If popular health advice could be distilled into two words, they would be: stay hydrated. Chances are, you've already read a thousand articles yelling at you to drink enough water every day. But what is the best time of day to hydrate in general (or is there such a thing)? Should everybody wake up in the morning and just start slamming water like there's no tomorrow?
As it turns out, the ideal time to hydrate will be a little different for everyone. "The best time of day to drink water is when you’re thirsty," as Mr. Kris Sollid, RD, Senior Director of Nutrition Communications at the International Food Information Council Foundation, tells Romper. "Thirst will depend on a variety of factors, but it should be your first instinct." So if you do wake up feeling parched, then sip some water first thing in the morning. If you're feeling super thirsty in the middle of the afternoon, then by all means stop to drink some water. It's the simplest answer, but thirst is one sensation that people can so easily ignore.
If you aren't always in tune with natural feelings of thirst, then there are some other ways to figure out when it's time to take a drink. "You can also determine when to hydrate by monitoring the color of your urine. When properly hydrated, it should be a pale-yellow color," says Sollid. If you need a visual reference, then there's a urine color chart from Healthline that explains these distinctions. Very light yellow (not necessarily clear) is the general goal.
Another option? Simply make hydrating an automatic part of your routine throughout the day. "Always hydrate! Keep a water bottle with you," says nutritionist Angie Weiss. Take a sip whenever the thought crosses your mind. For a stylish way to keep water handy at all times, check out the best glass water bottles from Bustle. Seriously, the Origin one is incredibly cute.
Although it may feel like a lot of work at first, there's a real reason humans need to replenish their fluids so often. "Water is constantly leaving our bodies, that’s why rehydrating is important," says Sollid. Each day, about 800 to 2,000 milliliters of water are lost to urine, whereas 200 milliliters get used in bowel movements, as Sollid explains. Then there's the whole sweat factor. "The amount of sweat we lose each day varies based on the level of activity and the person. On average, it ranges from 500 to 700 milliliters per day, even though some athletes can sweat more than a liter in an hour when it’s really hot!" says Sollid. Even breathing results in some loss of water. When you add all of these activities together, it's no wonder the body needs you to drink so much.
Speaking of which, how much water should the average person drink each day? "The recommended daily fluid intake for women is around 11 glasses of water, or 2.2 liters, and for men it’s about 13 glasses, or 3 liters," says Sollid. It's easy enough to find your target amount and slowly sip your way to hydration each day. For most people, the best time of day to drink water is right now.