How to Drink Water Correctly & Effectively as per Ayurveda
Have you ever thought of how much water you should drink every day? You may think the answer to this question is very simple. But in fact, it is not so. Different experts express different opinions about it and you may feel that each one is correct if you understand the logic behind it. The water required by our body depends on various factors like our lifestyle, the area we live and our health.
How to Drink Water Correctly Ayurvedic Way?
Most of the health care professionals say that you must drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water every day to keep your body hydrated. But ayurveda has a different theory on how much water to drink every day. According to ayurveda, there are only a few natural urges in our body that indicates that it needs something. Some of them are sleep, hunger, thirst, urination and defecation. Ayurveda says that if you do not attend a natural urge when it is there, and initiate an urge when it is not there, it can lead to diseases. This means that when you are hungry, you must eat food, and when you are thirsty you must drink water. If you do not pay attention tom these urges, you may suffer from starvation and dehydration. Still, the question is how much water to drink per day.
Although theories suggest that you must drink at least 8 glasses of water i.e., 2 litres every day, and this helps in flushing out all toxins from your body and detoxifying your body, ayurveda does not support this fact.
According to ayurveda, water acts as a coolant. Drinking too much of water, even if you are not hungry or thirsty, can lead to indigestion. It can even lead to a serious condition called Ama. Ama is a condition caused due to improper digestion and improper metabolism in the digestive tract, body tissues and cells. Ama can lead to many other diseases.
Drinking too much of water can also lead to an increase in Kapha and Vata and a decrease in Pitta. This can affect the ability of the body to digest food. So, the best way is to drink till you feel satiated. Satiation is a signal from your body that tells you to stop drinking water.
Ayurvedic Way to Drink Water:
- Just as you sit down and then eat your food, you should remember that when you drink water, you should sit down and drink it.
- Do not drink one glass full of water at a time. You have to take small sips, swallow water and then breathe. Repeat.
- Remember to take small sips of water throughout the day. If you drink lots of water at one go, your body will not be able to absorb it properly. Most of the water will run through you. So, you will not get the benefits of drinking water.
- As for the temperature of the water, it is better to drink warm water. You may also drink water that is at room temperature. You should try not to drink chilled or iced water as it can hamper the digestive fire.
- Make sure that you do not drink lots of water before and after your meals. You may take small sips of water in between your meals. But you should not drink a lot of water while you have your food because then there will not be enough room for digestion of food in the stomach.
- Remember that 50% of your stomach should be filled with food, 25% with water and the remaining 25% with digestive juices.
- Thirst is a natural urge of your body. You should never ignore it. Drink water whenever you feel thirsty.
- Urination is one of the indicators that allow you to check whether your body is well hydrated or not. If it is clear and straw coloured, it means that your body is properly hydrated. But if the urine is yellow, it means that you have to drink more water, as it is a sign of dehydration.
- Another sign of dehydration is dry lips. So, if your lips are dry, it means that you need to drink water immediately.
What is dehydration?
It is said that an average person loses about 3-4 litres of fluid in the form of sweat, urine, breathing process and bowel movements. You lose almost 1 to 2 litres of water in the form of water vapours when you breathe. Exercise, illness and other factors can increase the loss of water. When the water content in your body becomes low, you suffer from dehydration. It can cause poor circulation, poor digestion as well as tiredness. There are two types of dehydration – Extracellular and intracellular. In extracellular dehydration the total amount of blood fluids drops below a certain level. This type of dehydration takes place outside the cells and is mainly due to lack of fluid intake. Intracellular dehydration takes place when the concentration of sodium in the blood becomes too high. This causes water to migrate from the cells as a result of osmotic pressure. This type of dehydration takes place when your diet contains excess amounts of sodium. Lack of electrolytes in the body can also cause this type of dehydration.
When you are dehydrated you experience these symptoms:
- Dry or sticky mouth
- Little or no sweat
- Dry eyes
- Constipation, hard or rabbit pellet stools
- Concentrated dark yellow urine
- Noticeably sunken fontanel (the soft spot on top of the head) in an infant.
Now that you know how much water to drink per day, drink water and enjoy its benefits.