Water is undoubtedly the most important component of the human body (about 60% of your body is water) and your diet. Your body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate temperature and maintain other bodily functions.
Your body loses water throughout the day due to essential body functions such as breathing, sweating, and urinating. Thus, it is important to replenish water levels in your body by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water.
Otherwise, loss of water from the body (dehydration) can cause headaches, lethargy, and constipation. If left untreated, it can lead to serious consequences such as low blood volume, seizures, and kidney problems.
How much water you need to drink in a day varies from person to person and depends on several factors such as your health, diet, activity levels, your location and temperature, and whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Many health experts suggest that you should drink at least 2 litres of water in a day. Remember to drink when you are thirsty and drink frequently throughout the day.
Further, increase your water consumption during high heat conditions and exercise, as your body loses more water in such situations.
Apart from how much water you should drink, when you drink water also has an effect on your body. Read on to find out about the best times in a day to drink water, and why.
What Are The Best Times To Drink Water?
1. When you wake up in the morning: Your body is dehydrated when you wake up, as there has been no water intake for 7 to 9 hours while you were sleeping.
Drinking water as soon as you wake up replenishes the water content in your body.
It also helps you move out of a drowsy state, activate your digestive system, and flush out harmful toxins.
2. Before you eat: If you are trying to lose weight, drinking a glass of water before eating a meal is a good strategy. It helps you feel full and also prevents you from overeating during the meal.
3. Before and after a workout: It is important to drink water before you start exercising. It helps in preventing dehydration during your workout.
Further, when you work out, you sweat and as a result, lose water and electrolytes (essential minerals such as sodium, calcium, and potassium, which are vital for normal functioning) from your body. It is essential to hydrate yourself after exercising and replenish the lost fluids and electrolytes.
Excessive fluid loss during your workout can harm physical performance and cause electrolyte imbalance.
How much water you need to drink after exercising depends on several factors, including your weight, health, and climatic conditions.
It is also a good idea to keep sipping on water while you work out, to keep yourself hydrated.
4. Before bedtime: Drinking a lot of water before bedtime is not advisable, as it may lead to the urge to pee and thus a disturbed sleep. However, it is ok to drink a glass of water an hour before you are going to bed, as it could help prevent dehydration in the morning.
Severe dehydration is also a risk factor for cardiovascular (relating to the heart and blood vessels) diseases such as heart attack and stroke (brain damage due to interruption of blood supply). So, drink water before bedtime to avoid these risks.
5. When you are tired: Weariness (extreme tiredness) or fatigue is a symptom of dehydration in your body.
Even a minor loss of water from your body can bring down your energy levels considerably. Thus, the next time you feel tired, drink water and note the difference in how you feel!
6. Before a bath: Many studies suggest that drinking a glass of water before taking a bath helps lower your blood pressure and regulate your body temperature.
Consistency is the key to developing a healthy habit of drinking water. Make conscious efforts to drink enough water each day, and regularly throughout the day.
Consult your doctor if you think you are dehydrated or notice any worrying symptoms.
1. Water For Health. 2021. The 6 Best Times to Drink Water and When Not To. [online] Available at: <https://www.water-for-health.co.uk/our-blog/2019/12/the-6-best-times-to-drink-water-and-when-not-to/> [Accessed 11 May 2021].
2. MedClique. 2021. 8 Best times to drink water to stay healthy - MedClique. [online] Available at: <https://www.medclique.org/nutrition-foods/drink-water-body-function-properly/> [Accessed 11 May 2021].
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