WHEN TO DRINK WATER?
It is common knowledge that drinking 2-3 litres of water a day is essential to keep the body functions up. But there is a lot of confusion about when and how to drink the water.
AFTER WAKING UP
I have to admit that I am a total coffee addict and my mood drops dangerously if I have to drink water or tea first thing I get up. But health wise it is much better if you kick start your day with a glass of water in order to remove any toxins from your body before having your first meal. I suggest you drink the water warm and with a squeeze of lemon. This will help with constipation and boost your immune system right away. I am often asked if lemon water helps with weight loss. Well, it definitely will make you feel more full and undoubtedly has fewer calories than orange juice. But other than that, there is no proven evidence.
BEFORE A MEAL
Most experts agree that drinking two glasses of water 30 minutes before a meal helps with digestion. It may also lead to weight loss according to researchers from the University of Birmingham in the U.K. They split a group of overweight people in half randomly and asked half of the participants to drink water before a meal whereas the others weren’t supposed to drink water before eating. After 2 weeks, the water-before-meals group lost an average of 2.87 pounds more than the one who didn’t drink water. The reason for the extra weight loss is that water curbs your appetite by making you feel fuller.
DURING A MEAL
There has been concern that drinking water with meals inhibits the production of stomach acid and slows down digestion. I have read a lot of articles and all the writers seem to agree that having a little water with your food is not going to significantly slow down the natural acid production. If you wash down your food with water though, chances are that you didn’t chew it thoroughly. Since chewing stimulates saliva production which gets digestive enzymes working, your digestion may actually slow down.
Now if you drink too much water during a meal, you may interfere with the natural levels of stomach acid. But if someone is not properly hydrated and starts eating a meal, his body and liver will have a hard time digesting the food. The conclusion is that you should drink half an hour before the meal and not too much during the meal.
AFTER A MEAL
If your body is sufficiently hydrated, the optimal time to continue drinking water is 60 minutes after a meal. This way, the food will have processed to the next stage and the water will help your body to absorb the nutrients.
It is true that drinking a glass of cold water burns more calories than one at room temperature because your body expends energy heating the water up to body temperature. But it is only about eight calories, so it is not exactly a weight-loss miracle. I would rather opt for warm water because you can drink more of it and that helps you to stay full.
HOW MUCH WATER A DAY
I recommend you drink 3 litres of water in summer and 2 litres in winter. In summer, you can infuse your water with fresh fruits whereas in winter, herbal teas are a pleasant alternative to stay hydrated throughout the day.