Reach past the glass of hot cider…
Thanksgiving is all about spending quality time with the people you love most — and indulging in all of your favorite, most decadent foods in a single 24-hour period without a second thought. While this day makes your taste buds light up with delight, it tends to leave the rest of your body feeling… out of sorts. That’s where good ol’ H2O comes in. It might not be bursting with flavor like everything else on the table, but this hydrating superhero is the key to enjoying your Thanksgiving both in the present moment and in the hours afterward when you’re working through that epic food coma. Here are four major ways water will help you out during this holiday.
1. It helps regulate your appetite.
One of the most common symptoms of dehydration is feeling increasingly hungry, often with strong cravings that leave you wanting to eat everything in sight. So since you already want to do that on Thanksgiving because every dish from the appetizer spread to the pie collection looks incredible, it’s a good idea to start the day with several glasses of water and keep it on hand as you feast. That way, you’re less likely to mindlessly nosh to fill that space that actually just needs a nice boost of H2O. (Don’t worry — you’ll still be able to eat your fill. You’re just less likely to feel sick from overeating afterward.)
2. It cleanses your palate.
Thanksgiving is loaded with a variety of strong, dominating flavors at every course of the meal, and as much as you love a mug of festive hot cider to help wash it all down, it doesn’t exactly prepare your taste buds to fully experience the next bite. If anything, it just overwhelms them even more, leaving your favorite side dishes less appreciated than they deserve. So reach for that water glass consistently as you move through your meal not only to hydrate well while eating more than you typically do, but also to make each component of the meal that much more enjoyable. Bring on all the flavors!
3. It helps you digest your food more efficiently (and comfortably).
Hydration is key for proper digestion. If you aren’t drinking enough water, you’re more likely to experience heartburn and indigestion as you down plate after plate of Thanksgiving classics, and all that food will move that much more slowly through your digestive system, leaving you feeling seriously uncomfortable. But if you down enough H2O over the course of the day, you’re less likely to feel nauseous, sick to your stomach or constipated in the hours following all of the eating.
4. It reduces next-day bloating.
Plenty of Thanksgiving dishes are loaded with sodium, and when you overdo it, you wake up on Black Friday feeling several pounds heavier and super sluggish. While it sounds contradictory, drinking more water actually helps relieve bloating because it helps your body recalibrate its water-sodium balance more quickly. No need to chug your water — that might make you feel worse. Just take it slow and steady, sipping on things like herbal tea (we like apple spice medleys for the holiday) throughout the day, and you’ll feel better in no time.