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Staying hydrated is important to keep your energy levels high and your mind alert. You’ve probably heard by now that drinking 8 glasses of water per day is optimal for keeping water levels high in your cells. But did you know that it’s not just the volume of water that you drink, but also the timing of your sips that can have a dramatic effect on your body?
Check out the best and worst times to hydrate during the day to make sure that you are getting the most out of your water intake.
Best Times to Hydrate During the Day:
- First thing in the morning: If you are the kind of person who heads straight over to the coffee machine like a zombie after crawling out of bed, you are most likely dehydrated. Instead of reaching for caffeine, try to drink 16 oz of water immediately upon waking. You’ll most likely start to see an increase in morning energy levels after just a few days.
- When you are stressed out: The adrenal glands regulate your response to stress. The adrenal glands also secrete aldosterone, a hormone that regulates water and mineral levels int eh body. When you are stressed, aldosterone levels rise. This is your body’s way of calling out for more water.
- After a workout: Don’t just go for a protein shake after a workout. Liquid foods may have calories but they don’t contain enough water. You’ll need to replenish water and electrolytes that you released through sweat during your workout. Drop an electrolyte tablet in 16 oz water and chug it down. Wait about 30 minutes, then grab your post-workout shake.
Worst Times to Hydrate During the Day:
- During a meal: Don’t drink more than 4 oz of water during meal. Anything more than that will dilute the digestive enzymes and acid needed to efficiently break down your food.
- Right before a workout: Working out with a stomach bloated with water is the worst. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it causes blood to be diverted from the limbs to the stomach to process the water. Try hydrating 2 hours before a workout to make sure that the water is where it belongs: packed into your cells.
- Immediately before bed: Getting up in the middle of the night to urinate is a pain. If you have trouble sleeping, it could keep you awake after you get up. It’s better to stay hydrated during the day to get you through the night, then hydrate again in the morning.
When do you hydrate during the day?
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