The 7 Benefits of Drinking Water Before Coffee

By Lisa Frania — / Coffee Talk

Here's Why You Need To Drink Water To Get Caffeinated

We all know that caffeinated coffee is the magic mojo we need to jumpstart our day and inspire superhuman productivity. On those days—aka every day—when we just can’t seem to wake up clearheaded and ready to tackle our chaos, it’s the smell and taste of coffee (organic, I hope) that offers the only hope of survival. As a result, we’re all guilty of reaching for that mug of coffee first as our incentive to get out of bed in the morning.  

A kettle of hot water being poured into a chrome French Press next to a bag of Death Wish Coffee medium roast.

After logging those Zzzz’s all night and not taking in any water, experts suggest we should reach for a glass of water before that morning cup of coffee instead.  

Why water? Drinking water helps us stay healthy. Since our bodies contain a lot of it—as much as 70%, it’s obvious that water is the key to a healthy, happy, hydrated body. Not only will you quench your body’s thirst, but say hello to a metabolism boost and get ready to feel the rush of your body waking up before you even take a sip of your coffee.  

7 Reasons Why You Should Drink Water Before Your Coffee 

1. Water kicks your body's metabolism into high gear.

Water does so much for our general wellness and ensures sure our metabolism is running on all cylinders. When we drink coffee, it tends to raise our cortisol levels, which helps us feel alert and awake—but also sometimes stressed and anxious. Cortisol levels are the highest already in the morning, so we can rely on our bodies to fuel us for that little bit of time it takes to drink a couple cups of water before hitting the coffee pot. 

  • Try this: While you smell that coffee brewing, drink some water instead for the first 30 minutes of your day in order to get going. Drinking water will help you fuel your brain (since your brain is 75% water), give you sharper focus and make you feel energized and ready for the challenges in the day ahead. It can also help guard against the morning munchies because dehydrated bodies sometimes mistake thirst for hunger. Drinking water on an empty stomach can even increase our metabolism rate, help us digest faster and absorb nutrients in a natural way.  

2. Water fights off dehydration and its nasty side effects.

Dehydration is no laughing matter. It can be linked to all sorts of bodily malfunctions like—

  • Feeling tired 
  • Headaches 
  • Dizziness 
  • Confusion 
  • Lack of attention 
  • Reduced short-term memory 
  • Decline in motor speed 

In fact, brain and motor function will decrease if you are only 1-2% dehydrated. Dehydration also leads to a variety of health problems: hypertension, kidney stones, breast cancer, sinusitis and obesity, to name a few.  

The caffeine in coffee acts as a diuretic, which means it stimulates your kidneys in order to excrete sodium in the urine. When you add that morning mug to a body that has been sleeping—and not drinking—all night, your body dehydrates even more since the body flushes the sodium along with the water it’s been holding. By adding water first to your thirsty body, you’ll get your metabolism going, and then you can enjoy the effects of the caffeine more intensely.  

  • What should a water goal be? Experts recommend drinking about 20-30 ounces of water before you drink any other liquid—even coffee. Try to get around 75 ounces of water (90-120 ounces is even better) every day. Remember that if you’re more active, you need more fluids. It doesn’t matter what the water temperature is either, but if it’s too cold, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer to embrace that coffee. Room temperature is probably your best bet. 

3. Water protects against mineral deficiency, digestive problems and more.

When we wake up, our bodies are pretty dry. Reaching for coffee first can cause the acidity and compounds in that cup to irritate the stomach lining. When coffee is consumed, your stomach produces hydrochloric acid, which is worse when you consume coffee on an empty stomach. If you’re an avid caffeine sipper, you already know this is a no-no. If you consume too much coffee, your body will kick into overdrive and produce more hydrochloric acid than needed, resulting in mineral deficiency and digestive problems. Stomach ulcers, heartburn, indigestion, kidney stones, bladder infections can all be side effects of too much acid. To minimize this damage, drink that clear stuff instead.   

4. Water protects teeth.

Coffee contains tannin, a chemical responsible for discoloring your teeth. As you drink your coffee (or tea), tannin creates a layer on those pearly whites. But water offers another helping hand for your body—and your teeth. Drinking water fifteen minutes before that first cup of coffee produces a protective layer that reduces the chance of staining.  

5. Water helps your coffee taste better.

When you have a night out, you may notice that some coffees are already served with water. That’s because water cleanses your palette. Coffee just tastes better when you flush all the other flavors out of your mouth first. Any water temperature will do. 

6. Water quenches your thirst.

A lot of people drink coffee first thing in the morning because they’re thirsty. Drinking water will quench your thirst, helping you say no to that monster latte an hour later on your way to work. 

7. Water eliminates the caffeine crash.

Drinking water before coffee—and with your coffee—helps you avoid that painful caffeine crash. The “crash” sensation is due to a chemical called theobromine that starts working about 25 minutes after you drink your favorite brew. Theobromine is the culprit for those times when you feel tired after consuming caffeine. So you guessed it—drinking water before, during and after your coffee will help decrease the chances of the sleepies and keep you productive for the rest of your day. 

So start a new coffee ritual. We all want the caffeine to wake us up, give us a shot of energy and clear the cobwebs from our sleepy brains. But water can help provide all of those benefits and more—and make that coffee even more capable of giving us a true kickstart to the day. So while you hydrate, get the coffee brewing so you can enjoy the smell and look forward to the delicious taste. Make that your motivator to pound the water first. Then grab that cup of joe that will offer you the caffeinated bliss you crave, while being hydrated and even more ready to seize the day!

RELATED: The Truth About Caffeine and Anxiety

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