We investigated the effect of the temperature of a liquid meal on intragastric temperature, gastric acid secretion, gastrin release, and gastric emptying in normal human subjects. Coffee (360 mL) was infused into the stomach through a nasogastric tube at 58 (steaming hot), 37, or 4 degrees C (ice cold). Intragastric temperature, measured by an intragastric temperature sensor attached to the nasogastric tube, returned to body temperature 16.7 +/- 2.7 min after the hot meal and 23.8 +/- 1.1 min after the cold meal. Gastric acid secretion increased after hot, warm, and cold coffee but the initial temperature of the meal had no effect on gastric acid secretion. The temperature of the meal also had no effect on serum gastrin concentrations, which increased significantly after all the meals. Gastric emptying of hot, warm, or cold coffee meals was similar. These findings indicate that over a wide temperature range, the temperature of a liquid meal has little effect on gastric function in humans.