Most of us start our mornings with a fresh, hot cup of coffee or tea to warm our bodies after getting out of bed. When we drink water, we tend to prefer it cold, but according to Ayurvedic medicine, we have it all wrong. Regularly drinking very warm water, especially in the morning, can heal our bodies, providing digestive power and reducing metabolic waste that could have built up in our immune system.

“Physicians recommend drinking warm water in the morning, usually, with a polyphenol-rich lemon immersion, or with a tea shown to decrease free radical activity in the body,” Stella Metsovas, clinical nutritionist and media health expert in Food and Nutrition Sciences, told Medical Daily. The consumption of warm water increases the tightening of the intestines, which optimizes elimination. Unlike hot water, processed cold water is devoid of many essential minerals that could become very unfavorable to the digestive tract when consuming a meal. For cold water drinkers, Metsovas recommends refraining from drinking 20 minutes before eating — even if the source is natural spring water.

While drinking warm water may not suit your taste buds, it may be beneficial to put the caffeine and tea aside for your health's sake. Here are six reasons why:

1. Cleanses Digestion

A very warm cup of water in the morning can help cleanse your body by flushing out toxins. Water and other liquids help break down the food in your stomach and keep the digestive system on track. Warm water will help break down these foods even faster, making them easier for you to digest. Drinking cold water during or after a meal can actually harden the oil in consumed foods and therefore create a fat deposit in the intestine. Adding ice to processed cold water will strip it of natural-containing minerals, says Metsovas, as these minerals are essential to keeping the digestive tract healthy. Luckily, you can replace a glass of cold water with a warm one to aid digestion, especially after eating a meal.

2. Aids Constipation

At one point or another, many of us are plagued by this common stomach problem where we have little to no bowel movement. The strain felt during elimination, accompanied by bloating, is brought on by a lack of water in the body. Drinking very warm water in the morning on an empty stomach can help improve bowel movements and aid constipation while breaking down foods as they smoothly pass through the intestines. Stimulating the bowels will help return your body back to normal functioning.

3. Alleviates Pain

Warm water, considered to be nature’s most powerful home remedy, can help alleviate pain from menstruation to headaches. The heat from warm water is known to have a calming and soothing effect on the abdominal muscles, which can help provide instant relief for cramps and muscle spasms. According to Healthline, warm or hot water is usually better for cramps, as hot liquids increase blood flow to the skin and help relax the cramped muscles.

4. Sheds Excess Pounds

If you’re on a diet, chances are you’ve heard drinking a glass of warm water first thing in the morning can help with weight loss. Warm water increases body temperature, which therefore increases the metabolic rate. An increase in metabolic rate allows the body to burn more calories throughout the rate. It can also help the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys to function even better.

“Physicians recommend drinking warm water in the morning, usually, with a polyphenol-rich lemon immersion, or with a tea shown to decrease free radical activity in the body,” said Metsovas to Medical Daily. Drinking a glass of warm water and a lemon will help break down the adipose tissue, or body fat, in your body, and also control food craving due to lemon’s pectin fiber.

5. Improves Blood Circulation

The fat deposits in the body are eliminated along with accumulating deposits in the nervous system when you drink a glass of warm water. This flushes out the toxins that are circulating throughout the body and then enhances blood circulation. Making sure the muscles are relaxed will eliminate poor circulation and blood flow.

6. Halts Premature Aging

Premature aging is a woman’s worst nightmare, but luckily, this can be prevented by drinking warm water. The presence of toxins in the body can lead to aging faster, but warm water can help cleanse the body from those toxins, while repairing skin cells to increase elasticity. Metsovas told Medical Daily: “Women will always benefit because they [have] more hormones to contend with, making constipation more of an issue.”

To reap the health benefits of warm water, drink it every morning plain or with a lemon for taste. Metsovas urges drinkers to have warm water, as drinking straight hot water can potentially be damaging to tissue in the mouth and esophagus. After boiling water, be sure to let it cool for a few minutes before you start consuming.  Also, “always check with your prescribing physician before drinking warm water if you’re on any medications that could impact the efficacy of your medications,” Metsovas said.