60% of your body is made up of water, and considering that water is important for a variety of functions like aiding digestion, removing waste, and protecting tissues, organs, and joints, it becomes necessary to ensure that you stay hydrated at all times.
While a lot of people know that adults need to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to help their bodies function well, most of them don’t know how to stay hydrated the right way.
Here are 7 tips to help you drink water the right way every day for improved health.
First Thing in the Morning
Drinking water first thing in the morning is as beneficial to your body as starting your car and waiting for the engine to warm up before putting it into gear is good for your car. A glass or two of water early in the day wakes up your body and gets your organs moving, flushing toxins out of your system and readying you for breakfast. So stop guzzling down coffee each morning and reach for water instead!
Before, during, after, and In-Between Meals
You probably know that drinking water before a meal makes you feel full, thereby helping you eat less. Staying hydrated before a meal also moisturizes the stomach lining, preventing acidic foods from irritating it, and wakes up taste buds.
Be sure to drink water at least 30 minutes before having your meals though! That’s because drinking water right before a meal can dilute digestive enzymes. Drinking water right after a meal can also have the same effect, so avoid drinking water for an hour after having your meals.
Experts are divided on whether or not it’s okay to drink water during meals. While some say that drinking water during meals can dilute digestive enzymes and prevent them from breaking down food, consequently leading to poor digestion, the rest say that drinking water helps soften food and makes it easier for the body to absorb nutrients.
To be on the safe side, avoid gulping down glassfuls of water immediately before and after, and during your meals; sip on water slowly if required. Substituting water for yogurt or buttermilk is also a good option. Refrain from drinking cold water as doing so can slow down digestion.
Furthermore, drinking water between meals will keep you from confusing thirst with hunger, and prevent you from gorging on unhealthy foods. So stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking at least 4-5 glasses of water.
Before and after Exercising
Staying hydrated during exercising is important as you can lose several liters of water over just an hour of strenuous exercise. Drinking too much water can lead to hyponatremia so don’t overdo it. Stick to this schedule:
- 15-20 ounces of water an hour or two before exercise
- 8-10 ounces of water 15 minutes before exercise
- 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes during your workout
Drink more water in summers, if you exercise outdoors, or if you tend to sweat heavily. Sip on cold water after your workouts to help your body temperature return to normal.
Before a Shower
Drinking a glass of water before you take a bath or a shower can help lower blood pressure. In addition to this, drinking warm water can raise the temperature of the body, preventing fluctuations in the blood pressure. Drinking water before a bath also dilutes sodium levels in the blood, ultimately lowering blood pressure.
Before Going to Bed
Your body repairs itself when you sleep and hydrating yourself before you retire for the night ensures that your body has all the water it needs to flush out toxins. However, drinking too much water immediately before going to bed can cause you to wake up during the night to urinate. This can disrupt your sleep cycle, so make sure you don’t drink more than a glass of water right before bedtime.
People with kidney and heart ailments should avoid drinking water and other fluids 2 hours before their bedtime.
When You’re Sick
If you’re sick or around people who are ill, drinking more water throughout the day can help you feel better and also protect you from falling sick. In addition to drinking 8 glasses of water a day, supplement your diet with soups, fruit juices, and tea. Being properly hydrated will help flush out toxins from your body and will also prevent microbes from settling and multiplying in your body. Make sure to filter the water specially when you are sick as unfiltered water may contain bacterias and other elements that can further affect your ill health.
When You’re Tired
75% of your brain is made up of water so if you’re feeling fatigued, just drink a glass of water! Since water gets absorbed into the body quickly, you can be sure that you’ll feel alert and be able to focus better in a jiffy.
Adults tend to lose around 2.5 liters of water through exhaling air, sweating, and urinating each day. As such, staying hydrated by drinking water gradually throughout the day is crucial to help the body function as intended as well as for better health.
With the tips given here, you now know how and when to drink water to stay healthy and fit. So get started on implementing these tips right away!