I go through phases where I really love drinking water and then other phases where I basically have to make myself drink it. So if you aren’t too big on drinking water, I feel your pain. HOWEVER, we really need to drink it on the regular for optimal health.
One of the healthiest habits you can create is to drink purified (flouride free) or spring water first thing in the morning. Begin with 12oz and work up to 1-2 liters every morning.
You have just been sleeping for 8 hours, the water invigorates your cells to do what they are supposed to do. Think of it as their morning coffee! Also, your stomach is empty, your small intestine is mostly empty and your large intestine is ready to eliminate what was moved down throughout the night. Imagine that volume of water swishing down to and through your stomach then into the intestines. It becomes a cleansing agent. The water reaches the large intestine and softens anything on deck for easier elimination. If you do this every morning it will help with regularity and therefore regular flushing of toxins. What a great and cheap way to cleanse every day!
Take it one step further and drink it nice and warm (The warm water serves to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis—the waves of muscle contractions within the intestinal walls that keep things moving.) and with freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice. This simple added step is an Aryuvedic ritual and will bring you even more benefits:
– The warm lemon water helps purify and stimulate the liver. Lemon/lime water liquefies bile while inhibiting excess bile flow. The liver produces more enzymes from lemon/lime water than any other food (according to A.F. Beddoe, author of Biological Ionization as Applied to Human Nutrition.)
– Warm lemon/lime water aids digestion. It’s atomic composition is similar to saliva and the hydrochloric acid of digestive juices.
– Lemons and limes are high in potassium. Potassium is an important mineral that works with sodium for smooth electrical transmission in the brain and nervous system. Depression, anxiety, fogginess, and forgetfulness can often be traced to low potassium blood levels. That same nervous system needs potassium to assure steady signals to the heart. So your heart health is improved from the lemon water’s potassium.
– Lemon/lime water has an alkalizing effect in the body as it is buffered. Even if you drink it just before any meal, it will help your body maintain a higher pH than if you didn’t drink it. The higher or more alkaline your pH, the more resistant you are to minor and major disease.
Why stop there?
Throw some freshly grated ginger (we keep ginger root in the freezer) in there for even more benefits, and an even tastier drink:
Colon Cancer Prevention- A study at the University of Minnesota found that ginger may slow the growth of colorectal cancer cells.
Morning Sickness– A review of several studies has concluded that ginger is just as effective as vitamin B6 in the treatment of morning sickness.
Motion Sickness Remedy– Ginger has been shown to be an effective remedy for the nausea associated with motion sickness.
Reduces Pain and Inflammation– One study showed that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and is a powerful natural painkiller.
Heartburn Relief– Ginger has long been used as a natural heartburn remedy. It is most often taken in the form of tea for this purpose.
Cold and Flu Prevention and Treatment– Ginger has long been used as a natural treatment for colds and the flu. Many people also find ginger to be helpful in the case of stomach flus or food poisoning, which is not surprising given the positive effects ginger has upon the digestive tract.
Migraine Relief– Research has shown that ginger may provide migraine relief due to its ability to stop prostaglandins from causing pain and inflammation in blood vessels.
Menstrual Cramp Relief– In Chinese medicine, ginger tea with brown sugar is used in the treatment of menstrual cramps.
Prevention of Diabetic Nephropathy– A study done on diabetic rats found that those rats given ginger had a reduced incidence of diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage)
For maximum results don’t eat breakfast right away, wait up to an hour if possible.
My husband just got home today with a bag of lemons, ironic. I have been inconsistent with my morning water, but now that I have all these lemons it’s time for a one week challenge! Who’s with me? Let’s drink like fish first thing in the morning and see how we feel in a week. Deal?
UPDATE: I have rarely missed drinking 32oz in the morning since posting this. I started out with a mug of warm water with some lemon and sometimes ginger but it became easier to drink (chug) 32 oz of water first thing. I add juice of a lemon or lime if we have some. For a couple weeks now I just feel like I can’t start my day until I have had my 32oz! Its like my version of coffee to get going! I have noticed that I can now drink another 32oz here and there throughout the day as quickly as a regular glass. It used to take me forever to drink that much so this seems to be an unexpected perk to my new habit!