How you start your day really has an impact on the way it unfolds. If you drink a carafe of coffee in the am, you can look forward to feeling jittery and then crashing later on. But on the other end of the spectrum, you can take small but significant steps to make your day a whole lot better. In fact, waking up and drinking water can change your life for the better in ways that may surprise you.
Why is Water So Important in the Morning?
Most healthy people drink water throughout the day, but after you wake up, you’ve gone a whopping seven to eight hours without hydration. If you’re not jonesing for some hydration, you should be. Drinking water first thing also gives your metabolism a boost– some estimates say by about 24 percent. Not to mention that it fills you up so you don’t start the day on a super empty stomach.
Drinking a bunch of water before noshing on a healthy breakfast means that your first meal is more likely to hold you over until lunch time without a snack in between. And that’s a good thing for weight loss. Not to mention that water helps your body detox from the junk you may have consumed the night before. It rehydrates the bodily systems that require water for proper function while giving the digestive system a kick in the butt if needed. Water also cleanses the colon and helps the body to better absorb nutrients.
Another benefit of drinking water first thing in the morning is timing. When you start slurping early on in the day, you’re likely to get through your daily allotment before the end of the day. If by noon you haven’t even had a glass, you’ve got a lot more drinking to get to before bedtime. Not to mention that drinking a bunch of water before you hit the hay can disrupt your sleep because you’re left running to the loo throughout the night.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
Starting your day with at least 16 to 24 ounces of water can make a big difference. This is enough liquid to give the entire body a hydration flush, cleansing the body’s systems. Large amounts of water like this can renew the cells and make your skin glow. If at first this seems intimidating, gradually add more water to your mornings.
Additionally, have it handy as you work. When I’m working first thing in the morning, I keep a large bottle of water by my side so I’m sure to get through the necessary quantity before breakfast. I don’t drink my morning tea until I’ve gotten through my bottle of water. For me personally, drinking a full six glasses of water first thing in the morning keeps me from feeling exhausted by mid-afternoon. And for someone that works and chases a toddler around full time, this is an accomplishment.
Is Water with Lemon Any Better?
The benefits of lemon water are often touted, but is it really any better? In some ways, yes. Lemon does contain a potent dose of vitamin C, which benefits the immune system. It contains some potassium. Vitamin C is also important for the production of collagen, which improves the elasticity of the skin. For many people, lemon makes water more palatable.
If you’re like me and lemon water isn’t exactly appealing, consider slicing up cucumbers and mint or a variety of fruits. I’m a huge fan of pineapple and mango water with a hint of mint.
Room Temperature or Cold?
In Ayurveda, the ancient Indian method of natural healing, it’s thought that cold water douses your digestive fire and room temperature or even warm water is much better for hydrating your body. More specifically, it’s thought that cold water freezes the digestive enzymes in the gut and keeps your stomach from digesting food, which can cause constipation. The bottom line is that ice water makes your body work harder than it needs to. Experiment with leaving your water bottle outside of the fridge at night. Even if you crave cold beverages, try adding room temperature water to your morning routine.
What’s the Most Hydrating Water?
Alkaline water is supposed to be the most hydrating and in my experience, this is the case. It’s also helpful that alkaline water tastes really good so you’re likely to drink more of it than you would tap water. Advocates claim that they never feel thirsty and that by drinking alkaline water they feel all of the benefits of being constantly hydrated such as supple skin and good digestion.
It’s unclear why alkaline water is more hydrating. However the main difference between alkaline water and other waters is that alkaline water has a higher pH than regular water. Consider other more conscious purchases like buying yourself an alkaline water filter. This 4-Gallon Countertop Water Filter from Zen Water Systems is a good moderate purchase ($100) or this higher end Pure Hydration Alkaline Antioxidant Water Ionizer ($495). Other, more economical options, include this Nano Energy Bottle – Portable Water Ionizer ($24) or this EHM Alkaline Water Pitcher – 3.5L Pure Healthy Water Ionizer – BPA Free & Anti-Bacterial Filter ($40). You can also add mineral powders or drops to your water to make it more alkaline like Trace Minerals Research – Concentrace Trace Mineral Drops ($20) or AlkaZone – Alkaline pH Booster Drops ($45).
What’s your morning routine? Do you drink water first thing in the morning? How does it impact your day? We want to know! Drop us a line via Twitter @EcoSalon.