The Hearty Soul
The Hearty Soul
March 18, 2024 ·  3 min read

Cold Water Shock: Drinking Water Sent This Young Man Into Shock

Adam Schaub, from Houston Texas, did not foresee the events that would take place on that sunny, sweltering day. It was early July, and temperatures were a high 100°F ( 37.8°C). Adam was outside cutting up logs with his dad when suddenly, he started sweating profusely, his face turning flush.

Adam with his two daughters

Hoping to ease his discomfort, he immediately began chugging large amounts of ice-cold water. Shortly afterward, his dad noticed that something was still wrong and suggested that Adam get into his truck and blast the air conditioning.

While in the truck, and still in pretty bad shape, Adam decided to drink more cold water, desperately hoping that it would help. However, the opposite happened. He got very nauseous, and his hands and feet turned numb.

He then attempted to open the truck door (worried that he would vomit inside), and just as he was getting out of the vehicle, he collapsed, falling face-first onto the ground.

His dad saw that he’d lost consciousness, and immediately ran over to him. To his shock, Adam’s face was beaten up (from hitting the ground), and his eyes were rolled back with blood coming out of them.

EMT quickly arrived at the scene and explained that drinking ice-cold water (very fast) in the scorching heat, had sent Adam’s body into shock.

This is because the human body’s natural response is to rush warm blood quickly to the stomach when it has fallen into hypothermia. Hypothermia is caused by exposure to cold temperatures or immersion in cold water.

In this case, the cold temperature would have been the result from the AC blasting, and the immersion in cold water would be the ice-cold water that Adam quickly absorbed into his body.

So, Is Drinking Cold Water On A Hot Day Really Dangerous?

According to Natalie Olsen, RD, LD and Kathryn Watson of, there isn’t enough research to conclude that this belief is true or false. However, some people hold a similar view that drinking cold water on a hot day won’t help cool you down, based on their own experiences.

On, you can find the question: “During hot days, does drinking cold water help cool down your insides?” to which another user replies:

“If you are very dehydrated on hot days, drinking cold water can be a bad thing to do. Your stomach will be too empty to handle the cold and the shock of it hitting your system can make you vomit. If you suspect that you might be that dehydrated, then you need to start off drinking warm water.”

Take Away

The sunny weather brings a time for family picnics, beach days, or in Adam’s case, working around the yard. However, too much sun can be dangerous.

Excessive heat exposure creates dangerous conditions like dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and in some cases, death.

That is why we have to take extra precautions. If you’re like Adam, and you live in an area where summer heat can become dangerous, pay close attention to any heat-related warnings.

When it’s too hot, stay inside with the A/C or fan running. If it’s not cool enough at home, visit your nearest shopping mall, public library, restaurants, or any other place that can offer cold temperatures.

Drink water, even if you’re not particularly thirsty. It’s important to stay hydrated during hot days, however, just make sure it’s not ice-cold.

If you must be outside, keep your activities close to a shady spot. Even a small drop in temperature can make a big difference!