Starting your day with a glass of water is probably the most heard health tip about drinking water. Ayurveda suggests you remember a few more things about quenching your thirst. Here are five important tips from Ayurvedic texts on how to drink water correctly so that you get effective hydration without any harm done to your body!
Ayurveda considers water the elixir of life because it nourishes and lubricates your body and flushes toxins. So, it is important to take adequate water.
When you don’t drink sufficient water, it may cause health issues such as constipation, dry mouth, and dehydration. And, a long term insufficient water intake can lead to health conditions such as kidney stones and high blood pressure.
How do you know if you are drinking water as per your needs?
As a general thumb rule, 8 glasses or 2 litres of water intake per day is advised. However, Ayurveda disagrees with this.
Every individual’s constitution is different, and accordingly, the need for water also varies. As you may know, an individual’s body comprises three doshas, namely Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, and for a healthy mind and body, there must be a balance in tridoshas.
According to Ayurveda, water cools and balances Pitta dosha, counteracts the dryness of Vata, and supports Kapha dosha. Generally, Pitta types are thirstier than Kapha types. Vata types may have symptoms such as constipation and dry skin that requires more water intake.
Also, too much water may decrease your digestive fire, making digestion sluggish and reducing the absorption of nutrients.
So, it is essential you listen to your body, know when it needs water, and then drink. And also you must know how and when to drink water.
So, let’s quickly look at some of the important things you may need to remember about drinking water correctly.
Five Important Things To Know When Drinking Water
Take Sips Of Water
You go for a run, and you feel thirsty. What do you do? You take out your bottle and gulp down mouths of water. However, that is not how you drink water correctly.
Ayurveda advises not to gulp down water all at once, for most of it will be lost as urine which means you may lose essential salts such as sodium. Instead, take sips of water, allowing your body to process the water you drink effectively.
Drink Warm / Normal Temperature Water
Ayurveda advises taking warm water to quench your thirst and hydrate your body throughout the day. Even if you are not taking warm water, do not take refrigerated water as it reduces your digestive fire and may hinder nutrition absorption and bowel movements. When you drink warm water, your digestion is good, so nutrient absorption is good, your bowel movements are improved, and toxin removal gets efficient.
Drink When Thirsty
Just because water is essential for your body does not mean you must drink a set quantity at a set time. Learn to listen to your body. When you are thirsty, drink water. Or when your body throws symptoms such as constipation or excessively dry skin, drink water.
As mentioned earlier, too much water may rob off essential minerals from your bloodstream, giving you problems such as nausea. Yes, it may look like dehydration, but excessive hydration too can cause nausea or vomiting as you lose your bodily salts in urine.
Too many trips to the bathroom might be a sign that you are drinking too much water.
Look Out For Dehydration Signs
Your body might get dehydrated in certain situations, such as sweltering weather or doing strenuous physical activity. You may need to look out for signs such as chapped lips and dark yellow urine, which indicates your body is dehydrated. In such cases, you must consciously hydrate yourself well to avoid severe problems such as vomiting and urinary tract infections.
No Water During Or Immediately After A Meal
According to Ayurveda, a well-balanced digestive fire is crucial for your body to function properly and well.
The digestive fire is gentle when you wake up, strong during midday and sluggish towards the end of the day.
You can help your digestive fire to wake up with a glass of warm water with half-a-lemon squeezed into it. Then, throughout the day, when you feel thirsty, take sips of warm / room temperature water. That is how to drink water correctly.
You may drink a glass of water 30 minutes before and after your meal. As a thumb rule, do not take water during and immediately after your meal. If needed, you may take sips. But, drinking more water during / immediately after a meal will hamper digestion and result in poor nutrient absorption.
Drinking water seems to be natural even to a child. However, when you remember the pointers mentioned above and drink water correctly, you can make the most of your water intake.