Drinking water immediately after waking up is a popular ritual in Japan.
The Japanese believe that drinking water first thing in the morning can help heal and manage epilepsy, bronchitis, asthma, diarrhea, vomiting, urine and kidney diseases, diabetes, menstrual disorders, meningitis, arthritis, headache, heart beating fast, eye diseases and help you manage a healthy weight. Not many people like to drink water first thing in the morning. Instead, most people prefer tea or coffee but it is recommended to drink water or at least eat fruits that contain water.
While you sleep, your body is filtering out all the toxins you’ve accumulated throughout the day. The little bit of water that’s left in your digestive tract by the time you get to bed isn’t enough to clear away all this waste. Drinking water as soon as you wake up will give your kidneys more to work with to help them eliminate all the toxins that are clogging your system.
Why Drink More Water
Drinking water is important for mental clarity and alertness. In fact, dehydration is a risk factor for delirium and dementia in the elderly and in the very ill (1). It’s also important for nearly every bodily function. In fact, in as little as 3-4 days, dehydration can become deadly.
“I have sort of a 100-hour rule,” says Claude Piantadosi of Duke University in North Carolina. “Depending on the temperature you are exposed to, you can go 100 hours without drinking at an average temperature outdoors. If it’s cooler, you can go a little longer. If you are exposed to direct sunlight, it’s less,” he added.
“Dehydration kills by bringing blood pressure down to fatal levels. The more energy you expend the more likely you are to lose water,” says Randall Packer, an expert from George Washington University. “You lose a little bit of water every time you exhale. You lose water when you sweat. You do make a little water when you metabolize food… but the balance is such that you always need some sort of water intake.”
What Is Morning Dehydration?
Dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. If you don’t replace lost fluids, you will get dehydrated.
Symptoms of dehydration include (3):
- Increased thirst
• Dry mouth and swollen tongue
• Palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding)
• Sluggishness fainting
• Inability to sweat
• Decreased urine output
Waking up in the morning and having bright yellow urine is a sign that your body needs more water. Actually, examining your urine throughout the day is an easy water to know whether or not you’re getting enough water (4).
A recent study found that not drinking enough water can actually impair driving as much as drinking alcohol can (5). This shows just how important water is for your state of mind and cognitive function. You wouldn’t start your day drunk, so why would you start dehydrated?
How To Drink Water In The Morning
It’s quite an easy habit to pick up, just leave a glass or cup on your bedside table and grab it as you leave your bedroom. It’ll be easy to remember to drink water if you’re walking around with an empty glass.
Here’s what experts are recommending:
- As soon as you wake up, drink 4 x 160 ml of water.
- Give your body 45 minutes to process the water before having your first meal.
- Always have a glass of water before eating a meal.
If you have trouble drinking this much water first thing in the morning, just start with one glass and slowly increase the amount of water you drink every day. Aim for 7-9 glasses of water daily, taking in a little more if you exercise or live in a warm region.
Just remember that the steps mentioned above are just guidelines. Whenever you get thirsty just drink a little water at a time until you no longer feel the need to drink. Like anything else, it’s more about listening to your body than following strict rules.