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The DAOFitLife Hotlist: The 5 Don’ts of Drinking Water

Drink more water! That’s what we are told for maximum health and hydration but it turns out we may be drinking water the wrong way. Here’s 5 reasons we are drinking water the wrong way and how to fix it.

All of the tips I am about to share are featured in this video below from Fit Tuber, as well as available from WedMD:

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Why is water so important 

It is a fact – 2/3rd s of our body’s made out of water. Drinking enough water is essential to the proper functioning of the organs, including the brain, heart, and lungs. Not drinking enough can lead you to be lethargic, foggy, even sick.Recent literature suggests that even mild dehydration – a body water loss of 1–2% – can impair cognitive performance.

But did you know it is just as important to drink water CORRECTLY as it is to drink enough of it?

There are 5 common ways that people drink water incorrectly, which you will find out in this post. 

Don’t drink with meals 

We have been condition to drink liquids with meals for most of our lives. However, by drinking water with meals, you are diluting the natural stomach acids that can help digest food and get important nutrients to the rest of your body.

Instead, drink a large glass of water about 30 minutes before you actually eat. Ideally, wait for two hours after a meal to drink any more water. 

You can also get water from your meals by eating water-rich foods, like 

Don’t chug

Slow down. This isn’t a beer bong contest. Drinking water too quickly can flush out important nutrients. The only exception to this rule is drinking a lot of water in the morning when you wake up because that is when you are the most dehydrated. This will also help you stress less about drinking more water later. 

Don’t Stand

Drinking water standing up places a lot of strain on your kidneys, losing their ability to properly filter the water so that your body flushes out toxins (which is one of the kidneys’ main functions) . Yep, I was thrown, too. You always see people walking around and gulping water especially during jogs. It’s probably better to sit on a bench and take a short break to rehydrate, if that is what you need to do! 

Drinking water while standing can wreak havoc on your digestive system. That is because when you stand and drink water, it goes with great force and speed through the food canal and falls on the lower stomach directly, which is harmful. Dr Rustgi says, “The nerves get tensed when one drinks water rapidly while standing, which disrupts the balance of fluids, causing an increase in toxins and indigestion.”

I have really taken to this one. If I am at the gym and on the treadmill, I sit down on the edge and have my water.

Don’t Chill

Room temp is not as exciting, maybe, but it is better for you. Drinking chilled water can impact your circulation by shrinking blood vessels and solidify fats in your body. 

I prefill glass water bottles with filtered water and leave them on my nightstand, so they are there for me to hydrate throughout the night and first thing in the morning. 

Don’t Drink too Much….

We dutilfully tote around our gigantic water bottles and fill them throughout the day. But there is such a thing as too much. Drinking too much water can lead to hyponatremia – a condition caused by excessive intake of plain water or other fluids that leads to dilution in blood sodium levels.

…Or Not Enough

There are three main indicators of insufficient hydration – darker urine and feeling thirsty. If you drink water only when you feel thirsty, it is already too later. If you can’t gauge your thirst, try the pinch test. It’s a test that measures skin elasticity (skin turgor): just pinch the skin on the back of your hand. Keep it pinched for 2 seconds then release. If the skin rapidly falls back to form, you are properly hydrated. If it doesn’t immediately fall back to form, you are dehydrated.

So how much? 

The amount of water a person should drink varies depending on many factors like age, weight, height, activity level, and climate. So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? According to research published by the Mayo Clinic, The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is: About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men. About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women.

Another general metric is about half of your body weight in ounces, and slightly more if you work out a lot. So if you are a 130 pound woman, then you want to aim for about 65-75 ounces.

The Vessel Matters

I have previously blogged about the dangers of drinking out of a plastic bottle (even the BPA free ones), incuding not only health risks but weight gain.

The best alternative to plastic bottles is a food-grade stainless steel water bottle because it doesn’t contain the harmful chemicals that plastic does and it won’t leach chemicals, even if you fill it with hot beverages.. I like using this stainless steel bottle from Equinox, which is 32 ounces and I therefore only have to fill up twice to get my daily requirement.

If metal isn’t your jam, you can also use glass bottles that you can fill up at home (like the kind they use in restaurants, which are available at IKEA).

More resources

  1. Drinking water  –

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