There are times when waking up in the morning feels impossible, and the only thing that could possibly get you through the morning is a strong coffee. That boost of caffeine can be the fuel you need to tackle the day.
However delicious caffeine may be—whether it’s instant before heading out, a milky latte you’ve spent months perfecting or just a shot of espresso—starting the day with coffee might not be the healthiest option.
“It is crucial to start the day with adequate hydration,” certified clinical nutritionist Megan Lyons told Newsweek. And the best way of doing that is with a glass of water.
“I have observed that many of my clients tend to consume the majority of their water in the afternoon, even if they are setting water goals and reaching them. But in the morning, they either drink coffee or nothing at all until lunchtime, when they start drinking water.”
According to Lyons, founder of The Lyons’ Share Wellness, not getting any water until later in the day is “problematic” as it doesn’t give the body the hydration that it requires.
If you’ve slept for eight hours straight, that’s a long time to go without replenishment, so you can help your body by drinking some water.
The nonprofit National Academy of Medicine suggests that healthy men, aged between 19 and 30, should consume 3.7 liters of water a day (nearly a gallon), and healthy women in the same age bracket should have 2.7 liters per day.
Why Is Drinking Water in the Morning so Vital?
“We really want to drink as much water as possible in the morning, and this is because overnight, our kidneys and liver are doing great work of detoxifying anything that has entered our bodies throughout the day,” Lyons explained.
“That’s why our urine is generally more yellow or concentrated in the morning. So, in order for the detoxification system to operate most effectively, we need to flush our bodies with clean water in the morning.
“If we add coffee on top of that, which is a diuretic and mildly dehydrating, we further dehydrate ourselves.”
Dr. Hyun Joon Lee, CEO of SeeBeyond Medicine, agreed, telling Newsweek: “Dehydration can be prevented if people drink a big glass of water when they wake up in the morning. Overnight, a person hasn’t had anything to drink for eight hours, so it makes sense to break the fast by drinking water in the morning.
“Mild dehydration can make people feel more tired, less focused, less motivated, and anxious—and who wants to start a day that way? So, drink a big glass of water in the morning can wake up your gut and detoxification organs.”
Not only is our body working to rid us of toxins while we sleep, but Lyons added that we also “lose a significant amount of water” through breathing. As a result, waking up feeling thirsty is normal. So rather than reaching for your favorite coffee mug, why not opt for a glass of water instead.
“Drinking water first thing in the morning, even before coffee, is a reliable way to boost energy levels, improve digestion and facilitate the achievement of daily water intake goals.
“Additionally, when people experience an energy slump in the afternoon and reach for a third cup of coffee, it’s often a sign of dehydration. Therefore, I recommend that individuals drink a full glass of water before reaching for their next cup of coffee. It is remarkable how often this simple action improves energy levels.”
What Are the Benefits of Drinking Enough Water?
It’s no secret that drinking ample amounts of water every day is good for the mind and body, but many people still admit to drinking less than half of what they’re supposed to consume.
A 2021 poll by YouGov asked over 6,900 U.S. adults how much they drank each day, and 35 percent said they to drank between 8 and 32 ounces a day, which is less than a single liter. Some 14 percent of the respondents drank more than 64 ounces, which is still less than 2 liters.
Lyons often encourages her clients to get more water into their diet and lifestyle, allowing them to reap its many benefits.
She told Newsweek: “Water is so important for hydration, energy levels, skin health, and digestion. Even individuals with complicated digestive issues who increase their water intake experience relief from symptoms that they may not have anticipated. Thus, water provides various unexpected benefits.”
As Lyons explained, staying on top of your water intake can stave off dehydration, which has many side effects. Dehydration can lead to many problems, including mood changes, difficulty concentrating, overheating and potentially even kidney stones.
There are also many physical benefits from drinking enough water. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlights that water helps the body maintain its regular temperature. It can cushion joints to avoid pain and protects the spinal cord.
How to Keep on Top of Your Water Intake
Dr. Hyun Joon Lee has suggested exactly when people should get their water intake to ensure it’s regular enough.
“You can ensure you are drinking enough by considering your normal daily rhythm: one glass of water when you wake up, a glass with each of your three meals, a glass before and after working out, and a glass each time you go to the bathroom in order to replenish yourself,” she said. “This schedule will easily enable a person to reach eight glasses a day or more.”
For some, the thought of drinking plain water is disgusting as they cannot bear the taste. Still, their body needs to get its hydration from somewhere, so Lyons has offered some other ways people can increase their water intake.
She continued: “Starting the day with adequate hydration is crucial. For some individuals, this may involve incorporating electrolytes into their morning water or adding a dash of lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt. Others, particularly those seeking detoxification or digestive benefits, may find apple cider vinegar or lemon juice beneficial.”
Is there a health issue that’s worrying you? Let us know via email@example.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.