Is Drinking Water First Thing in the Morning Beneficial?

Glass of Water

You know that drinking water is of utmost importance, but here’s an interesting question: Does the timing of your hydration make a difference? This question may have crossed your mind if you’ve ever heard the health advice that drinking water first thing in the morning (and on an empty stomach) is the best way to start your day.

But should you really make glugging a glass of H20 the first step in your healthy morning routine? It turns out that the answer isn’t as quite straightforward as a simple yes or no—so we asked a few doctors about this healthy hydration advice, the most notable health benefits, and who needs to follow it.

Table of Contents

Why Drink Water First Thing in the Morning?

Water is an essential nutrient, which means your body can’t make enough of it on its own to meet its basic needs. You have to obtain it through external sources (i.e. hydrating food and drinks) in order to stay healthy.

Water is an essential nutrient, which means your body can’t make enough of it on its own to meet its basic needs. You have to obtain it through external sources (i.e. hydrating food and drinks) in order to stay healthy.

When you’re sleeping, it’s not possible to keep drinking water, and your body will continue using—and losing—fluids throughout the night without receiving a refill. In that regard, drinking water when you first wake up in the morning can certainly provide some healthy perks.

Morning Hydration Is Good for You, But Not Absolutely Necessary

But here’s where things get more nuanced: Although this habit is certainly healthy, it’s not a defining factor of good hydration and health. The most important takeaway is that you’re drinking water overall.

“The health aspects of staying hydrated are measured over the course of a day, rather than the time of day you drink water or the sequence of drinking water in relation to breakfast or any other meal,” Dr. Li reassures us.

In other words, it’s great to drink water when you first wake up and before you eat, but there’s also no harm in waiting. If it makes you feel good and you notice the benefits personally, that’s awesome!

Top Benefits of Drinking Water After Waking Up

It rehydrates you after a waterless night.

Since you can’t sip while you snooze, your body is naturally in a dehydrated state in the morning, says Dr. Kelley. Thus, drinking H2O upon waking can be helpful, and you’ll probably feel a bit thirsty when your alarm goes off anyway.

“Drinking water when you wake up replenishes the lost liquid, including [the fluids] you might have lost during the night,” Dr. Li confirms. This is especially true if you sleep with your mouth open or in a warm room, and even more so if you drank alcohol (a natural diuretic) the night before, he adds.

It increases your energy levels.

According to Dr. Kelley, many people find that starting their day by drinking cold water helps wake them up. After all, dehydration (which, again, naturally occurs when you sleep) can make you tired and dizzy, according to the National Library of Medicine.

Replenishing with a glass of water first thing in the morning can help prevent this by prompting the rehydration process, ensuring your tissues and organs get the fluids they need ASAP.

It boosts mental performance.

Similarly, it can help maximize your mental acuity and productivity throughout the day. According to Dr. Kelley, dehydration is also linked to brain fog and headaches—so having a glass of water is a great way to boost mental performance first thing, she shares.

“Even mild dehydration is linked with some short-term memory loss and concentration, so if you want to stay on top of your game, drink that glass of water,” she says.

It stimulates your metabolism.

No matter the time of day, drinking water can get your metabolism going. Specifically, “cold water triggers your body to turn on a mechanism called cold-activated thermogenesis,” says Dr. Li. “This means your body warms the water by turning on your metabolism, by as much as 30 percent, for about an hour.”

But since cold-induced thermogenesis isn’t time-specific, you don’t necessarily need to do it before eating in the morning—though it’s certainly an option if you want to kickstart your metabolism as soon as you wake up.

It promotes digestion.

According to Dr. Kelley, drinking water is critical for healthy digestion. For example, staying hydrated is helpful for easing constipation, a common side effect of dehydration. “Warm water [in particular] has the potential to break down the food you’ve eaten at a faster rate than cool water,” she says.

Therefore, if you’re prone to constipation, drinking water when you wake up can kick-start the rehydration process and get things moving ASAP.

It curbs hunger pangs.

If you’re not one for a big breakfast, if you don’t have time to eat, or if you find you’re still hungry for junk after eating breakfast, sipping on the water first in the morning on an empty stomach can help.

As a 2018 study notes, drinking water throughout the morning can quell the sensation of hunger, potentially easing a grumbling stomach until you’re able to eat (of course, if you need to eat, eat!).

“It’s very common to confuse the feeling of thirst with the feeling of hunger, so staying hydrated can reduce your urge to snack or overeat [when you aren’t actually hungry],” Dr. Kelley says.

Share Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Health Tips & Advice