Is it really better to drink water on an empty stomach?

You’re sometimes surprised to learn that a hot fad is really an old tradition. Beauty circles have been abuzz recently with this idea of Water Therapy, a practice which has been around in Japan for generations. Here are all the facts you need about drinking water on an empty stomach!

What is water therapy?

The big thing that makes water therapy so controversial is the idea of drinking water on an empty stomach. As the tradition in Japan goes, you wake up in the morning and drink several glasses of water. You don’t even brush your teeth first. Then, you digest that and let it make its way out of your stomach before eating, roughly 45 minutes later.

After eating, you refrain from eating or drinking again for at least 15 minutes, when you drink some more water.

You might think this sounds unimpressive, and like it can’t make a difference. However, the practice describes drinking between 1.5 and 2 liters of water when you wake up in the morning. For most, this would be exceptionally difficult, and you might not even be able to keep it all down. If you work up glass by glass, however, and stick to the practice once you make it, water therapy is said to have multiple benefits, and even cure disease.

The claims

Some say water therapy cures diseases, including asthma, hypertension, and diabetes. Others rave about the effect it has on your hair and complexion. Some say it only works in the morning, specifically drinking huge amounts.

The claims that make the most sense relate to weight and appetite. If you wake up and drink a couple liters of water each day, you’re bound to keep appetite at bay until later. This will give you a better shot at dropping those pounds, and reversing disease related to being overweight, like diabetes and heart disease. And drinking water will also regulate organs that are in trouble, for example if you have a kidney infection.

Most of these claims speak to the quantity of water, and all of them speak to the time you drink it. Not only should you drink on an empty stomach, they say, but right away in the morning. Curiously, most articles preach this but don’t tell you WHY. We’re here to break it down and tell you what they say.

The idea is this: water is your body’s primary need, and you are most dehydrated when you wake up in the morning. Like eating a bar of chocolate before taking off for a run, you’re giving your body the resources it needs to do its thing. And that’s how the magic happens.

The facts

There are some nay-sayers who claim that drinking so much water on an empty stomach will dilute your stomach acids, but that’s like the personal trainers who scold you for eating too much fruit because it has sugar. Your body needs water, and lots of it. And by drinking loads of it right away in the morning, you’re guaranteeing that you get the daily intake you probably weren’t too good about getting before.

Flushing your system with high water consumption, especially on an empty stomach and right at once, fills you up and curbs appetite. It gives your body the basic element it needs to pump blood and breath air and keep you moving. And it can cure a UTI lickity-split.

Outside of the obvious benefits of water, having ANY routine is good. Your body adjusts quicker to new routines than you realize, and once it has a routine it functions more efficiently around it. If your body gets accustomed to having a certain intake of water at a certain time, it will prepare for it. This is how you work up to 2 liters at the start of each day, and how you can be sure it won’t give you stomach upset or dilute any necessary enzymes.

Do I really have to drink water on an empty stomach?

Drinking water right in the morning is as important as drinking it on an empty stomach for successful water therapy. You should always drink water before you eat, really, both to curb appetite and to give you the hydration necessary to digest food properly. I mean, who wants to stick with chronic constipation?

Drinking water in the morning is important, too, both because it gives you a set routine and because it rehydrates you after a night of sleep. Did you know your temperature rises while you sleep? Do you realize how many calories you burn while you snooze? You need to rehydrate after that.

Even if the tradition has some of its facts wrong, you’ll be hard pressed to drink too much water. Since you’re made up of 70% water anyway, you’re really just leveling the tank off through water therapy. Don’t leave the house in the morning on “E.” Give yourself your best shot at life, and drink more water.