How to maximize health benefits of drinking water early morning
March 2, 2016
Most of us already know, and agree, that there are numerous health benefits of drinking water after waking up early morning. There are different point of views on whether drinking water early morning without brushing is better than after brushing, but to me, that’s besides the point. Water is the simplest form of any liquid or food that we ingest. Our body is composed of 60% of water. We can survive on water, without food, for 3-4 weeks. Without water, we would perish due to dehydration within 3 days. Most of the natural fruits and vegetables, especially those with high fiber content, contain water. Besides quenching our thirst, water as has been used as therapy for many other reasons, like calming down when we are angry, controlling anxiety, getting over a panic attack, losing weight, overcoming indigestion and constipation, finding relief from headaches and heart aches (aka heart diseases) and treating liver and kidney diseases. Infact, there are studies that show that drinking water on empty stomach can lower the risk of colorectal and bladder cancers.
But then, how much water should we drink in the morning? Some say two glasses, others say four. Japanese claim you can cure zillion of diseases by taking 4 x 160 ml glasses (about 640 ml) of drinking water on after waking up early morning. Some websites even recommend gulping down a liter of water early morning. I suggest taking as much water as one can tolerate and divide it throughout the day.
You have to be careful of water intoxication. Yes, really, you can drown in your own fluids if you are over-hydrated. And your stomach also has a limited capacity to expand in one point in time. Naturally, if you fill it too much, your stomach will hurt and you might even vomit. Listening to your body is the best thing to do. Drink slowly and as much as you can. There is no doubt that there are many benefits of drinking water after waking up, but it doesn’t mean you drink all of it – the recommended 8-10 glasses a day – in one sitting.
Why Drinking Water On Empty Stomach Is Important?
When you wake up after a long sleep, your body is naturally dehydrated. No matter how much water you drink the day before, you have used up all your stores. The body never stops working while you sleep. The heart continues pumping blood, we continue breathing and all metabolic activities continue functioning, even if it’s at a slower rate. The benefits of drinking water after waking up include rehydration, boosting metabolism, giving a push to your kidneys telling them to start the day on a refreshing note. You’re actually getting your body set to begin the day. Compare this to the norm of drinking a 16 oz. cup of coffee (loaded with sugar and caffeine) which can further dehydrate your already thirsty body.
Immediate, major noticeable benefits of drinking water after waking up include:
Water is an inexpensive (or free), widely available, caffeine free and naturally low in sodium liquid ready for ingestion any time of the day. Rather than filling up on carbonated drinks, full of nutrient deficient, empty calories and or caffeinated beverages all day, making water preferable as a primary source of hydration is the best choice a person can make. Dehydration isn’t as uncommon as people might think and it comes in many forms. Dehydration doesn’t necessarily mean you’re feeling lightheaded and thirsty. Dehydration simply means the body isn’t getting the water it needs to run to its fullest.
We’re constantly losing water through urine, stool, tears, breath and sweat. Even when we are not sweating, there is some evaporation of water through our skin. We need to continue replenishing the water content of our body by sipping small amounts all day.
Most health professionals recommend taking 8 glasses of 8 oz water all day. This is called 8×8 rule. This equals to about 2 liters of pure water, no caffeine, no sugars, no cream.
2. Heartburn and Indigestion:
This is very simple. Heart burn and indigestion is mostly a result of increased acidity in the stomach that refluxes into the esophagus. The cause is mostly over eating, eating fast, eating spicy and oily food. Those who suffer from GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) are asked to sleep with their head elevated to ease the discomfort of heart burn. Drinking water early morning without brushing will push down and dilute any of the acid in the empty stomach that is waiting to cause discomfort. It will also fill up the stomach to give it a head start, so as to churn any food that is ready to come in. It is recommended to start your day with a glass of water and a heavy breakfast to keep you feeling full, fresh and active all day long.
3. Regulate Bowel Activity:
The main cause of constipation is dehydration. Increasing water intake can help with constipation, which is a very common problem. Benefits of drinking water after waking up will not only cure dehydration but will add fluid to the colon and bulk to stools, making bowel movements softer and easier to pass. This is a great way to stimulate bowel movement. Your body depends on rhythmic contractions that occur in your colon to help move food along. These contractions depend on gastrocolic reflex, which is when you fill your stomach with food or drink, your body senses a new arrival and sends signals to your intestines to evacuate, increasing the likelihood of a bowel movement. To achieve this, water is a good calorie free choice.
4. Glowing Skin And Shiny Hair
It has been found that adequate hydration has a profound effect on healthy skin and hair. Without water, skin would appear dull with prominent pores and wrinkles. A variety of skin structures, that support collagen build up responsible for skin elasticity, require water to work effectively. One study shows that every 500 ml (2cups) of water taken in increases blood flow to the skin, making it look radiant. Another study summarizes that drinking more than 2 L of water per day can have a significant impact on skin physiology. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-2494.2007.00366.x/abstract
Water also increases the metabolic rate and promotes the digestive system to flush out toxins from the body. This in turn also gives you a healthy and glowing skin.
Just like our skin, hair also needs lubrication from inside out. Dehydration has a direct impact on the growth of hair. Lack of moisture results in dry and brittle hair and water is a natural miracle ingredient that supports vitamin consumption and assists in efficient and healthy hair growth. Water makes almost ¼ of the weight of a hair strand, thus, drinking 8-10 glasses of water every day will give you gleaming and healthy tresses. Our hair thrives on moisture-rich environment and water is one of the best ways to quench its thirst.
5. Prevents Gall Stones, Kidney Stones and Bladder Infections:
Adequate water intake is known for preventing stones in gall bladder and kidneys, basically because of diluting effect. However it is essential to maintain balance between water intake and water output. Naturally we cannot count how much water is lost when we sweat, especially after a work out or some strenuous activity, so we tend to keep drinking to rehydrate. Normally, a healthy kidney has the capacity to excrete 800 ml to 1 liter of water every hour. Every 3-4 liters of fluid ingested, including water in food and other beverages will produce 2.5-3 liters of urine. So it is not recommended to take in more than 1 liter (4-6 glasses) of water in one hour as it will put load on the kidney.
Also it is advisable to eat water rich foods like grapes, berries, melons, citrus fruits, and tomatoes etc that add to the water content in your body and limit salt intake as it tends to retain water and your urine output may not be as much as you are drinking. The more urine you pass, the better it is for kidneys and bladder infections.
6. Water As A Superb Detox:
Another benefit of drinking water after waking up is that you provide your body with a good supply of fluid to flush out the toxic waste products of metabolism that occurred throughout the night. This cleansing process gets rid of harmful substances that could have disrupted the normal functioning of the body. Water removes toxins and waste products from the body thereby cleansing it. Water is required to process all the nutrients from the food we eat and carry the assimilated nutrients to the cells.
7. Crucial For Weight loss:
Drinking water is a crucial tactic when it comes to weight loss. But drinking water after waking up is the most optimal way to do it. Firstly, it purifies the colon and it improves the stomach’s chances to absorb nutrients properly. A better digestive system automatically takes care of a lot of other things. Then it kick starts your metabolism & has been proven to increase your calorie burning potential throughout the day. Not only that, but water actually fills you up & curbs your appetite, allowing you to make smarter choices for your breakfast. According to two studies, drinking 500 ml (17 oz) of water can temporarily boost metabolism by 24-30%. It is better to drink cold water to increase energy expenditure, as body will use energy (calories) to bring the water to body temperature. Researchers also estimate drinking 2 liters (68 ounces) in one day can increase energy expenditure by about 96 calories per day. Drinking water half an hour before meals can also reduce the amount of calories people end up consuming, especially in older individuals. One study showed that dieters who drank 500 ml of water before meals lost 44% more weight over a period of 12 weeks, compared to those who didn’t. Overall, it seems that drinking adequate water (especially before meals) may have a significant weight loss, especially when combined with a healthy diet.
We tend to complicate things when it comes to taking care of our health. A few simple steps can go a long way in taking care of ourselves. One easy way is by drinking sufficient water on empty stomach first thing in the morning. Not only will it clear the stomach, it will go a long way in reducing the risk of a number of diseases. The truth is water is not only a miracle cure but is also a very vital part to a person’s well being. Simply put, taking care of your body and keeping it hydrated and active, can work wonders for your health.