Drinking Water – The Best Times to Hydrate for Your Health
While some people have got hydration down to an art and know what level of drinking water their bodies need to function, we’re not all like that. Sure, we know our bodies are two-thirds water and that hydration is a real issue, but we’re not always 100% sure how to combat that. There’s so much information out there about water for weight loss, digestion, sleep and more. It’s downright confusing. To make it just a little clearer, read on and see:
These questions are common, but the answers vary, so let’s simplify things and get you on the right drinking water path.
How much drinking water do you need?
While seemingly straightforward, the answer to this is dependant on your lifestyle more than anything else. As a guide, most medical professionals suggest six to eight glasses of water or two litres a day for an adult. But there are several additional factors you should consider when assessing your hydration:
You need to maintain the balance of fluid in your body by considering what is leaving through sweat, urination or other means. It can be hard to keep track of, but most symptoms of dehydration are recognisable – e.g. if you’re tired, thirsty, are struggling to focus and work, then it’s likely you need a drink.
To help you stay hydrated, why not consider installing a boiling/chilled water tap which instantly filters your water? The taste will be improved, and there will be less waiting around for the fridge or kettle to do its job. Reusable water bottles are a good option too – the market is growing, and always having a drink at hand is a great way to build healthy hydration habits. It’s also worth noting that all consumed liquids count towards your intake – soups, water-rich food, tea, fruit juice and more.
Is drinking water before bed a good idea?
Spreading out your drinks throughout the day with the final glass before bed may seem like a good idea to stay on track, but it isn’t always right for your health. What goes in must come out after all, and a drink just before bed is more likely to result in an early morning toilet visit and poor-quality sleep.
Of course, some people need water nearby at all times due to conditions such as dry mouth. If so, maybe try sipping some bedtime water instead of downing a glass in one.
Should I drink water as soon as I wake up?
Some say that a drink of water (sometimes with lemon, apple cider vinegar and other additions) can kickstart your day and hydrate your body. To an extent, this is true. It will wake up your bodily functions, refresh your sleepy brain and give you energy for the morning. However, sleeping through the night won’t cause you to be hugely dehydrated – the reverse is more likely.
How and why does drinking water help you lose weight?
Drinking more water is one of the most common pieces of advice for those looking to drop a few pounds, and drinking more can indeed help. Let’s look at a few reasons why that is:
This results in a fuller, more satisfying feeling once you’ve eaten and can help you maintain your lower calorie intake. It can also aid in your digestion as it helps break down foodstuffs. Plus, any fibre you’ve consumed absorbs water in the body to create healthy bowel movements.
The signals we get from our bodies saying we need food or drink come from the same part of the brain – the Hypothalamus. As such, we can get confused and eat instead of drink which increases our calorie intake and does little to reduce our thirst. This creates a cycle of signals and dehydration.
The easiest way to stay on top of it all and mitigate any confusing signals is to keep yourself hydrated. But don’t go too far and try water fasting – that is not a healthy weight loss option.
When should I drink for a workout?
Working out regularly means you probably need a lot more water than most since you sweat more. The best times to drink for a workout depends on how hard you’ll be going:
Hydrating this way will prevent any uncomfortable sloshing around in your belly or nausea mid-session.
After you’ve done all the hard work, make sure to drink as much as you like to put back in what you sweat out.
Does drinking water lower blood pressure?
There’s no evidence that drinking water can lower blood pressure. Having said that, there have been studies on how drinking water invigorates your fight or flight reactionary systems and can raise your blood pressure to reduce the chance of fainting and dizziness. That’s why you should sip water if you ever worry that you’re going to pass out or if you’re having trouble focusing. But remember, drinking water is not a treatment for low or high blood pressure – always do what your doctor tells you to.
There are times when drinking water can benefit your health, encourage weight loss and boost your functionality, but the best thing you can do is keep yourself hydrated at all times.