Most people struggle with the proper quantity to drink water. While that's important, its equally important that we are mindful of 'how' water is consumed. The principles of Ayurveda suggest that the way you choose to drink water also affects your overall health. Ancient Ayurveda has numerous recommendations regarding tips to drink water which have been followed over centuries.
Water exists in the body as plasma, cytoplasm, serum, saliva, nasal secretion, cerebrospinal fluid, urine and sweat. It is therefore necessary for absorption of nutrition and to maintain life; without it, our cells cannot survive. Considering how essential water is to human life, here are some handy yet important Ayurvedic tips to drink water.
Ayurvedic Tips to Drink Water
1. Sit Down to Drink Water Rather than Standing
It is a good idea to always sit and drink water rather than standing. By standing and drinking, you disrupt the balance of fluids in the body and this may lead to a greater accumulation of fluids in the joints causing arthritis. By sitting and drinking, your muscles and nervous system is much more relaxed and helps the nerves to digest food and other fluids easily. Your kidneys also pace the filtration process while sitting.
2. Avoid drinking large amounts of water at once
Avoid gulping down large volumes of water in a single breath, rather take smaller sip, & repeat throughout the day. This holds true while having your meals too. According to Sr. Ayurvedic Consultant, Dr. Tarun Gupta, "there are three doshas in the body - vata, pitta and kapha, and how you consume water must be in accordance with these doshas. It is therefore best to have a prakriti analysis by a certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and seek proper guidance for better well - being"
3. Water at room temperature or slightly warmed water is the best
Avoid ice chilled water that disturbs the ongoing process of digestion and puts off the fire. Cold water decreases the blood supply to various organs of the body further leading to constipation. Drinking tepid water can help in proper digestion and metabolism that promotes weight loss, relieves bloating and pain.
4. Drink Only When You are Thirsty
Your body sends signals to you when it is in dire need of water. Ayurveda emphasizes on drinking water only when you feel thirsty. Every person has a different body, hence, drinking the same amount of water cannot be recommended to everybody. The body cannot absorb too much water intake; therefore it is imperative to know the thirst cues your body gives you. Measure your own drinking system without feeling too full.
5. Know the Indicators your Body Gives You When You are Thirsty
Your body gives you cues to let you know it needs water. One being, the colour of urine, dark yellow colour may indicate dehydration, while fairly clear and straw coloured urine is a sign of a hydrated and satiated body. Dry chapped lips are one of the indicators of a dehydrated body. Notice these cues as these may turn into health problems.
6. Drink Water First Thing in the Morning
Ayurveda suggests that is a healthy habit to drink water first thing in the morning, which is known as Ushapan. It helps get rid of many diseases in the body. Drinking water in the morning helps in flushing all the toxins in the body and cleanses your intestines.
7. Drink Water Stored in Silver and Copper Vessels
Ayurveda has always suggested drinking water stored in copper (tamba) and silver (chaandi) vessels. The water stored in these vessels has the ability to balance all three doshas in the body and it does by positively charging the water. Dr. Akhilesh agrees and points out that copper has numerous antioxidants and anti-bacterial properties that help boost the immunne system of the body. It also has anti-cancer properties. Water in the silver vessel has the power to remove free radicals from the body and gives a cooling effect in the intestines and smoothens the process of digestion.
Important Tips for Drinking Water in Summer
According to Dr. Rani Gupta from SKK Ayurveda & Panchakarma, "Summer is the "Pitta Season" and afternoon time is Pitta Kaal, which is hottest time of the day, therefore, Ayurveda suggests that you should drink maximum water during this period so as to maintain the body temperature. You could also incorporate some small changes including adding Pitta pacifying ingredients in water that help maintain body heat. Some of the ingredients include lemon, mint, kokum, and fennel seeds, khaskhas"