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.

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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!

  1. Source: http://www.myfit.ca/foods_that_speed_metabolism.asp 

  2. Source: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/6-reasons-to-drink-water?page=2 

  3. Source: http://www.dorchesterhealth.org/water.htm 

  4. Source: http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/newsreleases/2010/august/clinical-trial-confirms-effectiveness-of-simple-appetite-control-method.html 

  • 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.

    • 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 ;)

  • 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.

    • 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 ;)

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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!

  • 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.

    • 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….

  • RickyTj

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

  • daniya

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

  • 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

    • WTFOMGLOL

      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

  • 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

    • WTFOMGLOL

      I know that knawing 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.

  • 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

  • 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

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

  • 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

      Why?

  • Iain Frisken

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

    • kitty

      Why?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

    • Aine Ni Nualláin

      We are told by all the experts that drink cooled water on rising and leave 1/2 an hour before eating

  • 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.

  • 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: http://www.healthdoyen.com/benefits-of-drinking-water.html

  • 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!

  • Morgan

    I also experienced this the first time I went on a gluten-free diet after my gastritis sent me to the emergency room. I wish I learned about the Chia seed trick, I would have tried it. I’m going to use it for my boyfriend though, because he still has ulcers. Thanks!

    • Aine Ni Nualláin

      Has your boyfriend been tested for Helicobactor Pylori infection which is the main cause of ulcers in the world today. People used to think it was what one was eating or drinking b ut not so. Read about it and get tested as ulcers are such a awful dibilitating complaint as you well know – my husband had them for 25 years until he was treated for H. Pylori (intense therapy for two weeks of antibiotics and another tablet) He has never looked back since – ie. over twenty years now since the treatment. Good luck

  • Anon

    yes of course, water is water. although use a basic filter or carbon one, or get spring water. they say purified water and distilled water is to void of minerals and leaches them from the body over time.

  • Anon

    actually that’s bs, i’ve studied nutrition science with some of the leading nutritionists at OHSU and i can tell you toxins are not pseudoscience. for instance, your skin is pushing toxins (environmental wastes, body made toxins, etc.) from your pores daily, especially as you sweat. read about something like bentonite clay to learn about how toxins are different then other chemicals in the body.. it has to do usually with how they are atomically charged. Mercury is a good example, it strips electrons off just about any molecule it passes by in your body, so you body tries to get rid of it as fast as possible. it puts it in your bodies fat tissue, or in bone. people loosing weight are releasing toxins (mercury, pcb’s, etc) into the rest of their body. in hospitals, obese people loosing weight to quickly has been known to make them sick from toxicity (this is documented in college western medicine based nutrition textbooks, can’t remember which one i read it in though). also it wasn’t just gallbladder issues. anyway hope this helps your fears of alternative or non-western based thinking, as science very much backs up ‘toxins being removed from the body’ by many different means.

  • Anon

    he’s incorrect, science does back up toxins and removal of toxins by many different means

  • Anon

    something you may want to note is not all water hydrates the body.
    some water, like distilled, and now they say purified, pulls minerals from the body, and dehydrates as it hydrates.

    a basic carbon filter is good because calcium and mag are still in the water. purification systems will rot your teeth, i know this first hand as all teeth problems stoped when i switched to just a plain carbon system after reading many doctors articles on the recommendation and warning. one reason water hydrates is the minerals.

    anyway, want to really cleanse?
    add in half the juice of a fresh sqeezed lemon. and, make the water a little bit warm, it opens up the lymph nodes faster!

    great article, thanks!

  • Jerry

    hot water or cold water ? which one is the best to drink in the morning ?

    • Aine Ni Nualláin

      bOILED cool water is the secret

  • Charles T. Olds Manuel

    I agree with and appreciate this tip on water.
    A secondary endeavor i utilize with my morning water drinking is Exercise!
    Whatever you desire to do, shortly after drinking your water, and before you eat…
    I jump up and down, or bound around on an individual trampoline, or walk, do cardio, abdominal exercises, hang out and play upside down on a decline inversion table, ride a bike…
    You get the point…get moving to help heat up that ctalyst, rehydrating our cells, moving those toxin, waste products along, cleansing our temple-
    1st Corinthians 6:19&20…
    in school for. Dietetic Technician Training, and seeking a Personal Trainer Certification as well.
    I also market a bottled water product.
    Want to connect with me, reach out to friend me-
    Charles T. Olds Manuel on Facebook,
    Email:
    [email protected]
    “Brother’s (&Sisters) i wish that you prosper and be in good health, even as your soul prospers!”
    3rdJohn 1:2…
    Amen

  • Charles T. Olds Manuel

    Really-why is that a fact you know and believe- and what is the source(s) to support that?

  • NappyB

    I workout first thing in the mornings. I find it difficult to workout with a stomach full of water (or anything, for that matter). Would drinking 16oz right after my workout have the same benefits? Or is there another option, like drinking more water just before bed?

  • Drinking cool or cold water is — in most cases — not recommended by both Ayurvedic and Chinese doctors. Should be at least room temperature.

  • Diego Sánchez M

    I drink a lot of water after waking up, about 1.5 L or maybe 2… Then I eat (before letting 45 mins go by) usually a lot of proteins and calories (fats and sugars mostly) and about 1 cup of tea… Then after breakfast I drink a lot of tea too, about 2 cups… The only thing is, I am a Christian, and I find it very hard and system-destabilizing to fast!

  • buba

    Well i want to ask if you woke up in the morning before cleaning your mouth or after cleaning your mouth you should drink water please

  • E S

    Read the book “you are not sick, you are thirsty” by F. Batmanghelidj, MD
    It sounds like a thirst signal. Sometimes we mistake being thirsty with being hungry due to prolonged dehydration. It’s a book I highly recommend to anyone. It literally can change your life. BTW, it’s my sincere personal experience, not an endorsement whatsoever. One way to get all the trace minerals and to “charge” water is to use a supplement called “concentrate”.
    It’s a brand and a product. You could get the vitamine shoppe brand. Same thing just labeled under their brand and costs less.
    90 day supply around 18-25 bucks. Look it up and use it. You’ll be surprised what it does for you.

  • ShaunK

    Although water is essential to life, when a person drinks too much
    their blood becomes dangerously diluted of salts. According to Scientific American,
    this causes a condition called hyponatremia, and severe cases of
    hyponatremia lead to water intoxication. Some of the main symptoms of
    water intoxication are headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, frequent
    urination, and mental disorientation

    When a person drinks too much
    water the kidneys cannot flush it out as well and this causes the
    excess water to enter the cells and cause them to swell. When the brain
    cells begin to swell the situation can turn lethal fast.

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