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The benefits of drinking water are drummed into us since childhood. Who wouldn’t know that drinking water is good for the body! Yet, how much water do you really need every day? What is the best time to drink water so you can get the maximum benefit out of it? The answers to some of these questions aren’t common knowledge; therefore, here is everything you need to know about drinking water for good health.
How to Drink Water Daily to Stay Hydrated & Healthy
Since water constitutes a little over 60 per cent of our body mass, it’s important to drink water regularly to stay hydrated and keep the body functions running properly. Since we lose water in the form of sweat, urine, and breathing, we can quickly become dehydrated if it is not replenished every few hours. Here are some ways by which we can increase the absorption of water in our bodies.
1. Replace Drinking Ice-Cold Water with Warm Water
Many people love drinking ice-cold water because it feels good. However, it has some downsides. When water is too cold, it renders the enzymes and digestive fluids in the gut ineffective thereby interfering with the digestion process and increasing build-up of toxins. Cold water also causes blood vessels to constrict in the gut, further reducing the movement of nutrients and slowing digestion. Lukewarm water, on the other hand, has the opposite effect on the body. It improves digestion and enables flow in the lymphatic system as well. Women can benefit greatly by drinking warm water during menstruation and when preparing to conceive.
2. Water with Some Extra Ingredients for Better Absorption
Some of these ingredients have electrolytes that help in the better absorption of water.
- Unrefined mineral salt such as Pink Himalayan Salt, Redmond Real Salt or Celtic Sea Salt. Add one teaspoon of any of these salts to one litre of water before drinking. These salts possess trace minerals that are essential for the body.
- Add some drops of lemon juice to a glass of water.
- Add soaked chia seeds to water before drinking
- Ginger slices can offer additional flavour and electrolytes when added to water.
3. Drink One Big Glass of Warm Water after You Wake Up
Drinking one big glass of warm water, about half a litre, as soon as you wake up in the morning is highly beneficial to the body. The body is busy cleaning up waste from the previous day, and hence people often have to go to the bathroom early in the morning. This process can be improved if you help your body with one big glass of warm water soon after you wake up. Do not wait for fifteen minutes or half an hour to gulp it down; it can be done immediately. You can have an electric kettle on standby in the bedroom or store water in a flask, so it is ready and warm in the morning.
4. Drink Water Equal to Half Your Body Weight
If you are looking for an easy way to measure how much water you need to be consuming every day, make it half of your body weight in ounces. Here’s an example; if you weigh 60 kg which is 132 pounds, half of it is 66 pounds. Therefore your water intake per day should be 66 fluid ounces. 66 Ounces converted to litres yields approximately 2 litres of water per day.
Similarly, if your weight is 70 kg, your daily water intake by the same method should be 2.3 litres. If you are already drinking half a litre of water in the morning, you will have 1.8 litres left to drink throughout the day. Water is also acquired through other sources such as foods and beverages you consume, therefore as long you feel thirsty throughout the day, your water intake is good.
5. Buy a Measured Water Bottle
Once you’ve worked out how much water you need to have throughout the day, buy a regular water bottle in which you can store the water. This way, every time you have a glass of it, you will know how much water you have had and what’s left to have for the rest of the day.
6. Favour Frequent Sips throughout the Day Over Gulping
It’s better to have small sips of water frequently throughout the day rather than gulping down large amounts of it at once to meet your water intake goals. Gulping down water won’t allow it to be efficiently absorbed into the body as the sudden excess is quickly removed by the kidneys. This is especially not recommended during meals as it interrupts the digestive mechanism. It’s better to have a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal so it can prepare the stomach lining.
When Is It the Best Time to Drink Water?
Now that you are aware of how much water to take and when, here is how to drink water regularly to get the best out of it.
1. Drink Water Soon after Waking Up in the Morning
As a healthy habit, drinking water early in the morning kick-starts your day by helping the body get rid of all the accumulated waste from its metabolic processes. Have one glass of warm water as soon as you wake up to prepare the body for the day ahead.
2. Drink Water Ahead of a Meal
The best time to drink water for digestion is 30 to 56 minutes before a meal. Drinking water during this period prepares your stomach for digestion. It stimulates the taste buds and hydrates the stomach lining, so it is ready for food. Water is best had in small sips during a meal to help in swallowing. Small sips are also recommended when you want to drink water after eating.
3. Drink Water Between Meals
If you feel hungry for no reason between meals, have a glass of water and see if it fixes that. Sometimes when people are dehydrated, they may feel that they are hungry, but they are actually experiencing thirst. Therefore, drinking water when you feel hungry between meals is a good way to control unnecessary eating.
4. Hydrate Before Workouts
Workouts can make us lose water at a phenomenal rate through sweat and heavy breathing. Therefore prepare your body well before a workout with a glass of water. Drinking water during a workout should be in the form of several sips of water throughout the session and not in the form of chugging.
5. Hydrate After Workouts
The average person can lose up to a litre of water during an indoor workout session. Water loss can be higher if you are engaged in more intense workout sessions in hot or humid weather. Therefore it’s important to hydrate soon after a workout.
6. Drink Water to Flush Out Germs
Every time you go out on dusty roads, you breathe in a lot of germs, the same is true when you are in crowded places or hospitals. Drinking more water when you are exposed to so many germs in the air will help flush them down your system. Staying well-hydrated enables the body to dispose of microbes more easily.
7. Drink More Water When You Are Sick
Drinking plenty of water along with other fluids helps your body recover faster from diseases. The body needs water for the various activities involved in fighting the disease and cleaning up accumulated waste afterwards.
8. Drink Water to Beat Lethargy
When you’re feeling lazy or sleepy, have a glass of water to see if it makes you more awake. Sometimes dehydration presents itself as lethargies. Water also improves wakefulness.
1. Should I Drink Water after Peeing?
You can have water any time you feel thirsty. If you notice that your urine is yellow and not transparent, it’s an indication that your body is running low on water and it’s a good idea to have a glass.
2. Can I Gain Weight from Drinking Water at Night?
No, you cannot gain weight from drinking plain water as it has no calories. It can, however, help you cut down on the additional calories you might take in if you eat a lot. The right time to drink water to lose weight is when you feel hungry after a meal in the evening.
3. Is It Safe to Drink 2 Gallons of Water a Day?
The recommended daily intake of water from food and drink combined is 3.7 litres (1 gallon) for men and 2.7 litres (0.71 gallons) for women. 2 gallons is more than twice the recommended daily intake for anyone. Excessive water causes adverse effects called water intoxication. Drinking lots of water in a short period causes excess water to build up in the blood and body tissue. The excess water dilutes electrolytes, especially sodium levels in the blood. Electrolytes play a major role in the control of all the bodily functions. The imbalance of sodium and fluid levels in the tissues disrupts organ functions and can be fatal in some cases.
Staying hydrated is vital to maintaining a healthy body. The average person should drink close to 2 litres of water a day divided between meals and other day-to-day activities. The best way to get the most of water is to have small amounts throughout the day instead of gulping it down a few times.