For many, a cup of coffee is one the very first rituals of the morning.   Slogans, such as “the best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup”  have reinforced the  notion that somehow our morning will not start out right without a cup of coffee, whether caffeinated or not.

Coffee can in fact be beneficial. Scientists have identified approximately 1,000 antioxidants in unprocessed coffee beans, and hundreds more develop during the roasting process. However, these same antioxidants are negated by the generous amounts of cream and sugar often added to coffee.

Maybe the best part of waking up is not a cup of coffee, but rather a  cup of warm lemon water. An Ayurvedic morning ritual entails 1 mug of warm water with the juice of half a lemon before breakfast. The warm water stimulates the gastrointestinal tract and the lemon juice assist in loosening up toxins and other material in the digestive tract.

How much water: 8 X 8

The “8 X 8” rule – drinking eight  eight ounce glasses of water a day, which equates to roughly half a gallon daily. Dehydration impairs normal bodily functions, such as digestion. Proper hydration creates an aqueous environment that optimizes nutrient absorption and waste elimination.  Dehydration is the most common cause of constipation. I generally recommend half your body weight in fluid ounces.

Water Keeps you From Overeating

Water can also help you manage your weight. Drinking water with a meal distends the stomach and this distension signals to the brain that one is satiated. According to a randomized clinical study middle aged and older people who drank two 8 oz cups of water right before eating a meal consumed between 75 and 90 fewer calories during the meal.

Joints and Muscles: The Wetter the Better

Water lubricates joints and hydrates muscles. Lubricated joints feel much better, and hydrated muscles metabolize and eliminate toxins better. With healthy joints and muscles, you can exercise longer and harder.

What’s going to be the first thing in your cup in the morning?