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3 reasons to drink water first thing in the morning, according to a nutritionist

Until recently, my water consumption during the day was relatively low. That is, until I started a new morning habit of drinking a large glass of water before breakfast. Since I’ve been doing this, not only have I managed to get almost a quarter of my recommended daily water intake first thing in the morning, but I’ve also felt lighter and more energetic.

My experience makes sense to Itziar Digón, a nutrition psychologist who confirmed to me that increasing water consumption during the first hour of the day has multiple benefits.

“It is great to incorporate water first thing in the morning when the drainage mechanisms are more active which enhances the elimination of liquids,” says Digón.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get good results if you drink water at other times of the day (in fact, Dr. María José Crispin from Clínica Menorca recommends we drink water throughout the day, not just in the morning). But making it a morning habit helps me to start the day well, and I feel accomplished to have part of my homework (a.k.a. drinking enough water) checked off my list.

Here are some of the benefits I’ve found.

Water gets you ready to exercise.

If you do a workout as soon as you wake up, you might think that drinking water just before exercising could be counterproductive. However, nutrition and fitness expert Vikika Costa says it’s actually a good idea. What’s more, it is necessary to be able to activate the body and its functions, and exercise at full capacity.

“We are water. Drinking water is basic, and even more so when we wake up after many hours without drinking. The body must be hydrated to function perfectly,” she explains. She also notes that certain workouts, such as hypopressive exercises and some yoga postures, can be uncomfortable to do if you have drunk too much liquid beforehand, but that’s unlikely if you drink only one glass.

Water can improve your mood.

Looking for a morning habit that helps you face the day? Add drinking a large glass of water to your list, because a correct intake of water is also related to mental well-being. Crispín confirms that it is a necessary element for physiological processes, since a slight dehydration can cause an important change in mood.

Moreover, there are studies that confirm the close relationship between water and brain activity and emotional well-being. For example, one carried out by the University of Barcelona confirms that dehydration corresponding to 1% to 2% of body weight negatively affects short-term memory, concentration, and alertness.

A hydrated body = a healthier body

“There is not much scientific basis to support the recommendation that drinking water helps us lose weight,” says Digón. However, consuming enough water every day and doing so at certain times is beneficial to your overall health. Water can increase our body’s energy expenditure, and water intake is probably related to a healthier diet.

Figures aside, what is clear is that drinking water before any meal, including breakfast, helps with eating in a more relaxed way, says nutritionist Ylenia López-Llata.

This post was originally published in Vogue Espana.

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