When drinking water, you must be mindful of when and how much you consume. The recommended amount is eight glasses daily, but you should ensure you get enough throughout the day.
Before eating a meal, drink a glass of water for several reasons; including increased energy and feeling full faster. Here are the top three reasons why adding this simple habit into your daily regimen could benefit you.
1. Hydrate Your Body
Consuming water before meals is an excellent way to keep your body hydrated and may also help suppress hunger cravings.
According to registered dietitian Julia Zumpano, RD, LD, drinking water before a meal can make you feel full and less inclined to overeat. Furthermore, it helps your stomach digest food faster and easier – which could ultimately aid in weight loss efforts.
Additionally, water can help you stay hydrated after your meal – particularly important if the dish contains a lot of protein like chicken or beef.
Drinking water before eating not only keeps your body hydrated, but it can also increase metabolism. Water helps the body burn more fat since it aids in the absorption of essential minerals.
Exercise in the heat, and you may find this especially beneficial. Sweating causes the body to lose a lot of fluids, so it’s essential to replenish them with water and electrolytes.
When it comes to water intake, the amount you need depends on a variety of factors including age, gender, physical activity level and diet. Your doctor can assist in determining the appropriate amount for you based on these considerations.
In addition to water, you can also get hydration from other foods. Fruits and vegetables are known for being particularly hydrating. Furthermore, they’re packed full of potassium which supports healthy water balance in your bloodstream and prevents dehydration.
Cucumbers, for instance, are packed with potassium and phosphorus that help hydrate your body after exercise by replenishing lost fluids. Since cucumbers contain more than 85% water, they make an ideal snack after strenuous exercise.
Other beverages with high water content, like coconut water and fruit juices, can also help rehydrate your body. These options tend to be more refreshing than plain water and make for an ideal post-exercise or hot day pick-me-up.
Another advantage of drinking water before eating is that it can slow your heart rate and make you less anxious, allowing for greater relaxation and reduced headache or migraine symptoms, according to Zumpano.
2. Prevent Dehydration
Water is essential in maintaining our body’s temperature, blood pressure and fluid levels. Without enough of it, our bodies cannot function optimally and may even become ill.
Dehydration can be avoided by drinking enough water throughout the day to keep your body well hydrated. As a general guideline, aim for eight glasses of liquid per day; however, this amount may differ for you depending on your dietary intake and activity level.
Dehydration has many benefits, such as improved mood, better sleep and increased energy. But the most crucial reason why dehydration should be prevented is that it helps prevent serious problems like heat stroke or low blood volume shock (hypovolemic shock), which could prove life-threatening if not addressed promptly.
Dehydration can also lead to nausea, vomiting and diarrhea which are more serious and difficult to treat if not addressed quickly. To avoid these conditions, drink plenty of water and take oral rehydration solutions at the first signs of illness.
Children and older adults in particular must pay close attention to their thirst and hydration needs during illness. If you observe vomiting or diarrhea in them, give them extra water immediately and seek medical advice at once.
Additionally, ensure everyone in your family is aware of the signs of dehydration and what to do if they begin experiencing them. For instance, if your child is not producing any urine, they’re likely dehydrated and should be given a glass of water immediately to replenish lost fluids.
Another way to stay hydrated is by eating foods high in water content, such as fruits, vegetables and soups.
Add flavor to your water by adding lemon or lime wedges, but be mindful of sugary drinks too.
Before exercising, it’s essential to drink plenty of water – particularly if you are doing strenuous activity. Exerting causes your body to sweat out fluid during an intense workout, and if this loss exceeds two percent of body weight during a session, it could adversely impact performance.
3. Help Your Body Digest Food
Digestion is an intricate process that occurs within your stomach and intestines. It involves peristalsis, an involuntary muscle that pushes food down your esophagus, into your stomach, then through small intestines. Digestion provides energy from food absorption while building and repairing cells as well as controlling blood pressure levels.
Digestion can be sped up by drinking a glass of water before each meal. Hydration is essential for good health, so aim to drink 80 ounces daily.
To support your digestive system, incorporate foods high in fiber, such as whole grains and fruits into your meals. Fiber helps you feel satiated, promotes satiety, and keeps the colon healthy; additionally, it eliminates waste products and toxins from the intestines – helping maintain a healthy weight.
Another way to improve digestion is to chew food more thoroughly than usual. Doing this makes it easier for the stomach to break down food into smaller components and limits fatty foods like chips and hamburgers, which may take longer for digestion.
Many foods contain probiotics, beneficial bacteria that live in your digestive tract. These beneficial organisms play a significant role in maintaining the health of your intestines and can aid in the absorption of essential nutrients like protein, vitamins, and minerals.
If you’re lacking these beneficial bacteria, consider taking a probiotic supplement or eating yogurt with live cultures. You can also incorporate fermented foods like sauerkraut, pickles, kefir, and miso into your meals for additional probiotic benefits.
Practicing gratitude before meals can help you better digest your food. Gratitude has a natural mood enhancer and helps relax the nervous system, both of which contribute to improved digestion.
Finally, if you find it difficult to digest certain foods, speak to your doctor about how you can alter your diet to aid digestion. In some cases, people have intolerances to certain items like dairy; thus, a doctor may suggest altering your eating habits or trying another type of food altogether.
4. Help You Feel Full
If you are feeling hungry, drinking a glass of water before meals can help you feel satiated and prevent overeating. Furthermore, staying hydrated helps your body digest food properly.
According to a study published in Clinical Nutrition Research, people who drank water before their meal felt less hungry than those who didn’t. Furthermore, the researchers discovered that by drinking water before meals they reduced their calorie consumption by 13 percent.
Furthermore, drinking a glass of water before each meal can help you stay hydrated throughout the day. Many people find it easier to remember to drink water if they have their bottle nearby at all times; thus, consider keeping one in your car or office for easy access.
Drinking enough water throughout the day is key, which can be achieved by adding a glass to your morning coffee or having several glasses between meals. Furthermore, keeping a reusable water bottle at work or home will save you from having to buy drinks each time it needs refilling.
Hydrating before meals will help you feel more satisfied with your food, which makes it less likely that you’ll overeat. Plus, staying hydrated reduces the likelihood of bloating or cramping during or after meals – both can cause unpleasant sensations.
Another way to ensure you drink enough water is by mixing it with fruit and other vegetables. You could even add some spices, but be mindful not to overuse salt or sugar.
Recent research on adults in Virginia revealed that drinking two glasses of water 30 minutes prior to eating can reduce caloric intake by 13 percent, making it an effective way to maintain weight loss. On average, those who drank water before meals lost 5 pounds more on average.