Are You Drinking Water When You Need It Most?
How do you feel about drinking water?
Naturally, you probably drink some water in the course of a day. Even if you don’t have a glass of clear water, you can find more limited sources of drinking water in beverages like tea and coffee, and in foods such as soups and stews.
Did you know that drinking water could be a lifesaver? Pure, clean drinking water does much to keep your body running smoothly and to guard your health.
Want to drink more water to benefit your health? Try these tips for identifying nine times that your body needs drinking water most.
1. Drink water when you first get up.
Imagine walking into a dark room and looking for something. Chances are you will stumble and maybe even fall unless you turn on the light.
Or consider starting your car in sub-zero temperatures and putting it into gear without waiting for the engine to warm up. Either situation can lead to problems or even disasters.
The same is true of the human body. Without water to “wake up and turn on” the body each day, you may be running on empty, especially if you skip breakfast altogether.
Have a glass of cool water right after you wake up in the morning to tell your body it’s time to get started. Like a gently flowing stream that pushes along debris and rocks, your circulatory system needs fluid to get rid of stubborn free radicals and residue from burned calories that were used during the night’s metabolism.
Refresh your system with a drink of water.
2. Drink water before each meal.
Drinking water before a meal helps you feel fuller, so you may be less likely to attack your meal like a starving person.
Water helps prepare the stomach for the food that will follow; waking up taste buds on the tongue and moisturizing the stomach lining so brittle or acidic foods won’t be uncomfortable.
Having a glass of water clears your mouth of dryness or leftover tastes from earlier dining, drinking, or smoking in anticipation of the food that is coming.
3. Drink water with a snack.
Between meals, if you feel hungry, try some fresh drinking water first to see if you are dehydrated. Sometimes people think they are hungry when they really are just thirsty.
If you shop at the grocery store or supermarket while dehydrated, chances are you are going to spend more to subconsciously fill that empty urge. Drinking water before a snack, or with one, will help you feel full faster and perhaps eat less, a habit that could benefit two-thirds of our nation that is considered overweight or obese.
4. Drink water before a workout.
Depending on the temperature, humidity, and your body’s fluid levels, you may need one or several glasses of water, each about eight ounces, to arm yourself against dehydration during an indoor or outdoor workout.
Whether you play for a sports team or simply jog for personal fitness, hydration is essential to help guard against heat stroke in warm weather and frostbite in cold temperatures, as your body’s circulation plays a protective role in both seasons.
5. Drink water after a workout.
Following your exercise session, drink up to replace fluids lost by sweating and physical labor.
Don’t drink too much too quickly, or you could induce stomach cramps. But make sure you drink enough so you don’t stay dehydrated.
6. Have water with your medication, if allowed.
If you are allowed to take water with your medication, do so. Water helps to dissolve the medication and spread it throughout your digestive organs for rapid absorption. Water prepares the tissues to receive the substance and put it to work right away.
Water also helps medicine work its way through your system and out the other end, which can be beneficial when you take harsh medications with side effects.
7. Drink more water to prevent illness following exposures.
If you are around sick people in the hospital or at work and school, drink a little more water than usual to wash away germs and viruses that your body may have picked up from exposure to these people.
A well-hydrated body helps to move along any invaders before they settle down and multiply in your system.
Drinking water each day before or after going out in public can help to prevent certain types of viruses, or lessen their severity.
8. Drink more water when you’re ill.
When you do become ill, drink plenty of fluids—the old-time recipe still works.
Most experts recommend drinking eight glasses of water each day (eight ounces per glass), in addition to other fluids like tea, juice, and soup.
People in the hospital often have an IV dripping water into their vein continuously so they can keep hydrated as well as maintain a line to your body if medications are needed.
9. Have a glass of water when you’re tired.
Feeling tired? Fatigued? Need a nap but can’t take one? Have a glass of water.
Because of its ability to move quickly throughout the body, water can reach your brain and activate it right before a meeting or other situation where you need to pay attention.
Cold water, especially, will wake up your body to keep you alert.
When to stop drinking water.
If you don’t like getting up at night to use the restroom, avoid fluids two hours before bedtime, and visit the restroom a couple of times before you go to bed.
You can keep a glass of drinking water close to your bed in case you wake up thirsty at night, but keep in mind you might have to get up and use the restroom before daybreak.