Updated: Apr 7, 2020
Today we’re going to talk water - the tasteless, hydrating liquid that we all need to survive, but few of us get enough of. When you wake up in the morning, you’ve likely gone a full seven to eight hours without consuming water; and when you break it down that works out to one-third of your day without fluids. What’s even worse, is that most people don’t drink enough water when they’re awake. Most of us go through the motions of our lives distracted, busy and drinking soda or coffee.
Our bodies are made up of 55-60% water; the blood is approximately 90% water, muscle is about 75% and bone 25%. Water is also responsible for every process that happens in the body so ideally, we want to aim to drink 2.7-3.7 litres of water over the course of the day. Because water makes up a large portion of our lives and bodies and it only makes sense that we would need to drink a sufficient amount to keep our bodies working in their prime.
Many people struggle with chronic dehydration and those symptoms include muscle fatigue, thirst, dizziness, tiredness, dry/flaky skin, dark urine, poor endurance, headaches, confusion, disorientation and constipation. Drinking more water can alleviate many of these problems.
Why I Started Drinking More Water
Over the past three years, I’ve been on a journey of getting my digestion in check because I’ve always (like since I was a baby) had a slow and sluggish digestive system. My mom would always say I hardly ever pooped, and that was true throughout my childhood and into early adulthood.
Before I even considered that I should start drinking more water, I first started eating a primarily plant-based diet to try to alleviate the sluggishness. This was followed by adding ground flaxseed to my morning oatmeal everyday. This helped the consistency of my bowel movements, but not the regularity so much. Because I wasn’t drinking enough water to move waste out of my system, the sluggishness actually became worse. This is because fibre I was adding was soaking up water in the colon which made it more difficult to move the waste out of my body. Once I had a handle on that, my system was thankful!
I then began drinking a litre of water in the morning upon waking and started to add a tablespoon of psyllium husk (a soluble fibre) to the water and the regularity and consistency of my bowel movements was on point! I’ve been doing this for almost a year now and my body feels so happy! So if there’s a lesson in this story, it’s to know that it’s very important to remember to drink enough water when you’re adding fibre to the diet, the two go hand-in-hand and work much better in your system if they are together.
6 Benefits of Drinking a Litre of Water in the Morning
My morning routine now always includes drinking 1 litre of water upon waking and before eating breakfast. Here are some of the benefits of drinking a litre of water every morning:
Purifies the Body. Drinking water plays a vital role in your digestion and drinking water on an empty stomach first thing in the morning loosens and expels bad bacteria, purifies the colon and allows for better and more efficient absorption of the nutrients that are in your system.
Weight Loss. Drinking at least 16 ounces of water in the morning can boost your metabolism and can help with weight loss. Incorporating water into your beverage routine supports your metabolism by increasing your caloric burn. Also, when we are dehydrated it’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger which can lead us to eat more (I’m totally guilty of this!). The next time you feel hunger come on, try drinking a glass of water first then wait 10-15 minutes to see if you’re experiencing true hunger.
Organ Health. Water also helps cleanse the kidneys and liver by flushing out accumulated toxins and other byproducts that are no longer needed by the body. Because the kidneys main job is to remove waste, you can help things move along by drinking enough water to stay hydrated first thing in the morning and throughout the day to ensure your organs are doing their job optimally.
Purges Toxins. Even if you follow a clean, balanced lifestyle, our world exposes us to a wide range of toxins. When you drink high dosages of water it helps to purge your system of toxins through the bowels. It also softens your stool and gives you regular bowel movements. Removing these toxins will also leave you with glowing and moisturized skin which I can definitely testify to. My skin has never felt so moisturized and my skin-care regimen has changed so that I don’t have to use so many of the heavy moisturizers that I used to; this is all because my body is being hydrated from the inside out.
Improved Immune Function. Lymph is approximately 95% water, and if you don’t drink enough water, lymphatic fluid will not flow properly through your body. If lymphatic fluid cannot flow properly, it leads to what’s known as lymph congestion. Water helps to flush and balance your lymphatic system which leads to increased immune function by flushing toxins from your system and helping you fight a variety of illnesses you may encounter.
Brain Fuel. Drinking more water will increase your level of alertness and will fuel your brain. Since the brain is made up of 73% water, hydration is crucial to productivity. Water aids in both body regulation and brain function. Your memory will also be better, your cognitive awareness and performance will improve, and your mood will be boosted!
If you’re not a big water drinker already, this article may have been a little scary and overwhelming. Drinking a litre at the beginning can be difficult, especially if you have a lifelong habit of eating a large breakfast first thing in the morning without fluids. Creating a new morning ritual of drinking water can be incorporated into your routine over a week or so. I’ve found it easiest to start drinking water upon waking and continue to drink the water while I’m getting ready for work in the morning before breakfast. Here’s an idea of what my morning looks like: I shower in the morning, then get my water and sip it throughout my morning routine which includes a bit of reading, hair, makeup, getting dressed and getting my lunch ready for the day. Before I know it, it’s done - but it is a mindful practice because it’s very easy to rush through your morning routine without thinking about drinking water! I now drink a litre over a 30-45 minute time frame, but initially it probably took me about an hour. After I’m done my water I wait 15-30 minutes before eating breakfast.
Before we leave each other, I ask that you please be patient with yourself at the beginning, this isn’t a race and if this is something new you’re considering adding to your morning routine, it can take some time for it to become a habit. I do know that once you start noticing how much better you feel along with the healthy benefits it becomes easier to incorporate long term.
Good luck, take care, and be kind to yourselves Root & Sprouters!
Have you tried drinking a litre of water first thing in the morning? How did you feel after? What positives have you noticed? Comment below!