When should we drink water? The answers seem really obvious – when we’re thirsty, during a workout, and we’ve all heard the old “eight glasses a day” adage. But even those who think they have healthy drinking habits still complain of feeling thirsty, and also find themselves lacking in energy during the day yet fighting restlessness as they try to fall asleep.

If you’re feeling off and want to fix it, check out these tips from Physiofitness’ resident nutrition coach Frances Rosario-Puleo, who saw major improvements in her body’s hydration, digestion, and energy when she made these simple changes to the way she drinks water.

1. Drink “Half Your Weight”

If you weigh 150 lbs, try drinking 75 ounces (approximately 9 8-ounce glasses) per day. Add another 8-ounce glass as needed if you exert yourself with exercise or during hot days, but at the same time, don’t overdo it! Drinking too much water can actually be dangerous, so stick to the recommended amounts.

2. Drink When You Wake

After hours asleep in bed, your body is desperate for water. Try hydrating yourself with 16 ounces of water as soon as you get out of bed. Don’t just sip! Drink it all down. Bottoms up!

3. Drink Between Meals

Drinking a little water during a meal if necessary is fine, but drinking a full glass of water during a meal can prevent full absorption of the nutrients in your food. Instead, try drinking 16 ounces of water about 45 minutes before or after you eat.

4. Don’t Drink Before Sleeping

Drinking water close to bedtime can interrupt sleep, prevent a deep sleep, and even delay drifting off to sleep. A good night’s sleep is crucial to keeping your energy levels high during the day, so try drinking your last glass of water about three hours before you head to bed.

5. Just Add Lemon

Want to spice things up? Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to your water. Lemon juice adds a touch of flavor without pouring on the sugar and calories you’d get from lemonade, juice, or other sweet drinks.

Water has many advantages no matter how you drink it, but by paying attention to things like quantity and time of day, you can maximize the benefits of water to change the way your body feels and functions.

Author Bio: Frances joined Physiofitness in 2010 and is responsible for all front-desk services, including insurance verification, greeting clients, and scheduling appointments. Frances is certifying to be a health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is helping physically active people reach their goals for optimum health. Frances is a Certified Billing and Coding Specialist. She earned her MA in Modern Dance from Brigham Young University. She danced with the Nancy Meehan Dance Company for 20 years and currently performs and choreographs her own work in New York and New Jersey. She also enjoys classical and popular singing and performs as a soprano in New York and New Jersey. […] read more