Annie lay in bed, watching the night sky slowly lighten. It was five a.m., and she had been awake for over an hour since her third trip to the bathroom. She looked over at a peacefully sleeping LJ, “well, I can use this time to meditate. She quietly reached for her headphones, turned on her favorite meditation on the Calm app, settled down, and closed her eyes. When she opened them again, the bedroom skylight was flooded with a brightness that promised another glorious day.

LJ walked into the bedroom, “I woke up, and you were sound asleep, so I decided not to wake you. I’ve already gone for the morning walk.”

“Thanks for not waking me. I guess I fell asleep during meditation. This is ridiculous. First, I’m up all night going to the bathroom and can’t fall back to sleep; morning comes, and I decide to meditate, and that’s when I fall asleep. I must figure out how much water I can drink daily and not have it interfere with my sleep.”

LJ started his sit-ups, “You’ve always been clear; the first thing in the morning is to drink a cup of water before getting out of bed. Maybe that’s where to start in your assessment?”

“Yes,” she said, stifling a yawn. “After sleeping for several hours, the best way to start the day is by rehydrating. Drinking water before the first cup of coffee helps avoid the dehydrating effects of coffee.”

“What is dehydration?”

“Dehydration occurs when you lose more water than you are taking in. Thirst is a sign of dehydration, and so is dry mouth and lips, flushed skin, headache, dizziness, fainting, low blood pressure, rapid heart rate, and deep golden urine.

Drinking water first thing in the morning is an easy and essential habit because it helps control body temperature, prevents overheating, normalizes blood pressure, cushions, and protects joints, moves nutrients and waste through the body, and helps control weight gain.”

“I need some water; exercise makes me thirsty. Can you hand me my water bottle?”

“Sure,” said Annie. Another good habit is carrying your water in a personal bottle. The bottle can be a reminder to drink water, and you can gauge how much you drink by how many times you fill it. Not to mention using a personal water bottle prevents single-use plastic from winding up in our oceans, parks, and landfill.”

LJ nodded as he wiped his face and got ready to do push-ups. “Water isn’t the only thing to keep you hydrated, though. Sometimes I just want a big giant strawberry soda. Like the kind I drank as a kid.”

Annie gave him the side eye. “I know you know better. Soda is not a thirst quencher; it makes you more dehydrated. It is the worst thing to reach for when you’re thirsty. An excellent habit of helping ditch soda is drinking sparkling water. It is a good thirst quencher too. Its carbonation is like soda but sparking water doesn’t have unhealthy ingredients. It improves swallowing and reduces constipation.”

“You’re right,” laughed LJ. “But sometimes drinking water gets boring. I like to add slices of fruit and veggies to keep it interesting.”

“That is a clever idea. Another healthy habit is to eat your water. Citrus, melons, berries, cucumbers, apples, and leafy greens have hydrating properties, especially if you eat them daily.”

“Annie, when we meet friends for drinks, I alternate water between alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated and calm and reduce the craving for more alcohol.”

“That’s a wonderful habit, sweetheart. If I stop drinking fluid at least 2-4 hours before bed, I am more likely to sleep undisturbed. However, sometimes towards the end of the day, I realize I haven’t drunk eight glasses of water and start drinking it to catch up.”

LJ finished his last push-up and hopped to his feet, “the first thing to know is drinking eight glasses of water daily is not a fixed rule. The amount you need is based on several personal factors, like physical activity level, age, health status, time of year, and pregnancy. According to the Mayo Clinic , women need about eleven and a half cups of water and men need about fifteen and a half. Since water moves through your body quickly, it is a good idea to stop drinking it for at least two hours before bed.”

“Okay, I’m willing to try it and cultivate a new habit of turning off the water a couple of hours before bed.”

One of my favorite quotes,” said LJ, is “Drinking water is like taking a shower on the inside of your body.” He hugged a sleepy Annie, “By the way, your skin is glowing, so keep up the apple a day and the water.”

Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.


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