When Is The Best Time To Drink Water?

Best Time to Drink Water

The Importance of Water

Drinking water is paramount to our survival. The human adult body is comprised of up to 60% water.

In fact water provides a multitude of essential functions within the body including:

  • Allowing the body’s cells to grow, reproduce and survive
  • The regulation of internal body temperature through processes such as respiration and sweating
  • Transportation and metabolization of carbohydrates and protein food sources in the bloodstream
  • Flushing waste out of the body, primarily through urination
  • Formation of saliva
  • Lubrication of joints throughout the body
  • Acts as a shock absorber for vital parts of the body, including the brain, the spinal cord and in pregnant females the fetus.

When is the Best Time to Drink Water?

A daily water intake of 2.7 litres for women and 3.7 litres for men meets the needs of the vast majority of people [1]. So, when is the best time to drink water?

  1. Drink Water Upon Awakening

The average human being gets 7-8 hours sleep and by the time morning comes, it is likely that you will be dehydrated. In Japan, Water Therapy which is the practice of drinking a large amount of water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is considered to reap many health benefits.

  1. Drink Water Before Each Meal

Here’s a useful tip for weight loss, water contains no calories and drinking it before a meal will help you feel fuller. Water also helps the stomach to prepare for food, moisturizing the stomach lining meaning that heavy and acidic foods will pass through more comfortably. Drinking water or any liquid for that matter dilutes your digestive juices making them less effective, so try and aim to drink water at least half an hour before a meal.

  1. Feeling Hungry? Drink Water!

Feeling hungry is often confused with feeling thirsty. If you feel hungry between meals, try drinking a glass of water to check if dehydration is the underlying issue.

  1. Hydrate Before, During and After a Workout

Drinking water before exercise is highly recommended as it is likely you will become dehydrated during your workout without water. With dehydration comes muscle fatigue which will hinder your workout meaning you won’t be able to run those extra metres or lift that extra bit of weight.

The American Council on Exercise [2] have published the following basic water intake guidelines for people performing moderate to high intensity exercise:

  • Drink 17 to 20 ounces of water 2 to 3 hours before you start exercising
  • Drink 8 ounces of water 20 to 30 minutes before you start exercising or during your warm up
  • Drink 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise
  • Drink 8 ounces of water no more than 30 minutes after you exercise
  1. Before Bed

Finally drinking a glass of water before bedtime will help to replenish any fluid loss that may occur during the night whilst you sleep. Drinking lots of water before bedtime is not recommended as this can result in disrupted sleep as you may have to urinate frequently throughout the night.

 

References

[1] https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article-abstract/63/suppl_1/S30/1927756/Human-Water-Needs

[2] https://www.acefitness.org/acefit/healthy_living_fit_facts_content.aspx?itemid=173