In the hot summer days, when the need for water increases, it is useful to remind ourselves of these valuable tips from the ancient Ayurveda. Ayurveda again brings us the necessary guidelines for something that most people think that some methods are not required- drinking water. Drinking water is more than just leaning glass cup to our lips and swallowing. With a little more awareness, the way of drinking water can seriously change your life. Here are the Ayurvedic tips to drink water:
DRINK WATER WITH RELAXED MIND
To have a calm and relax state of mind is a key to strong digestion. Our busy mind often buzzing about unnecessary things can distract our body from doing its main job. When the mind is busy the circulation is not at the digestive tract and we won’t digest the food or drink we consume properly. Ayurveda says take three deep belly breaths before you drink water or have meal and give gratitude to whatever you are about to consume will help with digestive function.
KEEP GAPS BETWEEN DRINKING WATER AND MEALS
Normally the minimum gap between food and water should be between 1.5 to 2.5 hrs. Though it may vary according to different geographic locations, as the body’s ability to digest food depends on external factors like the outside temperature.
DRINK WATER STORED IN COPPER VESSEL
According to Ayurveda, water stored in a copper vessel has the ability to balance all the three doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) in your body, and it does so by positively charging the water. The water stored in a copper vessel is known as ‘tamara jal’ and is supposed to be consumed after storing the water in a copper vessel for at least eight hours or overnight.
NEVER DRINK COLD WATER
Never drink cold water. It should always be Warm/gunguna or at body temp. Drinking cold water leads to decrease in blood supply to various organs and also leads to severe constipation. Drinking warm water helps in promoting healthy appetite, boosts digestion and metabolism. It also promotes healthy weight loss, relieves abdominal bloating, pain and constipation. Instead of iced water, try sipping warm water with a dash of lemon juice.
DO NOT DRINK WATER AFTER MEAL
Ayurveda strictly prohibits drinking water at the end of a meal as it kills the energy required by our digestive system to process the ingested food. This allows the food to remain in our system for longer duration which may cause the food to rot inside our system, instead of getting digested, which may lead to the formation of gas and acidity problems.
DRINK WATER WHEN THIRSTY
Ayurveda emphasises individuality on everything, because everyone is born different, and so drinking 8 glasses of water, like all the commercials told us to, is not for everyone. Drinking too much water (especially those filtered, demineralised water, which means our body doesn’t get any nourishment out of it) will have excess cleansing effect. Thirst is the best indicator our body could have regarding water needs; in other words, drink when you’re thirsty unless otherwise prescribed by a practitioner.
INCREASE WATER INTAKE IF URINE IS YELLOW
Our excretion system can be used as another indicator of proper hydration. Urine is a secondary confirmation to find out whether we are well-hydrated. The best urine is clear or transparent, and colourless. If it’s coloured dark yellow, we can assume we need more water or the body is experiencing excess Pitta.
According to different seasons here are some things you can add to your water to balance Doshas and maintain health –
- During the cooler months, boil your drinking water with warming spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, star anise or cumin. They can be just added to hot water or steeped in boiling water for 10 min for more strength. Only add in the herbs and spices that suit your body the best.
- In summer, boil your drinking water with fennel seeds, cumin seeds lemon juice, mint, basil or organic rosebuds.
- Sip water throughout the day. If swallowed too much water at once your body does not absorb the liquid. Most of it just goes through you.
- Your lips are another indicator. If dry, it is likely your body is dehydrated.
- It is better to drink water while sitting than while standing.
- You should drink it slowly and avoid gulping down large volumes of water in a single breath.