Your normal a.m. routine goes something like this: Wake up, check Instagram, make a beeline to your coffee machine. But starting your day with a glass of water instead actually has tons of good-for-you health benefits. (Don’t worry, you can still get your caffeine fix immediately after.)
1. It Can Improve Your Metabolism
Drinking water (approximately 20 ounces) can increase your metabolic rate by 30 percent, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Having a glass on an empty stomach helps put your body on a path toward more efficient digestion the moment you start your day.
2. It Can Help Alleviate Heartburn and Indigestion
When you sip a glass first thing in the morning, it cleanses any food acids from your esophagus that worked their way upward while you slept. (It also helps flush acids off your teeth.)
3. It Can Prevent Kidney Stones
Drinking water first thing is key to diluting the substances in your urine that can cause kidney stones to form. But remember: Your water intake should amount to at least a half gallon a day to really ward them off, experts say. (Adding a slice of lemon—rich in citric acid—also helps, FYI.)
4. It Can Stop a Headache in Its Tracks
Dehydration is one of the leading causes of that throbbing pain in your skull. Think of a glass of water first thing in the morning as a measure that helps prevent a headache from developing. (Just be sure you keep sipping throughout the day.)
5. It Helps Flush Toxins from the Body
It’s all about keeping your small intestine hydrated and your body’s water balance in check. Your gastric emptying rate (i.e., how much you pee) is accelerated by how much water you consume. The more you pee, the more toxins you flush out. Simple as that.
6. It Keeps Things Moving, Too
Yep, a glass of water on an empty stomach also helps regulate your digestion (ahem, your bowel movements) so you get it out of the way first thing.
7. It Can Keep You from Getting Sick
To dodge a cold or the flu, you need to keep your lymphatic system—a vital part of your immune system—hydrated. A glass of water in the morning will help ward off congestion and ensure proper (and efficient) drainage.