Your body is somewhere between half and three-quarters water. Consumption is essential for cellular activities and organ function; therefore it is a vital component of good health.
As a result of this importance, Ayurvedic Medicine has established guidelines regarding drinking water. These are designed to maximise the health benefits obtained from water.
Ayurveda: How to Drink Water Correctly
1. Rather than standing or lying down, sitting is the preferred position for drinking.
2. Do not chug the water; instead, sip it slowly.
3. You should never drink iced water; room temperature is ideal. The theory is that water that is too cold will cool the kidneys down too much, which need to stay warm. If the kidneys are continuously cooled, it may sap the energy of the body, render the kidneys less efficient and cause premature ageing.
4. If you are feeling thirsty, then drink some water. Learn to pay attention to your bodily cues and sip your water as the day goes by.
5. Once you no longer feel thirsty, stop drinking the water. You do not have to continue out of a misguided sense that more is better. Over-drinking can cause you to feel bloated and will only lead the body to excrete the excess through urine.
6. One of the easiest means to tell if you are drinking the proper amount of water each day is to look at your urine. Ideally, it will be a pale yellow colour, similar to that of straw. The darker your urine is, the greater your dehydration levels. Bright dark yellow to orange is an indicator of extreme dehydration. In this case, you must make a conscious effort to drink more regularly.
7. If you regularly have dry or chapped lips, it is likely a sign that you are not drinking enough water.
8. You need to leave a gap before and after meals in regards to drinking water. At a minimum, your stomach should have a one and a half hour break; some may need to wait an additional hour. The reason for the variation is largely dependent on the outside temperature because this has a direct impact on the speed of your digestive processes.
9. However, you can drink small amounts of water with your meal. Sip only enough to make eating and swallowing easier and avoid doing so before you begin to eat and once you have finished your meal. It is preferable that any water consumed during your meal is warm or hot as this will aid the digestion process.
10. To address thirst after your breakfast meal, have a cup of freshly squeezed juice. Following lunch and dinner, you can have a delicious glass of buttermilk. These will both treat your dehydration and provide additional nutrients for your body.
11. The practice of Ushapan is an essential aspect of Ayurveda. It is the practice of drinking water to boost ones immunity. This involves drinking water in the morning, which helps with many common complaints like frequent headaches, anaemia, obesity and high blood pressure.
Why should you avoid water once you have finished your meal?
Doing so is strictly prohibited because it is said to dull your digestive energy. Food will remain in your digestive tract longer, where it may begin to rot and create problems such as bloating and gas.
Avoiding dehydration is essential for a healthy body. Make sure you frequently drink but not in excess. Drinking warm or hot water is preferable to cold fluids to ensure you do not weaken the energetics of the kidneys. Avoid drinking at meal times, but instead sip fluids after to assist with your digestive process.