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What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
After making a trip to the bathroom or brushing their teeth, many people reach for their first cup of coffee (which is actually a bad idea).
If you are in this group, you may want to rethink your morning routine.
I think we’re all familiar with the basic facts that our bodies are made up of 60% water, with vital organs such as the brain and heart being closer to 73% water.
So, it’s probably not too surprising that if you don’t drink enough water, you can suffer from both short and long-term health consequences. But does it matter when you drink that water?
In this article, we will talk about the positive physical and psychological impacts of drinking water as soon as you wake up. Then, we will go over a few suggestions of how much water you should drink in the morning. Finally, I’ll offer some recommendations for some of the best water filter pitchers and water bottles that are on the market today to help you increase your water intake first thing in the morning.
While it’s important to drink water at any time throughout the day, having a big glass when your alarm goes off in the morning offers some unique rewards. Let’s take a look.
9 Benefits of Drinking Water When You Wake Up in the Morning
1. It Rehydrates Your Body
If you’re getting the recommended seven to eight-ish hours of sleep per night (and if you’re not, we can help), you’re going a pretty long period of time without any water consumption (especially if you’re following rule #5 here).
Drinking water as soon as you wake up is a good way to replenish your body with the hydration that it needs to properly function. We often forget to drink as much water as we should during the day, so by drinking a big glass of water upon waking up, you’re setting the pace for the rest of the day. Water is a convenient, inexpensive, easily accessible, and caffeine-free drink, making it an ideal source for meeting your hydration needs.
Failing to drink the amount of water that your body needs can lead to dehydration, which has several negative consequences, including:
Prevention for dehydration is simple and replenishing your body with fluids as soon as you wake up is a critical part of this.
2. It Makes You Alert
Because your brain contains so much water, drinking water first thing in the morning is helpful when it comes to maintaining optimal alertness and brain activity. When your brain is trying to operate on inadequate levels of fuel, it can make you feel drained, possibly leading to low energy and reduced cognitive function.
When you’re dehydrated, you experience tiredness and fatigue. After going several hours without eating or drinking anything, whatever you choose to consume first can be a bit of a shock to your system–so you want to be intentional about what you choose.
If that first thing is water, it can jumpstart your mental alertness and increase your energy levels.
Consuming water can stimulate the growth of red blood cells, which will provide you with a burst of natural energy and cognitive function. Alternatively, if your body becomes dehydrated, your mental and physical performance can suffer.
Drinking water in the morning also refreshes your mind and body as it carries oxygen through your bloodstream to your vital organs and tissues. Because your cells need oxygen to properly function, this process wakes your body right up and gives you the energy that you need to survive.
3. It Boosts Your Immunity
Especially in light of the recent COVID-19 outbreak, we are all well aware of the frequency in which we have contact with other people. We shake hands upon meeting someone new, hug our friends and family, touch germ-infested handrails, share close living spaces, and breathe the same air as those around us. All of this exposes us to health threats that our bodies are left to fight off.
While it’s extremely difficult to avoid exposure entirely, you can boost your immunity. Having a stronger immune system can help you fight off a variety of health threats. What’s more, drinking water as soon as you wake up helps purify your colon, which makes it easier for your body to absorb the essential nutrients that it needs to maintain healthy immunity.
Studies have shown that while you’re asleep, your body repairs itself by extracting toxins. When you get up and drink water on an empty stomach in the morning, it helps your body naturally eliminate these toxins, including bacteria that may otherwise lead to illness.
Your water intake in the morning also helps balance your lymphatic system, which can boost your immune system as well. A strong immune system will surely increase your safety from various diseases and help prevent you from contracting illnesses. For additional things you can do to keep your body strong in the fight against diseases, check out this post.
4. It Jump Starts Your Metabolism
Your metabolism plays a big role in giving your body the energy it needs to function, as it converts anything you eat into energy. A decrease in your metabolism can result in a variety of health problems, including diabetes and obesity.
When you drink water first thing in the morning, your metabolic rate increases by about 25% for about an hour, which results in faster digestion, which can then result in weight loss. (Here are some other things you can do in the morning to boost your metabolism.)
When you hydrate your body first thing in the morning, you’re preparing it to metabolize and break down the food you eat more efficiently, which makes your cells (and you) more productive. This means that the carbohydrates and protein that you eat throughout the day will be properly metabolized by the water that you drink and subsequently carried to your organs to keep them functioning at their finest.
5. It Can Help You Lose Weight
Speaking of metabolism and weight loss, studies show that drinking cold water in the morning has a thermogenic effect, which means your body uses energy (calories) to warm the water up in your digestive system after you drink it. In fact, thermogenesis that is caused by drinking water can increase your metabolic rate by 24-30% for up to 60 minutes.
Also, by drinking water first thing in the morning, you may reduce the number of calories that you eat for breakfast because you will already have a full stomach. One study found that people who drank water before a meal were able to lose 4.5 pounds within three months because the water filled their stomach with a zero-calorie substance. This resulted in the participants feeling full before eating their meal and therefore consuming fewer calories.
6. It Will Improve Your Skin’s Health and Promote Healthy Hair
Because this early-morning beverage helps flush toxins from your body, it will also help keep your skin healthy and radiant. Dehydration is one of the principal causes of some unwanted skin issues, including:
Starting your day off with a healthy dose of hydration can also help promote blood flow to your skin, keeping it appearing youthful for years to come.
Further, just like any organ, your hair needs fluids for nourishment. Keeping your hair hydrated goes beyond moisturizing with a conditioner after washing your hair. Dehydration can greatly impact the health of your hair, and drinking water as soon as you wake up helps nourish your strands from the inside out.
Nearly ¼ of the weight of each of your hair strands is made up of water, so when you become dehydrated, you may find that you have brittle and thin hair and you may even experience hair loss. Drinking water facilitates fast and healthy hair growth because proper hydration nurtures your hair cells while also eliminating toxins that could harm your hair.
While drinking water at any time of day can help alleviate this issue, drinking water on an empty stomach can promote healthy hair most effectively.
7. It Can Treat and Prevent Headaches
If you experience frequent headaches, drinking water first thing in the morning can either eliminate them or reduce their duration and severity in pain. Headaches due to dehydration are secondary headaches, as they’re caused by having insufficient fluid in the body. Dehydration headaches can be mild, but can also be as severely painful as a migraine.
Your body becomes slightly dehydrated during your long night’s sleep, and because your brain is made up of mostly water, it can temporarily shrink from this loss of fluid. This can result in your brain slightly pulling away from your skull, leading to the pain of a dehydration headache.
However, this can be easily prevented by replenishing your body with fluids as soon as you wake up in the morning.
8. It Can Prevent Kidney Stones and Bladder Infections
Drinking water as soon as you wake up can help prevent kidney stones and bladder infections. This is because the water dilutes the acids that can lead to these health issues. In addition to this, your increase in a.m. fluid intake will boost the amount of urine that helps filter your kidneys, which will also dilute any potential mineral build-up you have in there. In doing so, kidney stones will be less likely to form. The more water you drink, the less likely you will be to develop health ailments such as these.
9. It Will Help You Move Your Bowels
Your morning hydration routine will help stimulate bowel movements. Your body depends on rhythmic contractions in your colon to help remove waste and toxins. When you drink water, your body senses this new arrival, which then triggers signals to your intestines to get moving, which increases the chances that you’ll have a bowel movement.
While you sleep, your colon and small intestine process the food you consumed throughout the previous day. When you wake up, your body is ready to get rid of the undigested food that wasn’t absorbed. Because your large intestine absorbs any excess water in your body, drinking an insufficient amount of water can make it difficult to move your bowels, but if you make it a habit to drink water as soon as you wake up, you can help ensure that your digestive system becomes more regular.
So, just how much water should you drink when you wake up?
Most sources claim that it’s best to drink “two glasses” of water upon waking up in the morning. But how much is two glasses?
Business Insider suggests 24 ounces, and according to Japanese Water Therapy (which is widely used in Japanese medicine), it’s best to drink four 160mL glasses (which comes out to be about 20 ounces). This all equals out to about 2.5 cups of water.
If this seems like a lot to you, you can certainly work your way up to this amount over time by starting with just 8 ounces and adding an ounce every other day.
What’s the best way to access your water?
To make things the easiest, you can keep a water bottle right by your bed. This way, as soon as you wake up, you can start getting hydrated. Further, here are some suggestions for the best water filter pitchers that you can use to purify the tap water at your house that are on the market today.
While it’s best to drink pure, filtered water, if it will make it easier for you to drink this much water as soon as you get up, you can always add in some water flavoring enhancers. Flavored water is better than no water at all.
Final Thoughts on Drinking Water in the Morning
Water is involved in many of the body’s processes, such as carrying oxygen to your cells and vital organs, keeping your immune system healthy, and ensuring you have energy to get through the day. Of course it is a daylong process to keep your body hydrated, but starting off with a glass of water will set you off in the right direction.
Keep water by your bed so you can roll over and drink it as soon as you wake up. You will start to crave this refreshing feeling in the morning and you will definitely notice the health benefits. This is another healthy habit that you can add to your list of the things you’re doing each day to positively impact your health!
Finally, if you want the perfect morning routine, then check out this seven-step process for creating a morning routine that will become a vital part of your daily life.)
Connie Mathers is a professional editor and freelance writer. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. When she is not writing, Connie is either spending time with her daughter and two dogs, running, or working at her full-time job as a social worker in Richmond, VA.