Water: when to drink it and how much
It’s simple right? We’ve all been told at some point to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. But why are we told that? Yes, water is essential to life but the general consensus of your recommended 6-8 glasses of water a day is in fact, not founded on any research. This benchmark actually originates from the US Food & Nutrition Board in 1945 and doesn’t include other sources of water such as fruits and vegetables (source: www.mcgill.ca). In a detailed article by Dr Christopher Labos (the link to his article on the McGill website is liked below), he states that we will inevitably consume around 2L of water without seeking it out via our food and other drink such as coffee, plus drinking excess water won’t actually do anything for our bodies. So, bottom line? Drink when you’re thirsty and don’t obsess over the 6-8 glasses a day recommendation.
I recently came across a few articles online suggesting the time you drink water can have beneficial effects:
Drinking a glass of room temperature water as soon as you wake up will kick start your body and brain from sleep mode to awake mode - it’ll start your body’s internal mechanisms. If you can wait 30-40 mins before eating after your glass of water then that’s even better.
According to Ayurveda practices you should always drink water slowly whilst sitting down. By drinking standing up and drinking you tend to drink at a faster pace and put tension on your nerves which activates your fight or flight system. Dr Dhanvantree (Ayurvedic expert) suggests that drinking water at speed can lead to arthritis and joint damage, however, there haven’t been any studies on this (www.food.ndtv.com).
BEFORE A MEAL:
Drinking water 30-40 mins before a meal will actually help aid digestion; water moisturizes the stomach lining so brittle or acidic foods won’t be uncomfortable (source: www.everydayhealth.com). Although it can be difficult it’s best not to drink during a meal as this can dilute stomach acids that help with digestion. Drink water about an hour after a meal.
BEFORE A BATH OR SHOWER:
Warm baths and showers feel fantastic but the heat causes blood pressure to rise, which can be harmful for certain people. By drinking a glass of water prior will help to regulate body temperature and blood pressure.
By being hydrated at bed time you can reduce your risk of stroke and heart attack in the morning. Most heart attacks occur in the morning because the blood is thicker due to dehydration.