Are You Drinking Water Right or Wrong? Find OutLuke Coutinho
You may have heard that there is the art of eating, chewing, breathing, sleeping, moving, thinking, and possibly every little activity you can do mindfully. But did you know that there is the art of drinking water too? Most of us take this for granted sometimes. As more and more media articles speak about the benefits of getting those 10-12 glasses of water a day, people walk around with their big bottles chugging water all day.
Yes, the human body is made up of trillions of cells, and most of these live in water. According to scientific studies, Up to 60% of the human adult body is water. Each of your trillion cells requires water for metabolic activity, strong immunity, weight loss, and to carry out a host of cellular functions. And the way you drink water can influence it. You have heard me say this in the past. Even a 1% drop in hydration can throw the balance of your body out of whack and cause numerous issues.
So, is there a right and wrong way of drinking water? Yes. Let us learn the art of drinking water today.
#1 Sit and sip your water slowly
Standing up and chugging water throws your body out of sync by activating your fight and flight response. It does not quench your thirst. It also makes water gush through your body rapidly without helping nutrients reach your liver or digestive tract. Impurities and toxins that need to be flushed out may get deposited in the kidneys and the bladder. It also disrupts the flow of oxygen. Stop chugging water while standing. Instead, sit down and sip your water slowly and mindfully.
When you sip your water, your water mixes with your saliva. While your saliva is highly alkaline, your stomach is acidic (for all the right reasons). Your stomach requires a certain amount of acid to digest food. But the problem begins when your stomach starts producing excess acids to digest the food you’ve been overeating or breaking down poor-quality food. What you want to do is to move the saliva to get into the stomach so that the alkaline effect of saliva can stabilize excess acid in the stomach. One excellent way of doing this is by drinking water.
When you sit and you sip your water slowly and carry saliva from your mouth into your stomach, it stabilizes the acid. Drinking water slowly also helps nutrients reach each of your trillion cells, boosts brain activity, improves digestion, eliminates toxins, and keeps bloating at bay.
#2 Have a glass of water 15 to 30 minutes before and after meals
Have 1 glass of water 15 to 30 minutes before and after meals. Keep it lukewarm or at room temperature. If you must drink water while you are eating your meals, ensure it is just a sprinkle of water into your stomach. Don’t drink too much or have large sips during your meal because there should be enough space in your stomach for digestive activity. Also, too much water will dilute your digestive acids which in turn affect how you break down your food. So, be mindful. One glass 15-30 mins before and one glass 15-20 minutes after. Do not overdo it.
#3 Drink when you are thirsty but don’t wait until you feel parched
The human body has a defense mechanism and a warning mechanism. It tells us when we are hungry if we listen or pay close attention to its biofeedback. Similarly, it also tells us when we are thirsty and need to drink water. But sometimes, these signals can be affected by the external environment. How? Let me give you an example.
If you are in an air-conditioned room, you need to be careful because sometimes you may not get that thirst signal. After all, the temperature around you is cold. It could lead to dehydration. How to tackle this? There are two other indicators you need to look out for:
- If your lips tend to get dry quickly, it could mean that you are on low levels of water. You need to hydrate immediately.
- Look at the color of your urine. When your urine is a pale white, crystal white, or pale straw yellow, it means you have sufficient water in your body.
But remember that certain medications and vitamins (e.g. Vitamin C) can make your urine extremely dark. Use these indicators well and listen to your body’s signals throughout today. Drink the required amount of water accordingly.
#4 Do NOT chug water
When you chug water, most of it passes through and out of your system. It doesn’t quench your thirst. For better cellular metabolism, energy, and activity, you need that water to be absorbed deep into your cells. When you sip your water slowly, you allow its absorption. You will also find that you don’t need too much water like you know the conventional advice of 3 liters a day. Your water consumption depends on your lifestyle, unique health condition, the way you sip your water, and the kind of food you eat.
For instance, when you have a diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables with high water content, you get hydrated through those mediums too. At the same time, when you drink too much tea or coffee, these act like diuretics in the body and flush out excess water and vitamins. For every cup of coffee you consume, you need two glasses of water to replenish the excess water it is flushing out.
FUN FACT: Did you know that a glass of water before having a bath can help you lower your blood pressure?
#5 Sip water for better metabolism and in turn lose weight
Can sipping water the right way enable fat/weight loss? Yes, to some extent. When you slip it slowly, you ease and enhance your digestion. The truth is that our digestive system robs the most energy from our body to break down food, especially when we eat excessively or follow poor eating habits. You can minimize this energy spent on digestion by sipping your water slowly. Sipping water also naturally suppresses your appetite to avoid overeating, boosts your metabolism, and enhances the quality of your workouts. The higher your metabolism, the better your fat burn.
The bottom line
Don’t take drinking water for granted. Master the art of doing it mindfully. Sit down and sip it slowly. Bless it if you can to change its energy or say a prayer of gratitude. If you don’t have the opportunity to sit and drink it, stand up but sip your water slowly, try to get it mixed with saliva, and aid its journey into your stomach. Watch how bloating, flatulence, and indigestion improve.
Also, last but certainly not least, ditch plastic bottles. The chemicals in the plastic packaging leach into them. Bisphenol A (found commonly in unbreakable plastic) and phthalates (found in flexible plastic) are endocrine disruptors. Switch to steel or glass bottles instead.
ALSO WATCH: The Art of Drinking Water
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