The recommended daily water intake from professionals is 6 – 8 glasses a day. Alongside your cups of coffee and tea throughout the day, this can feel like a lot of liquid to get through! Many people either struggle to consume this much fluid or forget to drink enough and end up feeling dehydrated. To try and make it a little more exciting and easier to get through this much water each day, why not try adding a little lemon, infuse your water with fruit, swap tea for water or put it in a bottle with markers so you can see how much you’re getting through.
It is equally as important to drink enough water, as it is to drink water at the correct times. Drinking at different times of day can have different effects on the body, and depending on when you’ve eaten it can have more or less of a positive effect. So, here’s the non-watered down truth about when you should be drinking water, and the effect it has on your body…
Drinking water first thing in the morning is a great way of energising your body ready for the day ahead. Water can stimulate your brain and kick start your metabolism before you’ve even sat down to breakfast. If you combine your first glass of water for the day with lemon, it can also help eliminate toxins and get your digestive system moving. It also tastes great and adds a little tang to your morning beverage. Just think, if you sleep for 6-8 hours every night, that’s 6-8 hours where your body is not getting any liquids! This is why it’s so important to quench your thirst and hydrate your body every morning before breakfast.
Ensure you have a glass of water just before your breakfast as this helps your body absorb more nutrients from your morning meal. Instead of reaching for a cup of tea, why not try a glass of water instead. Have one glass with breakfast, and then one glass whenever you start to feel hungry at work. This can stop you from reaching for an unhealthy morning snack. A lot of the time, the brain mistakes thirst for hunger, so always make sure you drink before you eat to identify what your body is really craving. Water can help kerb your appetite, so drink up!
Aim to drink a glass of water before you have your lunch. Again, drinking before you eat helps your body to separate food more effectively in your mouth and stomach, and therefore, helps your body digest food better. This also means your body will take in more of the nutrients from the food you choose to have for lunch, giving your body more of the good stuff! Sparkling water is a good choice for this time of day, as it aids digestion due to it being rich in sodium bicarbonate.
Drinking whilst eating is discouraged by some professionals due to the fact it can prevent your body from absorbing supplements from your food correctly. However, that is only when it is consumed in excess. One glass with lunch is adequate and should quench your thirst. By now, you should be starting to go with the flow of your new drinking water routine!
As your day at work progresses, your brain and mind can tire. Mid Afternoons are the point where most people begin to feel sleepy. Water is a natural energy drink, full of minerals that are essential to brain function. Think of it like a natural Lucozade without all the sugar! After your mid-afternoon glass, enzyme activity in your body will increase, and cholesterol production will lower. At this time of day, you may start to feel hungry in the run up to dinner. By drinking water, you’ll maintain the feeling of fullness from lunch.
One glass should be drunk prior to eating. If you eat a fibre heavy meal, water ensures it passes through your stomach with no problems. Thus, keeping you out of hot water with your intestines and keeping you regular! Water can also be beneficial to the body if you’re planning on having a bath or shower. Hot showers or baths can raise your blood pressure due to the rise in temperature! Drinking water prior to bathing etc. can help reduce this.
Heart disease and strokes are the last things you want. Fortunately, quenching your thirst before bed and hydrating yourself can help prevent both of these things. If this doesn’t motivate you to keep hydrated before you doze we don’t know what will…
Why don’t you try a bottle with markers to tell you how much you should have drunk by a certain time of the day. Drink down to the bottom, then refill at lunch time and drink to the bottom again. This will help you keep track of your drinking water habits and keep you hydrated!