Shawn Stevenson is a best-selling author and creator of the popular podcast The Model Health Show. In his mbg class The Essential Guide To Maximizing Energy, you’ll be armed with the tools you need to get higher quality sleep, move more efficiently, eat more healthfully and live a more abundant life.
This one small tweak to your morning routine can help you have far more energy, better brain function, and even help you burn some body fat if you do it right.
Now, the caveat is that it's so simple, and so small, that millions of people are overlooking it each day. If you're ready to step your energy, productivity, and fat loss up a few notches, you'll want to give this a try.
While you're asleep at night, your body undergoes a tremendous amount of cellular repair, assimilation, and detoxification. Take your brain for example—researchers have recently discovered that your brain's major detoxification system is 10 times more active while you're asleep than during your waking hours.
Your brain is completing thousands of different processes every second, which builds up a lot of waste that needs to be cleared out. And when you wake up it's your golden chance to help your body take out the garbage.
This is just one of the reasons that this small addition to your morning routine can be so powerful. So, what is it? Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
To assist your body in flushing out these metabolic wastes, simply drink 20 to 30 ounces of high-quality water to kick off your morning. Nearly every process in your body is happening in a water medium. When you wake up, you are inherently dehydrated from all of the repair and cellular housecleaning that has been going on. Add this "inner bath" to your morning routine and you'll be helping your body to run on all cylinders.
Here are just some of the things water is responsible for in your body:
- Maintenance of your DNA
- Facilitating processes in your mitochondria
- Building blood—your blood is over 90 percent water, and it's the system used to transfer oxygen and nutrients throughout your body
- Building lymphatic fluid
- Making digestive secretions
- Regulating body temp
- Maintaining cerebrospinal fluid
- Maintaining synovial fluid of the joints and discs
- Plus, your body uses a water pathway to transmit neurotransmitters throughout your entire body.
What else do you need to know about H20?
Another little-known benefit of drinking 20 to 30 ounces of water and super-hydrating your system first thing in the morning is its effect on fat loss. Have you ever heard of something called water-induced thermogenesis? It's essentially a fortified boost your metabolism gets as your body works to heat and process the water you consume, if you consume the right amount.
A study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that Drinking 500 mL of water (about 17 ounces) increases our metabolic rate by 30 percent. The increase occurs within 10 minutes and reaches a maximum after 30 to 40 minutes. The total thermogenic calorie burn is about 24 Calories. Literally, your body burns more calories simply by drinking the right amount of water. Amazing, right?
The researchers found that about half of the thermogenic benefit is from our bodies heating the water from about 72°F ("room temperature") to 98.6°F (average body temperature). So, according to the study, drinking water any colder than that is not necessary nor specifically recommended. But, the most important thing is to get adequate hydration in each day for the metabolic effects and for your mental and physical health overall in a way that works for you.
Target getting in at least half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. So, a 150-pound person would make sure to get in 75 ounces, for example, as a baseline. If you're out in the heat, participating in an exercise program, or exceptionally active, you may want to make sure you're getting even more water in accordingly.
The best way to help knock this out of the park and ensure you're hitting your baseline, is to get a nice chunk of it in to start your day. Adding 20-30 ounces of water consumption to your morning routine can revolutionize your days and your health overall. You'll be helping your body to eliminate accumulated waste, support the health of your DNA and mitochondria (the energy powers your cells), and even supercharge your metabolism. The benefits are just too good to pass up!
How to make your water consumption even more exciting.
If you find water on its own just a tad boring, try adding a pinch of high quality Himalayan salt or sea salt. Most people don't realize that water is, in many ways, a liquid crystal (you notice this more when water is frozen) and it's also a powerful solvent that quickly integrates itself with what it comes in contact with. In that way, minerals from high-quality salt actually help give the water some "data" or "structure" that can make it more hydrating and provide a better feeling in your mouth.
If that doesn't do it for you, try adding in some fresh fruits and/or veggies is a great way to liven up your water. This provides electrons from the fresh produce that effectively helps to add a hydrating charge to the water. The are cool infusion bottles that you can add things like berries, cucumber slices, or fresh mint to for a nice boost in your hydration ritual. Test things out, stay hydrated like a champ, and enjoy!