Water makes up about 60% of your weight, and every single system in your body depends on it to function properly. If you don’t drink enough, you could become dehydrated, which means that your body doesn’t have enough fluid in its systems to carry out normal functions.
You are constantly losing water through your urine, perspiration, breathing, and bowel movements. Because of this, you have to constantly replenish your body’s water supply to avoid dehydration. According to the Institute of Medicine, the adequate daily intake of water for men is about 3 liters or 13 cups of fluids. For women, it is roughly 2.2 liters or 9 cups of fluids.
Because of these recommendations, drinking eight 8 oz cups of water has become a trend. But did you know there are also times when your body needs water more than others? Here are some of the best times to drink your eight glasses of water throughout the day.
- Drink water first thing in the morning.
It is very important to hydrate yourself first thing in the morning, as this will help your body wake up and prepare for the day. Trying to start your day without giving your body a kick start is like trying to run a car on empty.
- Drink water before you eat.
Drinking before a meal will help prepare your stomach for food, as well as wake up your taste buds and moisturize the stomach lining to prevent brittle or acidic foods from being uncomfortable. Additionally, if you feel hungry between meals, try drinking water first. Sometimes you think you are hungry when you may really just be thirsty.
- Drink water before you work out.
In order to prevent heat stroke in warm weather and frostbite in cold weather, hydration is essential to maintaining healthy circulation. Depending on outside temperature, humidity, and your body’s fluid levels, you could need one or several glasses of water before a workout.
- Drink water after exercising.
In order to replace fluids that were lost by sweating during physical activity, you should always drink water after exercise sessions. However, be careful not to drink too much too fast, as this could cause stomach cramps.
- Drink water with medications.
Unless a medication specifically states not to, always drink a glass of water with them. Water helps your medications to dissolve and spread throughout your digestive organs in order to be rapidly absorbed. Additionally, if your medication has harsh side effects, water can help move the medication quickly through your system, which will lessen these effects.
- Drink water if you are exposed to illness.
When your body is well hydrated, this helps to flush out any viruses or bacteria before they are able to settle down and multiply in your system. If you find yourself around potentially contagious sick people at a hospital, or while you are at work or school, drinking more water than usual can help to wash away any germs or viruses that you may have picked up.
- Drink water when you are sick.
There’s a reason “drink plenty of fluids” is something your doctor always reminds you to do when you’re not feeling well. This can help boost your immune system and keep you hydrated if you are experiencing vomiting or diarrhea.
- Drink water when you are tired.
Instead of drinking coffee throughout the day to stay awake, try drinking a cold glass of water when you start to feel drowsy in the afternoons. Because of water’s ability to move quickly throughout the body, it is able to reach your brain and activate it almost instantly. Before a meeting or any other situation that requires your full attention, drink some water to make sure you are fully alert.