Drinking water is very important for many bodily processes. These include transporting nutrients to cells, regulating the body’s temperature, and lubricating the joints.
If a person replaces their usual morning drink with water, it could provide them with several associated health benefits of increased water consumption.
This article explores what these benefits may be and how much scientific evidence there is for each one.
It will also discuss different ways to flavor water and if there are any risks to drinking water.
1. For weight loss
Some people believe that drinking water in the morning can aid in weight loss.
For example, a 2019 study found that higher fluid intake had links with improved body composition in young adults.
Before main meals, including breakfast
An older study from 2010 found that middle-aged and older adults lost more weight when they drank 500 milliliters (ml) of water before each meal over 12 weeks.
Researchers partly attributed this weight loss to the decrease in energy intake from meals among the participants who drank water. This means they ate less food than individuals who did not partake in water before meals.
Thermogenesis is the production of heat. When a person drinks cold water, thermogenesis occurs to warm up the water entering the body, which burns calories.
An older study from 2013 involved the water intake of 50 girls, with a body mass index of 25 to 29.9, along with a nutritious diet. It found that their body weight had decreased after they increased their water intake to 500 ml, three times a day, for 8 weeks. Participants drank the water before breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Researchers attributed the weight loss to water-induced thermogenesis.
However, these studies cannot definitively claim that only the water intake led to the weight loss.
Additionally, the results do not necessarily mean that drinking water specifically in the morning offers weight loss effects.
Water can have an impact on cognition and mental performance — even minor dehydration can have adverse effects on cognition, according to a 2016 study.
A 2019 review looked at the effect of hydration on cognitive performance. It found that there was a trend of improved mental performance in hydrated study participants. However, the researchers noted that the results were not statistically significant.
Additionally, participants in the study drank water throughout the day. This may suggest that hydration throughout the day may be necessary for better mental performance rather than just drinking water in the morning.
Another 2019 study on male college students found that dehydration had negative effects on short-term memory and attention. Short-term memory and attention improved once the participants rehydrated again.
Therefore, if a person wishes to increase their mental performance, specifically in the morning, drinking water may help.
Drinking water may also have positive effects on a person’s mood.
A 2014 study found that people who usually drank low volumes of water had better moods when they increased their water intake.
The same research found that when individuals — who normally drank high volumes of water — decreased their water intake, they experienced more thirst, decreased contentedness, and a reduction in calmness and positive emotions.
A 2019 study also found that dehydration negatively affected mood, while rehydration improved mood and fatigue symptoms.
With this in mind, a person may wish to drink water throughout the whole day to experience prolonged positive effects on their mood.
4. For the skin
Some people believe that an increase in fluid intake can improve the appearance and health of the skin.
The skin contains about 30% water, which helps the skin remain plump, improving its elasticity and resilience.
An older study from 2015 found that increased water intake may have a positive effect on skin physiology — it appeared more hydrated, especially in participants who usually drank less water.
A 2018 review found that increasing water intake may improve the hydration of the outer layer of the skin. However, the researchers noted that it was unclear whether this would benefit older adults.
However, even adequate skin hydration may not be sufficient to prevent wrinkles or offset the effects of the sun, genetics, or the environment.
Drinking water throughout the day may therefore help a person hydrate their skin, but they may not notice significant changes in its appearance.
Adequate water intake is also important in many body functions.
- Kidneys: Drinking water can help the kidneys remove wastewater from the body.
- Urinary tract: According to an older study from 2010, increased fluid intake may prevent urolithiasis, which occurs when stones are present in the urinary tract.
- Cardiovascular system: A 2019 study found that people require adequate water intake for proper cardiovascular system function. The study noted that dehydration and inadequate water intake negatively affected blood pressure regulation and vascular function.
- Joints and bones: Water is a component of the lubricating fluid around the joints, which could help relieve joint pain.
Some potential risks of drinking water in the morning may involve:
- Drinking too much: If a person drinks too much water, water toxicity can occur. This can have negative effects on brain function, including confusion, nausea, and vomiting.
- Only drinking in the morning: If a person’s water intake only occurs in the morning, there may be a risk that they are not meeting their optimal water intake, which can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can lead to low mood and reduced cognition.
- Drinking flavored water: A person may also rely too heavily on sugared drinks to meet their daily water intake. For example, flavored water and sweetened beverages contain more calories than plain water. A 2016 study found that people who drank more plain water were more likely to lose weight and consume fewer calories. However, individuals could instead drink fruit or herb-infused flavored water or sparkling water.
Drinking water in the morning may offer some health benefits, especially if a person switches out an alternative morning drink for water.
However, many of the benefits of drinking water are not limited to just drinking it in the morning. It is essential that an individual stays hydrated throughout the day to ensure regular bodily function and minimize dehydration.
Flavored water options may be beneficial for people who may find it challenging to increase their water intake. The additional ingredients may also provide added health benefits with regular consumption.