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Marek Struszczyk

Co-Founder ManagerUp

Last modified: June 8th, 2023

Have you ever thought that changing the time when you drink water can have a big effect on your professional career, your life success and your overall health?

Sounds incredible? Hard to believe?

But this is true. By learning the best times to drink water, you can step change your daily energy levels and cognitive performance.  You will be less irritable, slimmer and healthier. You can simply be more productive and get more things done.

So please, read on to learn the best times to drink water throughout the day and excel at work!


Do You Really Need to Know When to Drink Water?

In the past, I thought it is important to continuously drink water — the more, the better. Then one day I realized that this is not entirely true.

When it comes to drinking water, there are two important guidelines:

– Drink the Right Amount — not too much or too little. Sounds logical, but very few people do it.

To know how much water, you should drink and why you should not drink too much, here are the questions:

Can You Die of Drinking Too Much Water?

How Much Water Should I Drink a Day?


Follow the Best Times to Drink Water: the water we drink lubricates many important body functions, such as digestion, muscle health, blood pressure, blood oxygen circulation, and brain performance.

For The body works better with proper amounts consumed at the right time. In fact, there are times when it is actually harmful.


Therefore, the answer to the above questions is yes: you need to focus on the best times to drink water to help your body work properly and be more productive and efficient at work.  


What Are the Benefits of Drinking Water at the Right Times?

There are many advantages to knowing the best time to drink water. Some of the benefits are directly related to productivity, brain performance and enhanced cognitive abilities, while others are related to your overall health, which indirectly impacts your success at work.

When you know the best time to drink water, you can step change your productivity by:


– Improving your brain performance

– Increasing your energy levels

– Boosting good mood and self-confidence

– Improving concentration and other cognitive skills

– Reducing headaches during the work day

– Resting better at night and starting fresh and energetic the next day

– Improving bad breath, which can be a big obstacle when working with others

– Boosting your immune system to reduce sick days


When You Drink Water at the Right Times You Also Can:

– Lose weight

– Improve your cardiovascular health

– Reduce your digestive problems

– Control your blood pressure

– Reduce cancer risk

– Purify the urinary tract

– Control body temperature


Let’s see how to achieve these benefits by drinking water at the right time. This can make all the difference in  exceling at work.


Best Times of the Day to Drink Water for Busy Professionals

As executive, manager or entrepreneur, you should know when drinking water can benefit your health and your performance at work. Here is a guide to be applied all day long:


1. Drink Water the First Thing in the Morning

Every time I see Japanese executives, I am surprised how healthy, slim and enthusiastic they are. During my visits to Japan and when talking to my Japanese friends, I learned that for them the best time to drink water is early in the morning, just after waking up.

Yes, they drink cold water on an empty stomach.

Scientists now confirm that this habit helps remove toxins and acid waste from the body as well as energizes the cells by supplying them with free oxygen. This is the key to treating many unpleasant health issues like constipation, bloating, headaches and joint pain.

Extra tip: after having your glass of cold water, wait for at least 30 minutes to have breakfast — the time your body needs to hydrate and flush out toxins.


2. Drink Water During Working Hours at the Office

 Absolutely the best time to drink water is when you are thirsty. Thirst is the alarm signal of your body. Don’t wait. Drink. Someone who is thirsty is normally already dehydrated (up to 2%!).

The mistake that many thirsty people make is to drink a lot and too quickly. You should start with just one glass and drink slowly. After that, pause for a few minutes, and if you are still thirsty, drink more.

Don’t drink coffee or soda. Plain water is the best liquid to quench your thirst.

Another best time to drink water is when you feel exhausted. Even small dehydration drains your energy.  Therefore, when you are lethargic and your energy level is low, just drink water. 

A glass of cold, fresh water will hydrate your body, give you an energy kick and step change your productivity at the office.

It is equally important to drink water when you feel ill or are around sick people at the office. Water is your secret weapon against viruses and germs. Have a glass and flush the intruders away.


3. Drink Water 30 Minutes Before Lunch

 Another best time to drink water is half an hour (or an hour) before your midday meal. You may have heard this advice before.  It is normally recommended for people who want to lose weight.

Drinking water before meals fills up your stomach, giving you the sensation of being full. As a result, during lunch you will eat less. It is good advice for sedentary executives who want to shed a few extra pounds as a consequence of those long-hours sitting at your desk.

But do not exaggerate the amount you drink before a meal. Normally, one glass should cover your hydration needs.

There is also another important benefit of hydrating yourself 30 minutes before lunch. This practice will immensely improve your digestion. It will prevent you from feeling groggy and tired a few hours after eating. You will feel lighter and more able to concentrate on your afternoon work tasks.


4. Drink Water 60 Minutes After Lunch

 Having drunk water 30 minutes before lunch, you should avoid drinking it during your meal because it will dilute the digestive juices, which is not necessarily what you want. Good digestion means superior work performance in the afternoon due to higher energy and less pain.

Drinking water half an hour before lunch and having vegetables and fruit on your plate should cover your hydration needs. If you really cannot survive without drinking water during your meal, then just have a small glass.   

How much time after lunch should you wait to drink again? The best time to drink water is one hour after lunch. 


5. Drink Water Before, During and After Your Workout

Many executives and office workers use the noon break to workout. It energizes your metabolism and helps you get some relief from your job responsibilities.

There is no better time to drink water than during and after the workout. Every time you hit the gym, take a big water bottle with you.

Physical exercise has a lot of important health benefits for sedentary executives, managers and entrepreneurs. It reduces stress, increases energy levels and metabolism. The downside of any workout is water loss, which can negative affect your performance when back at the office. None of us want to come back exhausted!!! We have many tasks to do in the afternoon.

Assuming that your workout lasts one hour, many experts advise you to start drinking 30 minutes before (8 ounces/0.25 liter). Then, sip water during your gym session (16 ounces / 0.5 liter) and drink another 16 ounces (0.5 liter) 30 minutes after leaving the gym.

Water is extremely important for muscles and joints. During your workout, your body temperature goes up. Water helps you to cool down your cells: hydration prevents cramps and injuries.

Finally, if usually you exercise after work, the recommendations are the same. However, try not to exercise close to bedtime, because exercise energizes the body and you want to relax and prepare it to fall sleep.


6. Drink Water 30 Minutes Before Dinner

 As you probably expect, another best time to drink water is half an hour before your final evening meal. The logic behind this practice is similar to drinking water 30 minutes before lunch. This habit will significantly increase your digestion and help you keep your waist expansion in check.

Should you drink water before going to bed?


7. Drink Water One Hour Before Bed

Is bedtime the best time to drink water? It depends on how many times you normally wake up to go to the restroom.

If it is just once, then you can have a glass of warm water one hour before you hit the sheets. It is important to be sufficiently hydrated when retiring. Warm water before bed can detox the body and reduce stomach discomforts after dinner.

Waking up two or three times at night may indicate that you drink too much water before falling asleep. If this is your case, I recommend visiting your HCP to check for any serious medical condition behind these frequent visits to the bathroom.

Waking frequently at night will disrupt your sleep, and you need good rest before the next tough day at work.

Find out 8 Ways Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Performance at Work


On the other hand, it is better to wake up twice at night than to go to bed dehydrated. 

The best you can do is to observe your body and find the right water amount that will keep you hydrated without the necessity of visiting the bathroom frequently at night.


8. Drink Water Before a Warm Bath or Shower

If you are accustomed to having a warm bath or shower to relax after a stressful job, drinking water shortly before is an excellent idea. You will regulate both your blood pressure and body temperature.

But the water should be warm, not cold. A warm shower will dilate your blood vessels from the outside and the warm water from the inside.


 How to Remember When to Drink Water?

 We know you have a busy schedule. To follow the advice from this article, most of you will have to adapt your daily habits at home and at the office.

Let me suggest some simple strategies to help you not to forgot to hydrate.

To drink water the first thing in the morning, place a post-it in the kitchen or simply leave a glass of water the night before in your bedroom. Please do not forget to cover your glass so that it stays clean all night.

Always have a full bottle of water at your office desk. Set alarms on your smart phone. Let your phone remind you to drink water 30 minutes before lunch and dinner.  

 For further advice, please have a look at this post: “Stayed Hydrated at Work in 7 Easy Ways.”


 Bottom Line

 It is not only important to hydrate but also to do it at the right moments. It is crucial to know the best time to drink water as it can step change your productivity and improve your health significantly.

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