I wanted to do a post about some little-known facts about when and how to drink water for optimal beauty and health benefits because there’s a lot of misinformation circulating out there. Everyone probably understands by now that drinking water is one of the best (and easiest) things to do for your health and beauty, but there are definitely ways to do it for reaping the most possible benefits.
The WHEN to drink water:
>Drinking with your meal:
We are so accustomed to having a big drink with our meals that even in restaurants the very first thing we are asked upon being seated is our drink order. And usually big giant glasses of water are either already on the table or on their way. But that glass of water can wreak havoc on your digestive health, which in turn affects all kinds of issues. Drinking with your meal can dilute the gastric juices necessary for digesting your food, and make it much harder for the body to do what it needs to do. If you are improperly digesting your food, you can feel bloating, produce gas and experience gas pains, and the body is inevitably going to use up more energy than necessary to do its job- depleting your energy resources for the rest of your day. If you’re trying to lose weight, digesting poorly is counterproductive. Smooth digestion is very tightly tied to weight loss. Good digestive health is crucial for a number of things, and since it’s so easy to ensure, there’s no reason not to incorporate these practices.
I consciously stop drinking about 45 mins-1 hour before a meal and I wait one full hour after a meal to drink. It’s a habit that takes a little time to form, but once you are aware of it, you will start to notice how much better you feel after a meal. Obviously, if you need to sip a little water to get something down or you just feel you want to drink a bit with your meal you can, just be aware of how much. I typically allow myself up to around 4 ounces of water during my meal. A lot of times we drink just because it’s around, like in a restaurant. So as soon as we become conscious of this not being a great idea, we can turn that around, and improve our health so easily.
- Debunking myth #1:
Time and time again I have read in fashion and even fitness magazines the advice to “drink a full glass of water before every meal to fill you up and it will make you eat less.” I cannot believe this is a serious piece of advice for weight loss. It completely contradicts the facts above about diluting gastric juices and slowing digestion. And most importantly, our aim should always be to do what’s best for our bodies and not just think strictly in terms of “how can I lose weight” without considering the physical repercussions and treating our body poorly.
> Drinking in the morning:
Drinking water in the morning is a great time of day to get your body hydrated and set up your digestion for the rest of the day. I wrote extensively about drinking hot water with lemon in my post “What to put in that cup first thing in the morning”, but also drinking room temperature water right when you get up is excellent for your health. During the night, we lose a lot of water, as our bodies are working and we are inhaling and exhaling for eight hours. Replenishing our bodies first thing in the morning with good, filtered water is just the thing we need. You can even feel it filling up every cell of your body and kickstarting all your systems for the day ahead. Coffee on the other hand, in addition to its acidic properties, dehydrates the body.
The TEMPERATURE of your water:
The body processes room temperature, warm, and hot water best. The digestive system is hot inside the body, and therefore will always work better with water at these temperatures vs. ice water. Unfortunately, ice water is usually what is given to us at restaurants, and often times bottled water is stored in refrigerators in convenient stores. Sometimes while out, it may take an extra effort to get your hands on water at room temperature, but it’s worth it for your body. Usually stores keep the rest of their bottled water outside of the fridge and it’s not a big deal to request anyways.
- Debunking myth #2:
Another piece of “advice” I see often in magazines is the suggestion to drink ice water because it “helps you lose weight by forcing the body to work harder to process it.” This sentence makes me shudder when I think about all the girls running to drink freezing water, putting a strain on their bodies and digestive system, in the hopes of losing weight. We should never sacrifice the health of our bodies to lose weight. And if the body is losing weight because it was stressed, it will probably upset other systems in the body, and most likely not keep the weight off anyways.
Good digestive health is the key to everything. Learning new tools to enhance your digestion will deliver so many health and beauty effects from the inside out! Don’t take my word for it, try it out yourself!
second photo of water: commons wikimedia, Jacopo Werther, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic