Healthy female sitting outdoors and drinking water after exercising session. Fitness woman taking a break after workout.

When it’s hot outside, as it has been all summer, staying hydrated is beyond expected; it’s necessary. You get into a routine of filling your Swell bottle or Hydroflask with ice-cold water before you start your day, and refilling it whenever you get the chance.
But here’s a question, is cold water always the best idea? And is there a wrong time to drink it?
There are a lot of different factors you have probably never thought about when it comes to drinking water (and, rightly so, who sits around all day thinking about this stuff?) so I’m here to explain a few of them.

Drink it lukewarm in the morning Blue enamel cup of hot steaming coffee sitting on an old log by an outdoor campfire. Extreme shallow depth of field with selective focus on mug.

Personally, no matter the temperature outside, I think lukewarm water is gross. It’s like you made a hot drink and forgot about it, and there’s nothing fun about that.
Well, while it might not be fun, lukewarm water is actually good for you (shocker). Here are a few of the benefits: relieves pain naturally, improves digestion, detoxifies the body, increases metabolic rate.
Because it does improve your metabolic rate (so you burn more calories), and aids in digestion, it is recommended that you start your day with a warm mug of water, and drink it before meals.

But keep it cold when it’s hot Fresh Spring Sparkling Water with Ice in a Glass

Warm water is great, but there are situations when cold is better. Situations that would qualify include: right after a workout, when you need to bring your body temperature down; when it’s hot outside if you have heatstroke.
It’s best not to drink cold water right before you eat, while you eat, or right after you eat. Aim for around 20 minutes before or after eating to drink water.

It’s water o’clock Athlete drinking water

As you’ve seen, there are good and better times to drink water dependent on what temperature it’s at. Warm water in the morning is good (have two mugs if you can) and experts also recommend a mug before bed (but not too much all you’ll have to get up to go to the bathroom!).
Aside from those more set tones, try to drink your water before and after a workout, when you feel hungry between meals, when you’re tired, and when you’re unwell. It’s good for all of these – promise!

Sip, don’t chug Shot of a woman drinking a glass of water at home

My guy recently told me that I gulp water rather than sip it. Turns out he’s right and I’m drinking water all wrong. Not only does sipping water lead to fewer restroom visits than chugging does, but drinking with speed could lead to over-hydration, which in extreme cases can cause death. Note to self: Drink slow.

Infusion Shot of a unrecognizable person pouring water into a glass outside around a table

Water is already healthy, obviously. But we can add things to it for added nutritional benefits. Here’s what the experts recommend: 1) Lemon – just a squeeze and a slice to add your own alkaline to your water, 2) Ginger – good for indigestion and nausea, 3) Berries – anti-aging and full of antioxidants, 4) Mint – great for digestion.
So there we have it. A guide to drinking water the best way. (Although as long as you’re drinking enough of it, you’re all good)

Femi A-Williams is a health and fitness convert trying to reconcile a healthy lifestyle and a happy food life. She is 80% whole grain and 20% donut.

All posts by Femi A-Williams