It’s pretty common knowledge that staying hydrated is good for our health. But did you know that drinking water first thing in the morning – that is, before you eat anything – has all kinds of specific health benefits? Here are a few of them:
1. It’s all about timing
While most people drink water with their meals, you may want to rethink this. According to doctor Don Colbert, author of Eat This and Live, drinking water during a meal can dilute digestive juices and even upset your stomach.
He adds that drinking it in the morning immediately after you wake up is the ideal time. Your stomach is completely empty, so a glass of water won’t hinder your digestion, and if you have a bottle or glass by your bed, all you need to do is reach for it.
2. Get your heartburn under control
If you are one of the many people who experience heartburn, it’s because you have high levels of acid in your stomach, according to The Family Medicine Handbook, which is brought to you by the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. During the night when you are sleeping, your stomach is the primary source of hydrochloric acid in your body. It produces it all night long.
Usually, food will dilute this acid, but because your stomach is empty in the morning, heartburn is more likely to occur in the morning hours. But if you have water immediately after you wake up, it can reduce the level of acidity in your stomach.
3. It will help regulate your bowel movements
According to Medical Daily, drinking a warm glass of water as soon as you wake up in the morning on an empty stomach can help relieve your bowel movements and also help with constipation.
Usually, when we are having trouble relieving our bowel movements, it’s because there is a lack of water in our bodies. This can be a factor in both diarrhea and constipation. In the morning when there is little to no water in our system, consuming water will help to quickly break down any food that has not been digested yet.
4. Other benefits
According to WebMD, one of the many health benefits of drinking water is to help maintain the balance of bodily fluids. Because over half of our body consists of water, it’s essential to keep these bodily fluids balanced because they help with digestion, circulation, absorption, transport of nutrients and the creation of saliva.
WebMD also adds that when the body is low on fluids, the brain will trigger the body’s thirst mechanism. It’s important not to ignore this sign because your body will not function properly without sufficient fluids.
5. Control your calorie intake
According to Penn State researcher Barbara Rolls, Ph.D., author of The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan, if you’re looking to lose weight or try and control the number of calories you consume, water is a great source to help with that.
Rolls adds that when you consume water with a meal, the meal tends to feel larger than it may actually be. This is because the food is digested more slowly, so you feel fuller.
6. A zero-cost skin treatment
According to Atlanta-based dermatologist Kenneth Ellner, everyone’s skin contains a lot of water, which acts as a protective barrier to prevent fluid loss. He adds that dehydration can make the skin look more dry and wrinkly, which can be prevented or improved with proper hydration.
Simply put, getting into the habit of drinking water first thing will rejuvenate your face.
7. You can lessen (or even prevent) hangovers
If you know that your night is going to include a lot of alcohol consumption, it might be a good idea to mix in some water throughout the evening, especially as the night is coming to an end. This can help you prevent a hangover.
Healthline explains that alcohol is a diuretic, which means that you lose more water than you consume. Which is why you experience dry mouth, headaches, and thirst when you wake up the following morning; A.K.A. a hangover.
While we’re on this subject, drinking a pint of water before you go to sleep is a good thing to do – you may need to get up to pee in the middle of the night, but that will flush more of the alcoholic toxins out of your body, giving you a smoother landing the following day.
8. Energize Muscles
According to WebMD, cells that do not maintain the proper balance of fluids and electrolytes will shrivel up, which can cause severe muscle fatigue. To prevent that, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that people drink around 17 ounces of water two hours before exercising. They also recommend that people begin to drink fluids early and often during their workout. It will help replace the fluids that you are sweating out.
Well, I hope that’s enough motivation for you to make hydrating yourself first on your to-do list every day!