Water. The scientifically unique molecule that makes life on Earth – and your
existence – possible. The 8 x 8 (8 glasses of 8 oz/day) recommendation is out of date, and most professionals in the health community, including myself, have embraced aiming for a more proportional recommendation: half of your body weight in ounces of water per day (example: 150lb person = 75oz/day). There are also supporters of other approaches, such as only drinking when you are thirsty (not ideal for people like me that lack thirst). Additionally, under certain conditions this amount needs to be adjusted (athletic activity, higher elevations, dry climates, heat/sun exposure, medical conditions and medications). 

While the health community wrestles with the general recommendations, and you work on getting enough water throughout your day, there is no debating that one fantastic thing you can do right now, and every day, is to start it off with a tall glass of water. 

There are several reasons to start your day with water. A big one is flushing out the garbage! It may seem that while sleeping you are not getting anything accomplished, however, this is when your body and brain do the majority of their housekeeping and restoration (rejuvenation). In fact, your brain accumulates toxic waste products all day long, including amyloid plaques associated with dementia; it does not do any cleaning until you are asleep. Is it no wonder that there is a staggering increase in (early) dementia in the generation at the height of their careers during the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” era? (Ironically, lack of sleep will kill you.) Dementia is a multifactorial puzzle with which we are still grappling, but lack of sleep and subsequent accumulation of toxins take their toll. Washing out those toxins first thing upon waking is an essential final step to the process.

Here is an analogy. Think of the moment you wake as similar to finishing scrubbing a dirty pan or brushing your teeth. You wouldn’t move on from either task without rinsing with water, and similarly, you shouldn’t move on with your day without supplying your body with the water necessary to wash away accumulated toxins. This waste must be eliminated by organs that have a big task at hand, ridding the body of what it doesn’t need and keeping what it does.

Drinking water first thing upon rising provides affects you can feel and see: more energy (move over coffee!), increased metabolism (any takers?) and radiantly plump skin (yes, please!). It combats lightheadedness, dizziness and headaches that result from natural dehydration, supports the immune system and gut health, and can reduce pain.

Having enough water should not be overlooked or underestimated. In fact, I frequently have patients report improvement of many symptoms once they have enough water on a continuous basis. Start your day off right and finish your body’s cleanse from the night before by drinking a full glass of water.

Dr. Shari Jainuddin is a naturopathic primary care doctor at One Life Naturopathic and also offers biofeedback training and craniosacral therapy. For more information, call (442) 256.5963 or visit www.onelifenaturopathic.org.

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