When Is Drinking Water Important?

A glass of water.

Everyone knows the importance of drinking water, which is a habitual activity. But to have a healthy body, when to drink water is the key. (Image: Michael-T via Pixabay)

Everyone knows the importance of drinking water, which is a habitual activity. But to have a healthy body, when to drink water is the key. Although it is a seemingly simple thing, many people are unaware and so everyone needs to know the truth about drinking water. Here are several recommendations about drinking water.

Do I need to drink 8 glasses of water a day?

There are some suggestions that one should drink 8 glasses of water every day. Some people don’t like drinking water at all, but they worry about dehydration. How much water is appropriate?

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The daily drinking volume of an adult is between 1,500 and 1,700 ml. So it is not a simple generalization of 8 glasses of water. Moreover, the amount of water a person drinks per day is also related to factors such as age, season, amount of exercise, and health status.

The easiest way to judge if a person has had enough water is to look at the color of one’s urine. If the color is light yellow, it means that your body is hydrated and has enough water. If the color is dark and the smell is strong, it means that you need to drink more water.

Drinking water promotes the body's self-healing (Image: Aqua Mechanical via Flickr / CC BY 2.0 )
There are some suggestions that one should drink 8 glasses of water every day. (Image: Aqua Mechanical via Flickr)

Can I have repeatedly boiled water?

Reboiling tap water does concentrate minerals and other chemicals in the water. So if your source water is high in nitrates, arsenic, or other undesirable chemicals, avoid reboiling it. The EPA, under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), has set the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) for nitrite at 1.0 mg/L. The amount of nitrite in tap water that is repeatedly boiled may be above this amount.

Similarly, if your water is high in calcium and you have health conditions affected by the mineral, it’s better to avoid reboiling water. It might even be worth switching to distilled or reverse osmosis purified water. Reboiling pure water does not change its chemical composition at all.

Does drinking water while eating cause indigestion?

A common mistake that people make is gulping down water during and immediately after eating. Since we absorb water best when our stomachs are not full of food, drinking heavy amounts of water during or directly after a meal dilutes the natural juices that aid in digestion. It is recommended to drink one glass of water 30 minutes before a meal — but no more. This will allow your digestive system to do its thing without any wet and wild distractions and will help your body to absorb the nutrients more efficiently.

Eating a meal.
A common mistake that people make is gulping down water during and immediately after eating. (Image: via Pixabay)

When to drink?

Science shows that drinking water at the correct times of day can help to prevent common problems such as stomach pain, IBS, bloating, fatigue, overeating, high blood pressure, constipation, and even heart attack and stroke.

In the morning

Your first glass of water should be right when you wake up. Drinking water on an empty stomach in the morning can do wonders for our bodies, both internally and externally. In fact, drinking two semi-warm glasses of water first thing in the morning is an ancient Chinese ritual.

Before a meal

Drink a glass of water about 30 minutes before the main meal of the day; it will help with digestion and keep your caloric intake in check. Not only does the water prepare your intestines for the food coming down the pike, but it also prevents you from over-eating, since the water lines your stomach and makes you feel fuller faster.

Before and while exercising

When we sweat, we lose both water and electrolytes, so it’s important to drink at least eight ounces of water beforehand to preemptively replace the fluids lost through sweat and humidity during exercise.  Also, keep yourself hydrated while exercising, but avoid drinking too much. Excess water consumption during your workout will reduce sodium concentration in your body and deplete your natural electrolytes, resulting in fatigue or worse. 

Before bed

If you are hydrated before going to bed and sleeping, you may lower the risk of a heart attack and stroke, as dehydration elevates the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. In fact, according to a study in the European Journal of Nutrition, even mild dehydration can impair vascular function almost as much as smoking a cigarette. 

When you are tired

Drinking a glass of water when you feel tired will help to power up your brain. Since your brain consists of 75 percent water, drinking a glass or two when you’re feeling sleepy will help to replenish vital fluid levels and increase cognitive functioning. Drink a glass of water if you’re feeling tired at work or if you have a big presentation coming up and need to focus. If you have a hankering for a nap but unfortunately can’t take one, drink a glass of cool water instead.

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