the same study recommends fluids to be kept between 15 to 22 degrees Celsius.
For more answers to your water questions, check out our post on four myths about staying hydrated.
Cool, Clear Water [New York Times Q&A]