The human body contains anywhere between 55-78% water depending on body weight and size. At birth, we are approximately 90% water, then we gradually drop to between 50-70% over time due to aging. Because all of our metabolic functions require water, it could be assumed that water is the key to life and living a long and healthy life. Simple enough.
Our level of overall hydration is contingent upon many factors, environmental and biological. Such environmental factors include humidity, dryness in your home, extreme cold or hot temperatures and circulated air on airplanes. Biological factors include fever, sweating, diarrhea, breastfeeding and crying. Eating a high fiber diet will require more water for proper digestion.
Water in the Morning for a Metabolic Boost?
Recently, we’ve heard that drinking 8-10 8oz glasses of water is the first step in creating not only a healthy body, but also creating a fat burning, nutrient delivering environment within our bodies. If you are someone concerned with optimal performance and feeling your best, this simple daily habit could be your key to taking your physiology to the next level. But, is the timing of water as important as how much we drink? This just might be the case! Drinking water in the morning and starting the hydration process upon waking helps to set the body up to perform its daily function properly and with less stress. Let’s explore some of the theories behind why this could be true. Read on as we’ll discuss how water helps in the keeping you lean by eating more frequently, and a special section on how to stay hydrated when you just plain don’t like water.
Water in the morning:
1. Will rehydrate your body after a 6-8 hour rest of no fluids. Especially in the winter, when our environment tends to be more dry, we require a period of re-hydration before we can reach optimal hydration. TIP: Use a humidifier if you live in an arid area and keep a glass of water by your bed. Even if you do not drink the water through the night, you’ll have it there to drink in the morning.
2. Will start the digestive process before you have breakfast. Why not get ahead of the curve and lube up your digestive system in preparation for a high fiber, high protein breakfast? Your body will be more likely to deliver the nutrients from your breakfast in a well hydrated machine AND you will stay more satiated by your breakfast. Some people find that they are able to make less calorically dense choices for breakfast after being well hydrated. TIP: Make your breakfast as you normally would, but fill a 10-12oz glass of water to sip while making. When the water is gone, it’s time to eat.
3. Will kick your morning metabolism into high gear. All metabolic functions require water as a catalyst. Starting your day with a glass of H2O will set your body up to react and be energized. Think of water as your internal ‘cold shower’ in the morning for invigoration. Cold water has been shown to further speed up your fat burning system, by requiring energy to raise the water to a temperature that your body can digest. Many of us tend to take our vitamins in the morning. Water soluble vitamins need water to work properly. TIP: For every vitamin you take in the morning, take with 6oz water. Your kidney and liver will thank you, and you’ll get more leverage out of your expensive vitamins!
4. Will jumpstart the elimination process. If you are less than regular in the morning, try this simple cleansing trick, even before you have had your coffee. Constipation is usually caused by lack of hydration, and there’s no better time than after a night’s sleep to chug-a-lug. I like to think of this as a roto-rooter type scenario. The excretory system should be at its prime in the a.m. Why not get enough water in the pipes to fuel the push and to ensure that your elimination process is complete? TIP: Water before coffee!!! Big glass. Try it, you’ll be very impressed.
5. Will get you on the right path for a long day ahead. If you’re like me, and you don’t even have time for food, never mind water for a couple hours after starting your day, drinking water in the morning will fuel your tank during the long hours ahead. TIP: Always take water with you on the road, but try to consume 1/3 of your water for the day before leaving for your travels.
And the proof:
A Clinical Research Center in Berlin found that after you drink 17 ounces of water – Your fat-burning metabolism increases by 30% within 10 minutes of drinking water.
These findings are very impressive, as it shows how we can get the kick starting early and keep it going throughout the day!
Water When Eating More Frequently: Let’s look at the normal 3-meal a day program with little water before and after the meal, and no water during the meal. What is the catalyst to get the food delivered to the rest of your body for energy in this scenario? This scenario will also tend to strip the body of any energy by creating a sluggish internal environment.
Now, let’s look at the converse scenario. 5 meals per day, in a well hydrated body, while sipping water during the meal. Food in, more frequently, keeping the body on its toes and energized. Food in, water in, food delivered, food used, excess food excreted.
5 Tips for Not Liking Water
1. Add low sugar flavor to your water: Mix 1/4 cup of juice in large 20oz glass of water. Or, squeeze lemon and an 1/8tsp stevia extract in your glass. Stevia is sold in packets now, so it’s easy to keep a few in your pocket or purse.
2. Ask for decaf version of your favorite beverage in the afternoon: Are you an ice tea/hot tea or ice coffee/hot coffee drinker during the day? You can get your caffeine kick plus some added hydration if you go 1/2 and 1/2 on your beverages.
3. Low sodium club soda is a great hydrating tool: As an afternoon treat, post lunch digestive tool, or an evening substitute to your glass of wine, try mixing low sodium club soda with a splash of 100% juice such as pomegranate, white grape or grapefruit. Satisfying and hydrating.
4. Plan 4 hour intervals in your day to just drink water: You’ve already determined that you don’t like water, FINE. But, that doesn’t mean you should use it as the be-all-end-all excuse. Drink every 4 hours. Don’t concern yourself with it all day, but make it an every 4-hour priority.
5. Drink MORE when exercising: If you’re like many others and you tend to drink most of your daily water when exercising, then try to drink MORE when doing so. You just may double your daily intake during this time period!