The Best Time to Drink Water to Maximize Energy

There’s no doubt that water is essential to your health. Accounting for up to 60 – 70 % of your body weight, water plays a key role in regulating everything from brain function to physical performance to digestion — and much more.

Still, while it’s clear that drinking enough water is important to health, you may wonder whether timing matters.

This article takes a look at the evidence to evaluate the best time to drink water.

In the morning
Enjoying a glass of water first thing in the morning is a simple way to start your day off on the right foot. Some may also find that drinking water right when they wake up makes it easier to maintain healthy hydration habits and increase fluid intake throughout the day.

If you’re dehydrated, increasing your daily water intake can help boost your hydration levels, which may be especially beneficial for improving mood, brain function, and energy levels.

In fact, studies show that even mild dehydration can negatively affect memory, concentration, anxiety levels, and fatigue (Ganio et al.2011; Benefer et al.2013). However, while some may find that drinking water in the morning works for them, there’s no evidence to suggest that it’s any more beneficial to drink water in the morning than at other times during the day.

Drinking water first thing in the morning can help start your day on the right foot. However, while it may help some people increase their daily water intake, there’s no evidence to suggest that drinking water in the morning is particularly beneficial.

Before meals
Drinking a glass of water just before eating a meal is a great strategy if you’re trying to lose weight.

Doing so can not only help enhance feelings of fullness but also decrease your intake during that meal.

For instance, one study in 24 older adults found that drinking 16.9 ounces (500 mL) of water 30 minutes before breakfast reduced the number of calories consumed by 13%, compared with a control group (Davy et al.2008) Another study in 50 people showed that drinking 12.5–16.9 ounces (300–500 mL) of water before lunch decreased hunger and calorie intake in older adults (Van et al.2007) However, while all participants reported increased feelings of fullness, no significant differences in calorie intake or hunger levels were observed in young adults (Van et al.2007)

Therefore, although drinking water before meals can be an effective method to support hydration, more research is needed to determine whether it can also promote weight loss in younger individuals.

Drinking water before a meal may help decrease the number of calories consumed at that meal, especially in older adults.

Before and after exercise
When you work out, you lose water and electrolytes through sweat.

Drinking plenty of water before and after exercising is important to keep your body hydrated and help replenish any lost fluids. Excessive fluid losses during your workout can also harm physical performance and cause electrolyte imbalances. It’s recommended to drink water or an electrolyte drink after exercising to help replace any lost fluids and optimize performance and recovery (Sawka et al.2007)

Drinking plenty of water before and after exercising can help replenish fluids and maximize performance and recovery.

Consistency is key
Your body tightly regulates water balance during the day, and excess water is excreted out of your body via your skin, lungs, kidneys, and digestive system. However, your body is only able to eliminate a certain amount of water at a time.

Although uncommon, drinking too much water can disrupt your body’s sodium levels and fluid balance, causing serious side effects like headache, confusion, fatigue, seizures, and coma. Therefore, instead of drinking large amounts of water at once, it’s important to space out your intake during the day to stay hydrated.

Try setting a timer to remind yourself to drink at regular intervals, and keep a glass of water on hand throughout the day to help you reach your goals.

Your body tightly regulates its water balance, and drinking too much at one time can lead to serious side effects. Therefore, it’s best to space out your water intake and drink water consistently throughout the day.

The bottom line
Enjoying a glass of water first thing in the morning may make it easier to maintain healthy habits and increase your daily water intake. Drinking water before meals can help increase feelings of fullness and may promote weight loss in older adults. Finally, drinking water before and after exercise can replenish any lost fluids to optimize performance and recovery. However, the most important thing is to drink water consistently throughout the day to stay hydrated.


  1. Ganio, M. S., Armstrong, L. E., Casa, D. J., McDermott, B. P., Lee, E. C., Yamamoto, L. M., Marzano, S., Lopez, R. M., Jimenez, L., Le Bellego, L., Chevillotte, E., & Lieberman, H. R. (2011). Mild dehydration impairs cognitive performance and mood of men. The British journal of nutrition, 106(10), 1535–1543. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114511002005
  2. Benefer, M. D., Corfe, B. M., Russell, J. M., Short, R., & Barker, M. E. (2013). Water intake and post-exercise cognitive performance: an observational study of long-distance walkers and runners. European journal of nutrition, 52(2), 617–624. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-012-0364-y
  3. Davy, B. M., Dennis, E. A., Dengo, A. L., Wilson, K. L., & Davy, K. P. (2008). Water consumption reduces energy intake at a breakfast meal in obese older adults. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 108(7), 1236–1239. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jada.2008.04.013
  4. Van Walleghen, E. L., Orr, J. S., Gentile, C. L., & Davy, B. M. (2007). Pre-meal water consumption reduces meal energy intake in older but not younger subjects. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 15(1), 93–99. https://doi.org/10.1038/oby.2007.506
  5. Sawka, M. N., Burke, L. M., Eichner, E. R., Maughan, R. J., Montain, S. J., & Stachenfeld, N. S. (2007). American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Exercise and fluid replacement. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 39(2), 377–390. https://doi.org/10.1249/mss.0b013e31802ca597

5 Ways To Maintain Health Blood Sugar

The secret? Maintaining the right blood sugar, or blood glucose levels, in order to deliver optimal cellular functioning. But getting the right balance is more complicated than skipping refined carbohydrates and other processed foods. It comes down to choosing the right nutrients and supplements in order to avoid the highs and lows.

According to Post Hill Press (2016), a naturopathic physician and author of Unzip Your Genes said that “Everyone knows that elevated blood sugar leads to diabetes, but before this diagnosis is made, often people can experience glucose dysfunction where they fluctuate between high and low blood sugar and can feel weak, lightheaded and shaky – referred to as reactive hypoglycemia,”

Thus, “The goal is to achieve a balanced glucose level where there are not high peaks of blood sugar. Elevations in blood sugar and, in turn, insulin, lead to inflammation, which impacts every body system.”

Physician Stagg helps weigh in on five ways to get the right glucose going for the greatest summer yet.

1. Pick your protein
Switching to protein over carbs for just 5 weeks can result in a significant improvement in total blood glucose response over a 24-hour period in people with type 2 diabetes, according to a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Subjects in the high-protein-diet group consumed protein sources that included one 9-ounce portion of baked chicken, 8-ounce servings of yogurt and milk, and 3-ounce servings of cottage cheese. (The study used low-fat dairy, so make sure to swap in full-fat instead.)

2. Nosh on nuts
Pasta with pine nuts? Yes, please. Researchers have found that adding tree nuts – including pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts and Brazil nuts – to high-carb meals can help manage the blood-sugar drop that might otherwise come from such a meal. “Nuts are low in carbohydrate, have a healthy fatty acid profile and are high in vegetable protein, fiber and magnesium,” add the authors of the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition study.

3. Get ahold of your glycemic load
“To stay balanced, it’s important to eat meals that are balanced in their glycemic load. This means that in response to the meal, glucose levels don’t spike,” says Stagg. “In general, sweets and starchy foods have a higher glycemic load, while foods high in protein, healthy fats and fiber lower the glycemic response to a meal.” A 1-cup serving of peanuts has a glycemic load of 1.6 while a 1-cup serving of white rice has a glycemic load of 43.

4. Turn to Bs, Cs & Ds
Berberine, biotin, D-chiro-inositol and vitamin D – these are some of the key supplements with the most evidence of reducing blood sugar, either alone or in combination with other nutrients, explains Stagg. “Chromium is more effective for people who are insulin-resistant because it makes insulin more active by helping it bind to the insulin receptor more effectively,” says Stagg. “But without a healthy diet, one can’t expect dietary supplements to ‘fix’ dysregulated blood sugar.”

5. Turn out the lights
When the sun rises earlier and sets later, it’s natural to stretch the days for as long as you can, sometimes jeopardizing sleep patterns. But getting extra Zs can be as critical as those Bs, Cs and Ds. As the National Sleep Foundation reports, people who slept only 4 hours per night for six nights had a 40% reduced ability to break down blood sugar versus those who slept for longer periods of time. Your brain needs deep sleep in order to decrease cortisol and restore blood glucose levels to normal.

(Adapted from Post Hill Press, 2016)


How Much Do Eat You Really Need Day?

Many Americans struggle with losing weight. They feel frustrated by repeated attempts at weight loss.

Fad diets claim successful weight loss, but none of them are proven to work. It’s clear that eating fewer calories is important to lose weight. But there is conflicting evidence on the specifics.

One area of debate is when to consume calories throughout the day. Is eating three times a day best to achieve weight loss? Or is it better to eat more — or less — frequently? These are tough questions. Some diets suggest eating every two to three hours. Others suggest limiting it to three times per day or even only twice a day.

Eating More than Three Times a Day

There does appear to be an inverse association between weight and eating frequency. That is, the heavier a person is, the less often they eat. In fact, research suggests that people of normal weight and formerly obese people who have maintained their weight loss eat about four times per day, compared with obese people. Here are some potential benefits and disadvantages to eating more than three times per day.

Benefits include:

A decrease in hunger and an increase in fullness, which can potentially prevent overeating. In fact, when people become very hungry the risk increases that they will choose unhealthy high-calorie foods, such as pizza and soda. This can lead to eating too much at one sitting.
More opportunities to consume healthy foods such as fruit, vegetables and whole grains.

Potential disadvantages include:

Choosing snacks that do not leave us satisfied, which can lead to overeating later in the day.

More mindless eating. Unhealthy food options are everywhere to tempt us. We learn to respond to cues, such as food availability, rather than hunger and fullness. This can lead to overeating. Eating three meals a day can help us resist tempting foods and overeating. This helps promote weight loss.

What the Science Says

The limited research suggests that eating three structured meals per day compared with fewer than three meals per day can help control appetite and lead to feelings of fullness.

A 6-month feeding trial of 51 people looked at the effect of eating frequency on hunger, energy intake and weight loss. Participants were split into 2 groups. The “gorging group” ate 3 meals per day. The “grazing group” ate about 100 calories every 2 to 3 hours. Grazers ate about 6 times per day. Participants were given a calorie limit based on their individual weight-loss goals.

By the end of the study, all of the participants had lost weight. However, there was no difference in the amount of weight lost between the two groups. But people in the grazing group experienced significantly less hunger. But this did not lead to more weight loss for the grazing group.

An 8-week study looked at the difference in weight loss between participants who ate 3 times a day versus 6 times per day. They all reduced their food intake by an average of 700 calories a day. Half of the 16 participants ate 3 times per day. The other half ate 6 times per day. Participants in each of the groups lost the same amount of weight. This was a small study. And it did not look at long-term weight loss.

To sum up, eating fewer calories helps you lose weight. But when you eat or how often you eat does not affect weight loss. We need more long-term studies to determine the optimal number of times a day to eat.

Eating Frequency versus Food Quality

Replacing high-calorie foods with healthier low-calorie ones can help decrease calories without limiting the total volume of food you eat. A 10-month study of 189 patients found they were able to lose weight by reducing calories from drinks and choosing foods with low energy density.

Energy density is the amount of calories per gram of food. Vegetables have a low energy density. Red meat and butter have high energy density. It may be possible to lose weight by replacing high energy density foods with foods that are lower in energy density. For example:

Replace 1 cup of pasta with ½ cup pasta and 1 cup of broccoli to save 100 calories.

Substitute 1 cup of white rice with ½ cup rice and 1 cup of spinach to save 125 calories.

Tips for Successful Weight Loss

It appears eating at least three times per day can keep you full and reduce hunger. This is good for weight loss. Eating fewer than three times a day puts you at risk for overeating and choosing less healthy foods. Also, the quality of food can help with hunger management and weight loss. By eating foods with low energy density, like fruits and vegetables, you’ll feel fuller longer.

So, how do you lose weight? Everyone is different in the food they like, their medical histories and their lifestyles. Meeting with a registered dietitian is one way to meet your goals. He or she can assess your needs and design a nutrition plan just for you. Here are a few additional tips for successful weight loss:

Choose foods that satisfy hunger. These include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.

  1. Balance your meals and snacks. Fill half your plate with foods, like vegetables, that have many nutrients, fiber and few calories. This can help you eat smaller portions of higher-calorie foods, such as pasta, rice and meat.
  2. Keep track of what you eat. Apps and food diaries that track calories can help you see what and when you are eating.
  3. Be mindful. Learn to tell the difference between your physical hunger and hunger triggered by food availability or boredom.
  4. Plan ahead. Do not skip meals or allow yourself to get too hungry. This can put you at risk of overeating.
  5. Avoid high-calorie beverages. Sodas and juice provide a lot of calories but few nutrients. And they do little to help you feel satisfied.
  6. Join a community. Making lifestyle changes that involve diet and physical activity is easier and more fun when other people are involved.

(Adapted from Harvard Medical School)