Updated: Jun 14, 2021
Grabbing a cup of coffee first thing in the morning may seem like the best move, but health experts say water is actually the correct choice.
After going several hours without a sip, a serving of water first thing can hydrate the body while aiding digestion and metabolism.
Water is "the gold standard fluid for the body," Angela Lemond, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics told USA TODAY in 2017. "Drinking water everyday is vital for the body to work correctly."
According to the Mayo Clinic, there's no one-size-fits-all recommendation for how much water is needed every day, but starting off with water can have benefits. Here's why:
We wake up dehydrated. Water hydrates
Over night, the body can become relatively dehydrated, says Dr. Maria Peña, who specializes in obesity medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.
"What many people do first thing in the morning is grab a cup of coffee," Peña said. But water is a more effective way to hydrate. "When you get a cup of coffee, also get a bottle of water," she added.
Lemond echoed the sentiment: "Our bodies are pretty dry when we wake up in the morning," she said.
Additionally, rehydrating first thing in the morning helps build a healthy habit and can build a routine that will allow people in getting enough water for the entire day, Peña says.
Water aids digestion and clears toxins
Drinking water doesn't cause a significant calorie burn, but "it does ensure that your metabolism is functioning optimally," Alissa Rumsey, a registered dietitian with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told USA TODAY in 2017.
"By hydrating more, you're getting rid of bad bacteria in your system, and it allows good bacteria in your gut to grow," Peña also said.
By drinking water, a person will urinate more and have more bowel movements, she said, which is the body's natural way of getting rid of waste.
"It's a way of cleaning out toxins in the system," added Peña.
Proper hydration also aids our bodies. It keeps skin plump and joints lubricated, Peña says. Additionally, drinking water can help with fatigue, often felt in the morning, she said.
Water makes you feel fuller
Thirst can be confused for hunger and that can lead to over eating, Peña says. Drinking water can prevent that, Rumsey also said.
Drinking water also won't make you gain weight, Peña says. "Our bodies self regulate."
Ryan Miller for USA Today in Jan 2020