The importance of drinking multiple glasses of water as soon as you wake up has long been known in Japanese and Indian cultures to bring huge benefits to your general wellbeing.
Over the last 3 months, I have been incorporating the practice into my daily routine and collating the information I have found on the benefits and my own experiences to inform you here Dear Reader.
So what is Japanese Water Therapy?
Okay so Japanese water therapy is the practise drinking water first thing in the morning (traditional medicine recommends drinking water just after awakening because of its natural health benefits) before brushing your teeth and of course on an empty stomach (approximately a litre). Drinking water is of course generally good for our health. Water is a great source of life and it is a necessary element for every cell and function in our body.
The way its described as a practice may not be practical to most of us but I believe the basic principles behind this are totally sound and worth incorporating into your daily routine.
If you have a kidney problem or severe health issues, ask your doctor before starting the Japanese Water Therapy.
After you wake up drink 4 x 160ml (22 ounces) glasses of water (not cold) before you do anything else, including brushing your teeth.
After you finish your water, you can brush your teeth, but don’t eat or drink for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes you may eat and drink as normal.
After every meal or snack, don’t eat or drink anything for 2 hours.
If you are sick, elderly, or not used to this, you can start this process gradually that eventually equals 22 ounces per day.
It is recommended to continue this therapy and to make this procedure a routine in our life.
For serious diseases as well as minor illnesses the water treatment has been found successful by a Japanese medical society as a natural remedy in cases of:
- body ache
- heart problems
- fast heartbeat
- bronchitis asthma
- urine and diseases
- all eye diseases
- menstrual disorders
- ear-, nose-, and throat diseases
Okay, so what are the key benefits to our lives here in the west?
1. Helps Rid the Body of Toxins
As you drink water, it naturally urges movement in your bowels. At night, your body repairs itself and casts out all the toxins in the body. When you drink water on an empty stomach in the morning, you will flush out these harmful toxins, leaving your body fresh and healthy. Drinking plenty of water can help in increasing the production of muscle cells and new blood cells.
2. Improves Metabolism
Drinking water on an empty stomach can increase your metabolic rate by at least 24%. It is very important for those people who are on a strict diet. An increased metabolic rate means an improved digestive system. You will be able to follow your diet routine more easily if you digest faster. Drinking water immediately after waking up purifies the colon, making it easier to absorb nutrients.
3. Alleviates Heartburn and Indigestion
Indigestion is caused by increased acidity in the stomach. You suffer from heartburn when the acid refluxes into your oesophagus. When you drink water on an empty stomach, these acid are pushed down and get diluted, solving the problem. Also, this provides a head start for your stomach for the upcoming breakfast.
4. Improves Complexion and Skin Radiance
Dehydration causes premature wrinkles and deep pores on the skin. It was found out in a study that drinking 500 ml of water on an empty stomach increases blood flow to the skin and makes skin glow. Also, drinking more water throughout the day means that your body is releasing toxins, which will make your skin more radiant.
5. Promotes Shiny, Smooth, and Healthy Hair
Dehydration can have a serious impact on your hair growth. Drinking plenty of water nourishes your hair from the inside out. Water makes up almost ¼ of the weight of a hair strand. An insufficient intake of water can cause brittle hair and thin hair strands. You should drink more water every day, but drinking water on an empty stomach can improve the quality of your hair to a greater extent.
6. Reinforces Healthy Weight Loss When you drink water in the morning on an empty stomach, you will release all your toxins and it will improve your digestive system. You will feel less hungry and your cravings will be reduced. This will prevent weight gain caused by overeating.
7. Prevents Kidney Stones and Bladder Infections
Drinking water immediately after waking up is important for preventing kidney stones and bladder infections. It is a fact that drinking water on an empty stomach dilutes the acids which lead to stones in the kidney. The more water you drink (to a healthy limit), the more you will be protected from various kinds of bladder infections caused by toxins.
8. Strengthens Immune System
Drinking water on an empty stomach helps in flushing and balancing the lymphatic system, which leads to increased levels of immunity. A strong immune system will keep you safe from various diseases and prevent you from falling poorly as often.
As you can see, there are a whole host of benefits of drinking water immediately after waking up. It’s without a doubt the easiest way to make a positive change to your lifestyle without spending any money.
Other benefits you may find helpful being.
9. Water Helps Prevent Hangovers
A hangover refers to the unpleasant symptoms experienced after drinking alcohol.Alcohol is a diuretic, so it makes you lose more water than you take in. This can lead to dehydration.Although dehydration is not the main cause of hangovers, it can cause symptoms of thirst, fatigue, headache and dry mouth.A good way to reduce hangovers is to drink a glass of water between drinks and to have at least one big glass of water before going to bed.
10. Drinking More Water May Help Relieve Constipation Constipation is a common problem, characterised by infrequent bowel movements and difficulty passing a stool. Increasing fluid intake is often recommended as a part of the treatment protocol, and there is some evidence to back this up. Low water consumption appears to be a risk factor for constipation in both young and elderly individuals. Carbonated water particularly has shown very promising results for constipation relief, although the reason is not entirely understood as yet.
11. Water Helps to Maximize Physical Performance
If we do not stay hydrated, physical performance can suffer. This is particularly important during intense exercise or high heat. Dehydration can have a noticeable effect if you lose as little as 2% of your body’s water content. However, it is not uncommon for athletes to lose up to 6-10% of their water weight via sweat. This can lead to altered body temperature control, reduced motivation, increased fatigue and make exercise feel much more difficult, both physically and mentally. Optimal hydration has been shown to prevent this from happening, and may even reduce the oxidative stress that occurs during high-intensity exercise. This is not surprising when you consider that muscle is about 80% water. So, if you exercise intensely and tend to sweat, then staying hydrated can help you perform at your absolute best.
12. Hydration Has a Major Effect on Energy Levels and Brain Function
Your brain is strongly influenced by hydration status. Studies show that even mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can impair many aspects of brain function. In a study of young women, the fluid loss of 1.36% after exercise impaired both mood and concentration and increased the frequency of headaches. Another similar study, this time in young men, showed that fluid loss of 1.59% was detrimental to working memory and increased feelings of anxiety and fatigue. A 1-3% fluid loss equals about 1.5-4.5 lbs of body weight loss for a 150 lbs person. This can easily occur through normal daily activities, let alone during exercise or high heat. Many other studies, ranging from children to the elderly, have shown that mild dehydration can impair mood, memory and brain performance.
Something else important to really consider that makes total sense when you think about it.
Yes, we all really need to drink water and stay healthy and active!
This makes sense to all of us but also please consider this as a closing pice of knowledge from the far east. The Chinese and Japanese drink hot tea with their meals, not cold water. Maybe it is the time we adopt their drinking habit while eating. After all, you’ve nothing to lose, everything to gain…
For those who like to drink cold water, this statement is applicable to you:
Although dear reader It is nice to have a cup of cold drink during or after a meal please consider this, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion.
Once this oily sludge reacts with the acid in your stomach, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and could lead to other health issues. It is best to drink hot or warm water during and after a meal.
Something to consider…
And finally please take the one minute 45 seconds or so to watch this great video.