Knowing how to drink water properly will dramatically help you to stay healthy and vital in your next 40 years.
We all know that we should drink more water. This is not news. We’ve been told over and over again about the health benefits of drinking water.
And, just in case you’re not sure about how water is good for your body, you can read the blog post that I wrote about the health benefits of drinking water.
Honestly, think about how many times you have been told that you should drink more water. Your doctor tells you, your mother tells you, your nutritionist tells you, and you hear about it from every health blog.
Maybe you even set a new year’s resolution to drink more water and then after a week or two weeks or maybe even a month, you either forget about it or you just stopped doing it.
It’s very easy to hear the words drink more water, but did you know that there’s actually a way to drink water properly? There’s actually a schedule. And, certain times of the day that you should drink water to get the most benefit for your body.
The majority of our body is actually comprised of water.
Every cell in our body has water. All of the areas around our cells have water. Water does millions of things inside of our bodies.
In order to feel good, it’s important to make sure that you have enough water in your body. If you have things like chronic dry skin or dry eyes or maybe chapped lips, those are good signs that your body’s probably dehydrated.
Also, things like skin rashes or even the color of your pee can indicate if your body is properly hydrated.
The key here is not only to drink more water but to drink water properly. In other words, in such a way that your body actually absorbs it and can use it for all the millions of functions that it needs it.
This post has just a few tips to help you learn to drink water properly so that it is absorbed. And you’re not in the bathroom peeing it out within 20 minutes.
Drink Room Temperature Water
The first step is to drink room temperature water rather than ice-cold water. If it’s really hot outside, this may not sound appetizing or like something that you want to do, but water with ice in it, that’s ice-cold actually inhibits your gut from being able to digest your food properly.
There are enzymes in your gut that break down your food and when you drink ice-cold water, it actually slows down the reaction time of those enzymes.
Water is also really important for your lymphatic system.
This is the system that moves toxins through your body and helps to filter toxins out of your blood.
Water also helps to move blood throughout your body and blood carries oxygen, so having plenty of water in your body helps your body to get oxygen to all of the different parts of your body.
Lukewarm water or room temperature water will encourage that flow because the blood in your body is body temperature. Coldwater is going to constrict the blood vessels and slow the movement of those fluids.
Drink water as soon as you wake up
So the very first thing that goes into your body in the morning should be eight ounces of room temperature water.
And this basically helps to prime the digestive enzymes in your stomach and get them ready for the day. It also helps to kind of signal your body that it’s time to get up and get moving.
During the night while you’re sleeping, your body slows down or even shuts down some systems so things can repair and regenerate. When you wake up in the morning and have a cup of lukewarm water, that flips the switch on and gets things moving.
Drinking water first thing in the morning also signals the brain that it is time to be alert.
Your brain has just gone 7 to 9 hours without any water. So, it’s important to have that first cup of water as soon as you get out of bed.
So, a good rule of thumb is to drink water as soon as you wake up in the morning. Even if you have a glass on your bathroom sink and you fill it up with water when you first wake up in the morning. Or you have a pitcher or bottle of water sitting on your bathroom counter and you fill up a cup.
Drink water 30 minutes before you eat any meal
Within 30 minutes of having your morning cup of water, have your breakfast, which should be 20 to 30 grams of protein.
So you’ve had your cup of water and then 30 minutes later you’ve had your meal or your breakfast. And then throughout the day, 30 minutes before you eat any meal, have a cup of water.
This just helps to, again, prime your digestive enzymes and get them ready to receive the food, break down the food so that your small intestine can absorb the nutrients from your food.
If you’re eating a lot of plants and you understand the health benefits of eating plants then having plenty of water is going to be really important because eating more plants means more fiber. If you’re not drinking plenty of water, then you’re going to get constipated.
Drink a cup of water if you’re feeling hungry
So the typical rule of thumb is to eat five to six small meals throughout the day. I start my day with a protein bar for breakfast and then a couple of hours later I have a small meal made up of a carb, a protein and a fat.
Some ideas for the carb include something like celery sticks, apple or a banana. The protein would be something like a nut butter or hummus. And then the fat would be something like the oil in the nut butter or the oil in the hummus.
Then I go and do my workout and then after my workout, I have my lunch. I’ve been sipping water all day throughout this process, but before my food, I have one cup of water
So it’s not enough to wake up, not drink water for five or six hours, and then chug a whole pitcher full of water.
To drink water properly, make sure you’re sipping water a little bit throughout the day, making sure that you’re having these measured amounts before you eat to prime the enzymes in your stomach.
All of this is going to help your body absorb the water better and also the water is going to help your food get absorbed better. So you’re just better nourished.
Drink water before exercise
This is kind of a no brainer. You don’t want to go into a workout dehydrated. This is where it’s a good idea to have been sipping water all throughout the day.
Then you should have one cup before you go into your workout. When you’re in your workout and you’re sweating, that’s your body losing water. And the reason it’s doing that is to help balance your body temperature and bring your body back to homeostasis.
So, if you have water in your system for your body to use to bring your body homeostasis, then your body is not going to have to work as hard.
Plus, you want all of the focus and the calories and all of the energy going towards the workout, not towards balancing your body temperature because you’re dehydrated. So make sure that you have eight ounces of water before you go into your workout.
Drink water one-hour before bed
One-hour before bed is a good time to have your last glass of water for the day. It gives your body enough time to flush out everything before you go to sleep.
You will use the bathroom before you go to sleep. That will flush out everything from dinner and from the later part of the day.
This way, your body can really get that deep relaxing sleep. And won’t hold on to any toxins and without having to be still digesting any food.
One glass of water, one hour before bed. If you drink it any closer to your bedtime, you might wake up to pee a few hours after you have fallen asleep. That is really disruptive to your circadian rhythm.
So it’s best to just set a timer and have eight ounces of water one hour before you go to bed.
A good daily water schedule is as follows:
Drink two eight-ounce glasses of water when you wake up
Sip water with breakfast. So, not necessarily a whole cup of water. But again, you’re having it 30 minutes before you eat.
Between breakfast and lunch – Drink at least one glass of water. So you want to time that 30 minutes before you eat lunch. Have one eight-ounce glass of water.
Sip water with your lunch as you need it
Between dinner and lunch – have one glass water
30 minutes before you eat your dinner – have one glass of water
Sip water with your dinner as needed
Between dinner and bedtime (one hour before you go to sleep) – have one glass of water.
If you work out – have the one glass of water before you exercise and then little sips during your workout. And then after your workout, another one, one eight-ounce glass
As you start to notice a difference, make sure that you make little notes in your journal. How has your skin changed? It sounds gross, but how does your sweat or your breath smell differently? How are your eyes and your lips? Do they feel better? Do you still need chapstick all day long?
When you wake up in the morning, do you feel bloated or is your stomach flat? How are your bowel movements? These kinds of things are all signs that you have learned to drink water properly. And your body is better absorbing water than it was before.
And as always, make sure to download the ritual tracker. It will help you keep track of making sure to drink water properly.