Killer morning habit: Drink 16oz of water, right after you wake up

Takeaway: One of the best things you can do after you wake up: drink at least 16oz (500mL) of water. Water fires up your metabolism, hydrates you, helps your body flush out toxins, gives your brain fuel, and may even make you eat less.

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes, 3s.


If you like this article you might also dig this productivity experiment I just finished up: The top 10 things I learned drinking only water for a month.

Imagine not drinking any water, tea, or any other liquids for the next eight hours.

Well, that’s essentially what you do while you sleep. While you sleep, your body slowly becomes dehydrated because it needs fluid to operate. Naturally, you don’t drink water while you sleep because, well, you’re sleeping!

I’m reducing my body fat from 17% to 10% for a productivity experiment, and drinking a huge glass of water right after I wake up is something both my personal trainer and dietician recommended to reduce my body fat. Especially this week, when I’m being a complete slob in the name of productivity, it’s helping my energy levels a ton.

189795_6601Most sources I’ve read recommend drinking 16oz of water right after you wake up, and I’d recommend even more (depending on your weight; I drink 1-2L every morning and weigh 173 pounds). Here are five solid reasons to drink a big glass of water right when you wake up.

  • It fires up your metabolism. Drinking a large, cool glass of water after you wake up has been shown to fire up your metabolism by a whopping 24% for 90 minutes!1
  • You’re dehydrated when you wake up. You just went 7-8 hours without drinking any water! Even if your body isn’t telling you that it’s thirsty, it probably is.
  • Water helps your body flush out toxins. “Your kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins as long as your intake of fluids is adequate”, according to Kenneth Ellner, an Atlanta-based dermatologist. Getting fluids into your body right after your wake up will help your body flush out toxins first thing in the morning.2
  • Your brain tissue is 75% water. When you’re not properly hydrated, your brain operates on less fuel, and you can feel drained, or experience fatigue or mood fluctuations.3
  • You’ll eat less. One study showed that people who drink a glass of water before every meal lost 4.5 pounds over a three-month period, because “it fills up the stomach with a substance that has zero calories”, and people “feel full as a result”.4 Especially after I’ve eaten a big breakfast, drinking a lot of water in the morning has also helped me avoid the temptation of snacking before lunch.

Your body is 72% water, and you don’t have enough water in you when you wake up. Drinking a big glass of water first thing in the morning is a great way to rehydrate, and start kicking ass from the moment you wake up.

A great tip by S.J. Scott in the comments: if you’re not a fan of drinking water right after you wake up, reward yourself  after you drink the water (like with tea) to make the habit stick!

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  • SJ Scott

    I totally agree. I am not a “fan” of drinking water, but i know how darn important it is. SO I try to make myself get it in early. Pretty much always do this. I try to get 16 ounces in before I let myself have my morning tea.

    Making it a quick habit with an instant reward helps a lot.

    • Chris Bailey

      I love that tip, and added it to the article! I recently started adding a pre-workout mix to my water, which definitely adds to the taste. Plus it serves as a nice jolt at 5:30 in the morning ;)

  • Steve

    It’s like you read my mind! I’ve been doing this for the past few weeks and I’ve been feeling the benefits. At first it was kind of hard to implement. I want my morning cup of coffee and water isn’t on my mind. But I got a good system going. What I do is fill up a water bottle after I wake up and drink it while I’m driving in the morning. Since it’s something I do every day anyway, I figure I might as well attach the water drinking habit to it. Works really well for me.

    • Chris Bailey

      Awesome man, I love it! You’re right, it’s a bitch to implement at first, but especially if you go from having a coffee in the morning which doesn’t hydrate you near as much, the results are absolutely incredible. (At least that’s what I found myself.) I’m also finding that when I do grab a coffee after I drink a litre of water, it provides me with way more focus and energy than it did before.

  • Ludvig Sunström

    I always drink two glasses of water WITH glutamine after waking up. It’s a smart thing to do if you’re fasting and never eat breakfast.

    …However, I’m going to try drinking more water from now on to see if it makes a difference.

    • Chris Bailey

      Do you work out in the morning as well? I see glutamine at the supplements store every time I visit, but haven’t looked into it too much!

  • RickyTj

    can i drink overnight water after waking up? as in i boiled the water last night and drink it in the next morning?

    • Donnie

      Why do you boil your water?

      • chris

        Many places in the world don’t have water that’s drinkable out of the tap….

  • daniya

    I also used to drink water early in the morning for past 2 yer n its help me alot to lose weight

  • Sarah

    This may not have to do with this article exactly, but I was wondering if anybody could help me. See, I started my diet last night, and I ate about half as much as a would have (which is what I should have been eating rather than eating third helpings everyday) and when I went to bed, everything was fine at first, but after a few hours or so, I got a sharp pain in my lower right side, and it’s like hunger pains concentrated in the one area. I tried to go to sleep and even when I woke up in the morning it’s still there. I’m not worried that its going to kill me or something stupid like that, but does anybody know what it was that could have caused it? I haven’t eaten yet, so maybe it just means I’m hungry but.. Does anybody have any suggestions perhaps


      I know that knowing hunger feeling all too well. It became my constant companion after I started a gluten-free/wheat-free/dairy-free diet. It turned out not to be actual hunger, (I eat plenty of my new foods); but a kind of stomach acidy-y heartburn. (I think I might have some sort of ulcer from my poor diet in the past). What got rid of it the gnawing hunger, was a daily teaspoon full of dry chia seeds. followed by a big glass of water 15 minutes later (* very important* that you follow through with the water!); after the dry chia seeds had a chance to soak up the excess stomach acid. This worked like a charm the first time I tried it, after reading about it online, and I’ve had great results with it since. Good luck with your diet, and fighting the good fight. Eating “right” is no fun at all, at least not at first, until you get used to it. :( but it’s so worth it. It gives back so much more than it takes.

    • Melease

      Its gasinterritics (gas) the body is used to excess amount of food n ut wasnt use to the little amount but ginger, garlic tea works for d pain

  • Rochelle

    I have try drinking water every morning right after I wake up and it has help me, I have started about 2 months ago. I have lose 12 pounds . I dont feel hungry all the time like I used to. I have seen a change in skin also. I will continue to drink water in the morning. I promise you it works

  • Eden Nuganics

    add a sqeeze of lemon or some apple cider vinegar for an even bigger health kick :)

  • Iain Frisken

    Protip — Anytime you see “toxins” in a health article you can be 100% sure there is zero science behind it.

    • kitty


  • Taka Iguchi

    This is such a simple thing to do and extremely helpful. For any haters out there, drink at least 20oz of water right when you get up for a week and see if it kicks up your metabolism. You’ll know by your trips to the bathroom for number dos.

  • Sharon Purnell

    I keep a bottle of water next to my bed. I drink it frequently throughout the night and water is the first thing I reach for in the morning.

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  • Candice

    How many hours before I could already eat after drinking water in the morning?

  • H. Kaplan

    11/07/2014 I am wondering if using an herb tea, would also satisfy the requirement, as well as adding the benefit of the herb(s) the tea is derived from? I also heard it suggested, that, preferably, the water should be close to body temp. Drinking herb tea, after it sits for a few minutes, would also meet that suggestion.

  • Wisseman Kristopher

    What are the best drinks in the world? that’s water. Drinking Water Makes You Smarter, Helps You Lose Weight, Let you younger, and so on. Learn more about the benefits of drinking water from:

  • Jolyne

    Must it be cold water?Or can it also be warm water?

  • Grace Ballesteros

    I always drink two big glasses of water every morning after i brush my teeth after preparing for work but it is a bit cold water. Then when i arrived at the office i usually drink a cup of coffee with crackers or biscuits then follow by a glass of lipton tea (green tea and yellow label tea) which i alternately do, a day with green tea and a day with ordinary tea. It’s my daily routine. A bag of tea diluted in water and replace it until it becomes clear. Tea about 2-4 refill of water. Would that be a good routine habit for me?

  • C

    This routine also gets you out of the darn bed. Talk about an increase in productivity! :D We have an Asian hot water thermos that keeps water hot, so I can have some warm water in the morning, when I’m particularly thirsty. Or, as a friend says, this is a good way to drink those cups of water if you don’t like drinking water!

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