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The most common water-related rule of thumb suggests that you drink eight glasses of the clear stuff each day. But before you fill up your first cup with cool or even ice-cold H20, you really should read on. You see, it turns out that consuming warm water in the morning may actually do your body more good. And these are just 20 of the most surprising benefits to knocking back a tepid drink or two before breakfast.

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20. Improving digestion

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Yes, a warm glass of water can soothe even the testiest of tummies. In general, drinking ample amounts of H20 helps flush out the small intestine; failing to do this, however, means the organ absorbs all of the fluids it can get – causing dehydration as a result. And without enough liquid flowing through the small intestine, bowel movement can therefore be affected.

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So, proper hydration may just be the key to solving ongoing constipation issues as well as making it more comfortable and less painful to go. Hot water hastens all of these wonderful side effects, too, as it has been shown to break down food faster than cold or even warm liquid.

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19. Soothing the central nervous system

As the central nervous system encompasses both the brain and the spine, it’s naturally all-important to your day-to-day functioning. And a 2006 study by the University of California, San Diego, has found that the central nervous system may also control the body’s inflammatory responses, making it a huge player in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

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Thankfully, then, a glass of hot water in the morning can help keep that vital setup running smoothly, as H2O keeps everything lubricated. You see, proper hydration helps your brain, spine and other aspects of the nervous system respond accordingly, with the result being that you’ll likely end up feeling less achy and panicky as a consequence. Arthritis-related side effects could be put on pause, too.

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18. Promoting detoxification

While many of us know that pressed fruits and vegetables are good for detoxifying the body, fewer people realize that piping hot water can offer similar benefits. However, you’ll have to forego cups of H20 that are cold to warm if you want to start an internal detox session.

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After all, drinking hot water will raise your body temperature. Then, as you start getting warmer, you may break out into a sweat. And as soon as those beads start to fall, you’ve successfully detoxed with the help of hot water alone. Sweat purges the body’s toxins and clears out pores to boot.

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17. Hydration

Stunningly, 75 percent of Americans suffer from chronic dehydration, according to a 1998 study by the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. In other words, there’s a good chance that you need to drink more fluids. And making a point to consume a glass of warm water in the morning can naturally get you on track to meet your daily requirements.

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Now, when it comes to hydration, there’s no particular benefit to making sure you drink warm or hot water as opposed to the cold stuff. But as you’ll continue learning, warm water has ample benefits when sipped in the morning, so you may want to make your first pour a tepid one.

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16. Pumping up circulation

You may not know that you have poor circulation – especially because the condition has a varied list of symptoms. Some people may have tingling in their limbs, for example, while others may notice their joints swelling up. Regardless of how it shows itself, though, a lack of proper circulation can be a serious danger to a person’s health, so talk to your doctor if you think you may need a blood flow boost.

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And, in fact, if you have poor circulation, your doctor could very well recommend that you drink a glass of warm water first thing in the morning. Why? Well, the clear beverage works as a vasodilator, which means that it encourages blood cells to expand and flow more freely. Then, with blood pumping properly, muscle aches and bodily pains may subside, too.

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15. Dulling menstrual cramps

So many remedies exist to help women alleviate pain caused by their menstrual cramps – but not all prove to be winners. So, if you’ve already tried popping pills, using heating pads or relying on hormones to ease the ache, try sipping on warm water next time; you may be surprised by its effectiveness.

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In actual fact, warm water can help with any kind of bodily twinges, as boosted circulation means muscles relax and pain reduces. When it comes to menstrual cramps specifically, though, a hotter than room temperature cup of H20 helps the stomach muscles to unwind, and this naturally helps curb the sometimes unbearable agony that arrives during that time of the month.

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14. Warding off colds and sinus issues

When you feel a cold coming, start drinking warm water as soon as the symptoms start, as proper hydration can help your body move mucus more quickly. Yes, while that may sound gross, the more fluid you knock back, the more “productive” your sneezes, coughs and nose-blowing will be.

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And water in its warmest form – steam, that is – can help with sinus pressure, too. For one thing, the hot vapor can break up sinus clogs. In addition, if you apply a hot compress to your sinuses, you can help to diffuse the pressure that builds up there mid-infection. So, drink up, breathe in the steam and press a damp cloth to your face until you start to feel better.

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13. Stimulating hair growth

Perhaps you’ve chopped off your hair only to wish it’d re-grow immediately. On the other hand, maybe you have trouble lengthening your locks regardless of how long you wait between haircuts. Either way, a daily hot water-drinking regimen can help to change all of that. That’s right: the heated beverage can speed up hair growth, too.

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You see, sipping on hot water not only softens strands, but it also benefits them from the inside out. Basically, your hair is energized at its roots, and this can inspire it to grow once again. So, if you want a fuller mane, grab a hot mug full of water and drink up; you’re just a few mornings away from the ’do of your dreams.

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12. Assisting with symptoms of achalasia

Achalasia is a condition that affects the esophagus’ ability to push food from the mouth to the stomach. And those who have achalasia may feel as though they can’t always swallow food; instead, there may be the sensation that a meal is lodged in the throat rather than sliding smoothly into the stomach.

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Researchers have found, however, that warm water stands as a potential solution to achalasia – even if they don’t know precisely why it works so well. And sipping a heated cup of H2O is apparently of particular benefit when paired with either an oily meal or a meat-centric dish.

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11. Aiding in weight loss

Long before questions of water’s temperature came into the conversation, experts have known that the clear stuff can be a real boon in any weight-loss journey. With ample hydration, you see, a person feels more full, and that can help stall extraneous eating. Then there’s the fact that water helps push waste from the body while promoting the absorption of vital nutrients.

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Things get even better when you swap cold water for a warm glass, though. According to Medical News Today, a 2003 study found that just heating up your water’s temperature could play a part in shedding those pounds. Apparently, downing a 99-degree glass of water pre-meal could speed up your metabolic rate by up to 40 percent.

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10. Deflating high blood pressure

Unchecked, high blood pressure can wreak havoc on a person’s body, as it strains everything from the heart to the brain. And some of the life-threatening conditions risked as a result of hypertension include strokes, kidney disease, heart attacks and aneurysms.

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If you’re on a quest to cut your blood pressure, then, try sipping a glass of warm water each morning. This daily ritual should push salt from the body and thus dilute thicker blood to a thinner, freer-flowing consistency. Blood pressure levels could come down as a consequence, too – possibly preventing the scary conditions that a higher number could cause.

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9. Ushering in the benefits of coffee

Of course, you can just drink warm water as it is in order to reap its many rewards. In the mornings, though, many of us are considerably keener on coffee. Yet there’s no need to necessarily swap your mug of joe for plain H20, as coffee made with warm water can in itself be a healthy option.

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For starters, regular coffee consumption may can ward off serious diseases including cancer and Parkinson’s. In fact, there’s another benefit that goes hand in hand with that one: drinking coffee can help you live a longer life. How’s that for a pick-me-up?

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8. But tea can help, too

Yes, tea also has a slew of benefits that you can deliver to your system first thing in the morning. And if you drop a tea bag or diffuser into hot water, let it steep and then sip, you may not only be protecting your teeth from damage, but you could also be warding off the threat of a stroke, liver disease and cancer.

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Torn between tea and coffee? Well, you may want to choose the former if you prefer a lighter dose of caffeine; some herbal blends even come with absolutely zero caffeine in them. And while your traditional teas do give you that little boost, they still typically contain half the amount of caffeine to be found in coffee.

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7. Fighting dandruff

Dandruff starts to flake and fall from your scalp for a number of different reasons. Perhaps a new self-care product has caused dermatitis, which results in itchy, flurrying dandruff, or maybe you’ve failed to shampoo your hair enough – which in turn may end in cell accumulation.

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But dandruff could also appear because of dehydration. After all, each speck is a bit of dead skin, and these tend to detach when you’re improperly hydrated. So, sip a glass of warm water every morning to help keep dandruff at bay – and get that liquid working for your scalp.

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6. Fighting off stress

In 2011 the American Psychological Association realized something that we now know to be very true: stress had become a huge problem in the U.S. Or, as the organization’s report put it, “Chronic stress [which]… interferes with your ability to function normally over an extended period is becoming a public health crisis.”

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With so many people feeling frazzled, then, it’s vital to have methods for alleviating that pressure. And one way to ward off your own anxieties is to fill a cup with hot water and start sipping. That soothing sensation helps cut stress, with this method applying to all hot beverages – from coffee to tea and beyond.

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5. Helping you make and keep friends

Yes, believe it or not: wrapping your hands around a warm mug of water could strengthen your social connections. And science has actually proven the importance of having chums to rely upon. Apparently, good buddies can help you live longer, sharpen your mind and keep your waist circumference down, among other benefits.

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So, fortify these health-boosting bonds by drinking warm water in the a.m. How does that work? Well, University of Colorado Boulder research has found that subjects who clutched warm heating pads were more likely to choose gifts for friends instead of for themselves. Similarly, another part of the study revealed that a hot cup in hand helped people see others’ personalities in a kinder light.

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4. Safeguarding your teeth

Of course, most of us already take steps to protect our teeth from damage. Sometimes, though, brushing twice daily isn’t enough to maintain your pearly whites. You may have to be careful about what you eat and drink, too – and that’s precisely where our friend warm water comes into the conversation.

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As it turns out, warm water is gentler on the teeth than cooler liquid – especially if your mouth contains any sort of dental restoration. You see, some materials used in fillings could react to the temperature of cold water by actually detaching from your teeth. By contrast, tepid H20 – not hot, as that’s also too extreme – protects your chompers in the long run.

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3. Neutralizing acne

Taking care of your skin isn’t just a topical job. Sure, you can wash your face daily, slather on moisturizers, lie under sheet masks or cut through oil with an astringent. But you should also consider fighting patches of bad skin with a big gulp of warm water.

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Again, as hot water enters your body, it can boost your temperature and elicit a bit of sweat, and emptying your pores in this way helps clear your skin in the long run. Water also generally cleanses the body of toxins when it flows through our systems – meaning it could clear out the nasties that cause acne, too.

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2. Relaxing you at the end of the day

With a sip of cold water, you’re telling your muscles to contract. Sipping something warm, though, boosts blood flow to all of your body’s tissues. And this reaction feels something like a gigantic sigh of relief, as your once-achy muscles and joints should begin to ease back to normal.

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Yes, while this list is all about the benefits of making drinking warm water into a morning ritual, it’s important to mention that nighttime beverages have their perks, too. Perhaps best of all, a glass of warm water before bed can help you ease into sleep ASAP. Plus, you’ll also feel fuller overnight – great news for all midnight snackers out there.

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1. Restoring youthful skin

Although you may attempt to ward off the years by slathering on a bunch of anti-aging serums, creams and lotions, you could prevent the appearance of aging lines and wrinkles by reaching for a glass of warm water instead. The heated liquid in particular restores cells and boosts skin’s overall elasticity – which is what makes us appear youthful in the first place.

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Warm water’s anti-aging properties don’t start and end with the skin, though. As previously mentioned, water performs a vital role in flushing toxins from the body. And if you don’t drink enough H2O, those accumulated toxins make it easy for your body to acquire illnesses and thus potentially age more quickly. So, drink up and don’t look back; warm water’s great for you now and forever.

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