If you’re like most of the world’s population, you love starting your day off with your beloved cup of coffee (organic, I hope!), writes Olivia Budgen.
There are many studies showing the benefits of drinking coffee, but there are also negative side effects, particularly if you have it first thing in the morning. These damaging effects accumulate over time and can cause health issues in the future.
If giving up your morning coffee makes you want to cry and throw a tanty, there is one thing you can do to minimise the damage – drink water before drinking your coffee.
Here are four reasons why you should drink water before your coffee.
- Your body is dehydrated after fasting all night and coffee is a diuretic. This means it stimulates the kidneys to excrete more sodium into the urine. When diuretics flush away sodium, the body also flushes away water, therefore coffee will dehydrate the body even more. Hydrating first up literally hydrates your brain (which is 75% water), and in turn helps you to begin your day feeling focused and clear-headed, which is essential to have a productive day.
- Coffee is highly acidic and contains compounds which irritate the stomach lining. When you drink coffee your stomach produces large amounts of hydrochloric acid (HCl). This is made worse when you drink coffee on an empty stomach. The body has a limited ability to make hydrochloric acid and by drinking regular cups of coffee you are kicking it into overdrive. This leads to low stomach acid where you can run into problems like digestive issues, mineral deficiency and many others. Drinking water first will minimise this damage.
- Many people drink too much coffee in the morning because they are thirsty. Drinking water first will quench your thirst and ensure you don’t skull down an extra large latte on your way to work.
- Your body is in elimination mode in the morning and drinking water kick-starts your body’s functions and assists in the elimination process. This helps you to feel energised and replenished ready for a great day. Note: adding a squeeze of lemon to the water will stimulate the liver to produce bile which aids in digestion and cleanses the urinary tract.
How much water should you drink?
If you’re not used to drinking water first thing in the morning it can be quite difficult to consume more than a glass. I always recommend you start with a glass and work your way up to 500mls, then eventually, a litre.
Sometimes the easiest habits are the hardest to implement because they are so simple that people think they couldn’t possibly make much of a difference. Don’t let the simplicity of this exercise fool you! Not only will it help you prevent the above mentioned health issues down the line, but you will start your day feeling happier, healthier and more energised.
There are many habits you can adopt to improve your health, but I can guarantee that drinking water first thing every morning will positively impact your life in a big way.