Traveling through the length and breadth of China, I could not help notice hot water dispensers almost at every public place. Be it train station, airport or any other place, I could spot a hot water dispenser everywhere.
There are even hot water stores known as laohuzao, or “tiger stoves,” in all the cities and towns, which actually sell hot water for drinking. Also I have seen even outside China, Chinese carry hot water in a bottle whenever they travel.
Chinese cannot live without hot water. They have to sip it all day. Need it for green tea, which they also sip all day, add in their favorite ready-to-eat soupy noodles… just add hot water and eat. At airports, I saw a long beeline of Chinese before hot water dispenser.
For a resident of a tropical country like me, a hot day would make me run for my favorite icy soda or a frosty beer. What a blessing it is when that chilly liquid travels down your throat! It’s like I turn into a phoenix, living again out of my own ashes.
Similar is the love for hot water for hot water.
For them cold drinks mean ‘iced’ at a room temperature. No matter how hot or cold the weather is, it’s hot water for them always.
According to ancient Chinese medicine, drinking a glass of warm water in the morning helps kick-start the digestive system. Hot water and warm water, because of its temperature, supposedly aids blood flow. As your blood circulation increases, it helps detoxify your body and reduce painful contractions of muscles. And the list of benefits is long, relief from sore throat to menstrual cramps.
The Chinese believe that cold water slows down organ function and causes muscles to contract.
I honestly feel that drinking hot water does have health benefits.
I’ll leave the health benefits for medicine practitioner to explore but from a travelers point of view I say, want to lose some weight and be energetic, add hot water in your eating habits. Reason: Rarely have I come across a fat Chinese and back home in India, we compete at waist-lines.