Water is vital to our health and existence, it’s that important.
Our bodies depend on a daily intake of water to function on the most basic level, all the way up to operating at our best.
There’s a lot more to keeping hydrated than simply drinking a glass of water when you feel thirsty. When done right, drinking water at the right times and in the right amounts can help you lose weight, function at your best, and feel great.
How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day?
This rule states that we should aim to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. This equates to about half a gallon or 2 liters. It sounds like a lot. But spread out over the course of a 16-hour day that’s only one glass of water every two hours on average.
There are some factors specific to each individual that will affect this amount. You may need to drink more if you have a physical job or workout, or less if the opposite is the case.
4 Water Hacks to Improve Your Health
There’s more to it than simply drinking 8 glasses of water a day. If you want to maximize the health benefits of drinking water, here are a few additional hacks:
Drink Water First Thing in the Morning
There’s a lot of scientific and anecdotal evidence showing that the best time to drink water for your health is the first thing in the morning after you wake up.
After a good night’s sleep, it’s likely been a good 8-10 hours since you last took a sip of water. Your body will be craving hydration when you wake. Your head might be telling you to drink a coffee for the energy boost if that’s what you’re used to, but 1-2 glasses of water first is what your body needs.
Drinking water on an empty stomach will also aid digestion and promote better function for your organs. It also helps promote healthy bowel movements, and will, of course, rehydrate you.
Don’t Wait Until You Feel Thirsty to Drink
Our bodies need water to function properly. If you use thirst as a reminder or a prompt that you need to drink, it’s possible that you’re already dehydrated.
Thirst means that your body is already operating less than optimally. So, when you do drink, you’re putting your body under extra stress to hydrate quickly. This is why some people get headaches or achy muscles when they’re thirsty.
Get into a habit of drinking a glass of water between each meal, and with each meal. This is the baseline that should keep you from getting thirsty. Obviously, you know your body and lifestyle better than anyone, so adjust accordingly.
Drink Room Temperature or Warm Water
There’s been some debate between whether cold or warm water is better. Overall, drinking warm or room temperature water is better for general health. Warm water can help relieve nasal congestion, it aids digestion, improves circulation, and more.
There’s no doubting that cold water helps to better quench thirst and cool you down on a hot day. It’s perfectly fine to drink cold water for these reasons if you’re hot. But throughout the day, it’s better to drink room temperature water.
Sip Throughout the Day, Don’t Chug
The most beneficial, and sensible way to drink water throughout the day is by sipping it rather than chugging at intervals.
Drinking too fast poses a risk of diluting your blood, which can cause water to excrete quicker through your kidneys. This means you’re also not getting the full health benefits of drinking the water anyway, as most will be expelled through your urine.
To get the most from the health benefits of drinking water you want to provide your body with a steady flow. This way, you can absorb more of the water and the right amounts will find a way to the important areas of your body.
If you’re on the move a lot during the day, get into the habit of taking a large water bottle with you. Aim to sip two to three ounces at a time, and before you feel the thirst to do so.