The best times to drink water

How much water should I drink in a day, and when are the best times to drink water? Read on to discover some simple tips for keeping hydrated.
Published March 10, 2022 | Updated November 30, 2022

There’s nothing more refreshing than a cold glass of water when you’re feeling thirsty, but we often wonder, when is the best time to drink water? Staying hydrated is important all the time, not just when you’re feeling thirsty, such as after a workout or spending a few hours in the sun. It’s easy to become dehydrated if you aren’t consuming enough fluids throughout the day, or when you lose fluids through perspiration. Fluids are beneficial to help reduce your risk of dehydration, control body temperature, maintain blood pressure, and move nutrients and waste throughout your body.

When is the Best Time to Drink Water and Why

If you’re wondering, “how much water should I drink in a day?”, it’s important to know that fluid needs vary from person to person, and depend on a variety of factors, such as your age, gender, how much physical activity you get, your overall diet, and how hot and humid the weather is.

Regardless of your fluid intake goals, what is most important is to drink consistently throughout the day. This can make it easier to maintain healthy hydration habits and to ensure your fluid intake is sufficient overall.

Here are some of the best times to drink water:

  • In the Morning: Drinking a glass of water when you wake up is an easy way to start your day and gets you well on your way to meeting your daily fluid needs. You may also feel thirsty after a night without water.
  • Before Meals: Consuming water before each meal not only helps you hydrate but can increase the feeling of fullness, so that you eat less overall but still feel satisfied.
  • Before, During, and After Exercise: When you are physically active, you lose water and electrolytes through perspiration. Sipping on water before, during, and after exercise helps to maintain hydration and replace any lost fluids.

When you think about “how much water should I drink in a day?”, it is helpful to focus on drinking consistently throughout the day to stay hydrated.

How to Make Hydrating a Habit

“How much water should I drink in a day?” Follow these simple steps to make hydrating a habit, rather than tracking each glass of water you drink each day:

Drink Sparkling Water. If you’re bored of plain water, switching to sparkling (carbonated) water is a simple way to jazz things up. Whether you choose plain or flavoured sparkling water, the extra “fizz” makes it a good alternative to sugary soft drinks, but without any calories or added sugar. Remember to look for sparkling water over soda water, as the latter contains sodium.

Piggybacking. A great trick to boost your water intake is that for every cup of coffee you consume, follow it up (“piggyback”) by drinking a cup of water. If you normally brew a pot of coffee at home, leave a glass by your coffee maker so you remember to fill it with water. If you grab your coffee while on-the-go, carry a water bottle with you so you can maintain this habit no matter where you are.

Set Reminders. Often, we simply forget to drink throughout the day, or it’s just not that convenient. To make it easier, set a reminder for yourself with a regularly scheduled alarm or calendar reminder on your phone, or a note in your daily agenda. Set these reminders to sip water periodically throughout the day to coincide with either meals or breaks.

Schedule Water Breaks into Your Workout. You lose fluids at a faster rate when you are sweating, so it is important to stay hydrated when you are exercising. Depending on the intensity and duration of your workout, aim to take a water break approximately every 15 minutes. Above all, listen to your body – if you are feeling thirsty, stop to take some extra sips.