How to Drink Water & Benefits of Drinking Water

woman holding drinking water bottle

There are a ton of reasons why you should be drinking water. But I’m not going to go into the most common reasons listed on the web. Needless to say, your body needs it. But if you’re like me, you forget to breathe every so often let alone remember to drink water. A few reasons that I know to be true about drinking water are:

How Much Water Should I Drink?

Unlike popular belief of drowning yourself in water, only drink water when you feel thirsty. If you have a problem remembering to drink water, then set an alarm to drink a glass of water every hour. At a minimum, drink about 6 glasses of water a day.

What is the Right Time to Drink Water?

Drink water any time between your meals. But make sure you leave about 30 minutes before and after a meal to allow your digestive fire (metabolism) to be at its highest and hottest to digest your food. Outside of those timings, you can drink water from the time you wake up, until 1 hour before you go to bed.

What are the Benefits of Drinking Water?

Well, there are a ton of benefits of drinking water, but lets focus on the 5 that matter the most.

1. Hydration!

Plain and simple, hydration! You want to constantly keep your body hydrated so that it can focus its energy on other tasks within your body. Instead, it is probably working to save the diminishing water reserve currently in your body. Its focus is on working hard to send signals to your brain to tell you to stop what you are doing and drink water.  Over half of our bodies are made up of water, and about 90% of your blood plasma is water. Constantly supplying your body with the water it needs to keep things chugging along is one of the simplest ways to help and honor your body.

2. Reducing Anger with Water

Growing up whenever I was in angry/tense/upset state, my mom would always bring over a glass of water for me to drink before talking to me about my emotional state. The simply reason behind as documented by Webmd, this is that with negative emotions, you raise the fight or flight response in your body causing your autonomic nervous system to kick in. When this happens, your body/muscles tense up. Without doing any immediate thing for your body, drinking that glass of water would drop my emotional charge by at least 10 percent, relaxing my muscles along with it too.  It causes a sense of comfort that you need in that moment.I’m not a doctor, but this is my experience. If water can do that in a few minutes, it can definitely do more if you are drinking it in the right amounts, daily and forever more. Amen.  

3. Lubricating and Moisturizing Your Body

Constipated much? Water is great for not only lubricating (eww) your digestive tract. It also allows your body to relax enough to aid in flushing out your system. Have you ever noticed that if you get enough sleep and drink enough real fluids, that you can “go” regularly? No? Well, try to do that and monitor how your digestion reacts. A good amount of sleep is required for every bodily function. Can’t sleep? Check out this article on how to get you to sleep faster and stay asleep so your body can go into repair mode. Anxiety and stress can cause you not to sleep or process water well too. Click here to see how you can reduce anxiety or stress in your life. Couple the reduction of anxiety and stress, and the addition of the right amount of water and… bam!

4. You GET to Drink Water

If you need one reason above all else, remember that if you are able to read this article, I’m fairly sure you have access to clean drinking water. Remember that is a privilege you have versus the millions of children, and adults, around the world that don’t. They either have to walk miles to get to a water well, or go for days and weeks without water. Some die without able to get a sip of water. As gut wrenching at that is, we are so privileged to have the ability to give my body the basic necessity it needs. So basically none of us reading this have any excuse not to do it.

5. Detox Your Body

Water is a natural toxin flush. And if there is one thing I’ve learnt in the last decade is that toxins are everywhere. In your food, in your homes, at your jobs, with the people you surround yourself with… everywhere! Water is the key player in flushing out toxins not only in your gut, but also in every part of your body. Down to your cells, through your blood. Your blood plasma is about 90% water and is the sole transportation vehicle of oxygen to all parts of you. Wouldn’t you want your blood to be highly oxygenated and fully able to make those trips?

How to Drink Water If I Do Not Like It?

This is where you can play around with the types of water you drink. You may not like to just drink water, but if you have different flavorings or options about how you drink it, that could help push you to drink more.

Whatever you do, never ever add drink cold water. That’s right – no more ice! There is a whole healthcare system that explains what cold water does to your body. And while dipping your face or body in cold water has some health benefits, it does not work the same when you ingest cold water. There are a lot of new studies that reference different types of waters you can be drinking to aid your health too. But we are going to focus on a few types of what that are easily accessible from wherever you may be.

1. Warm Water

I listed this first because I am a big believer in warm/hot water. More studies show that warm water is better for your digestion, your sinuses, your teeth (!), and your emotional/mental state.  Warm water stimulates blood flow and helps your digestive system do its thing. The same reason people will do a Vicks-steam inhalation is the same reason to drink warm/hot water. It breaks down the mucus particles faster and lets them drain with ease.

Drinking hot water has a calming effect on the body and the mind. The feeling of a cozy blanket, a hot water bottle, drinking hot teas, rolling around in bed sheets that come out the dryer. All of those have the same comforting feeling. What do you mean you don’t roll around in your sheets? 🙂

Essentially, they all have a similar effect. Only, hot water does much more when ingested. Being of Indian descent, I start my day with a glass of warm water. My mom starts off her day by drinking hot water! She claims (and I believe) it makes the body and mind deal better with the newly dawned day.

While cold water constricts, warm water relaxes. Think about that next time you you have indigestion or constipation. The easiest way to get anything out, is to lubricate it and help it soften to move out.

2. Lemon Water

Lemon is a great source of vitamin C. And while a lot of eastern medicine has claims of lemon water alkalizing the acids in your system for better digestion – the jury is still out here in the western world. Regardless, what is the harm of drinking lemon water at the start of your day? Half a squeeze of a lemon in an eight once glass of warm or hot water, is a great way to jump start your day.

Not only are you boosting your body with a dose of Vitamin C, you are giving it the much needed hydration after many hours of sleep. And instead of reaching for the coffee or tea first, reach out for that lemon.

Note: Make sure to use a straw when drinking lemon water since the acidity in the lemon (while possibly alkalizing to the gut) is acidic and can erode the calcium in your teeth.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar Water

ACV water has many claims similar to the lemon water above. While it may be a good source of antioxidants, vitamins, and gut healthy bacteria, looking at ACV water as the be-all, end-all to your water problems, is not the answer. With everything in life, balance. Switch up your water intake with lemon, cucumber or fruit.

4. Fruit Water

If you need a final “out” to drinking water, add some fruit. While I am not too eager to add an orange or strawberry to my water, I have read countless articles about the many benefits of fruit-infused water. My personal opinion is that fruit water tastes like it was going to become fruit juice but then it didn’t. It’s the juice that never was.

But hey, if that will get you to drink some water then, add that fruit! However, remember that your fruit water will contain sugar from the fruit and so make sure you are not ingesting more than your daily recommended intake of sugar in just fruit water.

And another reason I don’t add fruit in my water, is because the sugar content gives me migraines. If you get migraines, take a look at this article on how sugar may be causing your migraines. In this case, stay clear of adding any fruit to your water.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, your body speaks to you when it is thirsty. That is a sign that you’ve waited too long. Hydrate enough to never get to that point (if you can, and are able to), and help your body heal and stay healthy.

How much water do you drink in a day?

Note: Always consult your doctor when starting any health based regimen.

Featured photo courtesy of unsplash.com

Article last updated on September 13th, 2021

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