Beat the Heat with Rice Water: A Cooling Elixir for Summer

Beat the Heat with Rice Water: A Cooling Elixir for Summer

Beat the Heat with Rice Water: A Cooling Elixir for Summer

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Sukhmani Kooner

A severe heat wave is affecting various parts of the country, increasing the risk of heat-related illnesses like heat stroke and dehydration. With North India, including Delhi, expected to experience extremely high temperatures in the coming days, staying properly nourished is essential to withstand the heat. On May 20, Delhi recorded a peak temperature of 47.4 degrees Celsius, which later dropped to 42.4 degrees Celsius due to the easterly winds from the Bay of Bengal. Cooling foods that naturally lower body temperature can be particularly beneficial during such times.

One such cooling beverage is rice water, or Torani, which is renowned for its ability to prevent heat-related illnesses like heat stroke and heat exhaustion. This drink is rich in essential B vitamins, electrolytes, amino acids, and easily digestible carbohydrates, making it effective in fighting summer fatigue and replenishing lost nutrients. Fermented overnight, rice water contains probiotics that improve gut health and boost overall immunity during hot weather.

Rice water, or Torani, offers numerous benefits, particularly during periods of intense heat. It is an effective way to replenish fluids and nourish the body, as the body loses fluids rapidly through sweating. Rice water helps restore these lost fluids, thereby sustaining hydration levels. It contains vital electrolytes like potassium and magnesium, which are essential for maintaining the body’s fluid balance.

Moreover, rice water is rich in vitamins and minerals, making it a valuable source of B vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, and B6, along with minerals like magnesium and phosphorus. These nutrients play pivotal roles in supporting overall health and facilitating energy production. The fermentation process of rice water enhances the availability of essential nutrients such as calcium and magnesium and also increases its iron content. Additionally, it contains amino acids that are crucial for tissue repair and growth.

Rice water also provides an energy boost due to its abundance of easily digestible carbohydrates, offering a swift surge of energy. This is particularly beneficial in hot weather conditions when the body requires additional energy to regulate temperature. Additionally, rice water possesses stomach-soothing properties and acts as a mild tonic for the digestive system, helping to alleviate issues like indigestion and diarrhea, which can worsen during periods of heat. Its probiotic properties, derived from fermentation, foster the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, notably from the Lactobacillus group, thereby enhancing gut health and digestion.

Furthermore, rice water is beneficial for skin hydration. Consuming rice water helps maintain skin moisture levels internally, counteracting dryness and dullness caused by excessive heat. Topical application of rice water can also alleviate sunburns and irritated skin, offering relief from heat-related skin conditions.

Preparation Methods for Rice Water or Torani

Boiling Method:


  • 1 cup of rice (white or brown)
  • 4 cups of water


  1. Rinse the rice thoroughly to remove impurities and excess starch.
  2. In a large pot, combine the rinsed rice with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the rice is cooked.
  4. Strain the cooked rice using a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to collect the liquid.
  5. Allow the rice water to cool to room temperature before serving. Optionally, add a pinch of salt or honey for taste.

Soaking Method:


  • 1 cup of rice (white or brown)
  • 2 cups of water


  1. Rinse the rice thoroughly.
  2. Place the rinsed rice in a bowl and add 2 cups of water. Soak for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  3. Strain the rice to collect the liquid.
  4. Cool the rice water to room temperature before serving. Optionally, add flavorings like mint leaves or lemon juice.

Additional Tips:

  • Enhance flavor with mint leaves, lemon juice, or cumin powder.
  • Adjust sweetness with honey or natural sweeteners like stevia.
  • Store covered in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Rice water, or Torani, is a versatile beverage that provides hydration, vital nutrients, and energy replenishment, making it an excellent choice for maintaining coolness and well-being during heatwaves.