Drinking water is an art that must be practiced in order to obtain a healthy and balanced condition. The human body needs water for its metabolic activity, for stronger immunity, for weight loss and for cellular function. According to Ayurveda, it helps to cool and balance the Pitta dosha, helps digestion, supports Kapha and also balances the dryness of the Vata dosha.
Is recommended to drink between 8 cups and 12 cups of water per day, however 8 cups is considered an ideal amount for most people.
In order to cleanse the channels and enhance moisture absorption, ayurvedic texts recommend boiling the water for various lengths of time, creating a therapeutic water called ushnodaka. Another method is to add spices or herbs to the water after boiling. Ancient texts talk about the difference in the rate of absorption of regular water vs. boiled water:
- Regular water, takes about 6 hours if every channel is clear
- Boiled and cooled water, takes about 3 hours to be absorbed, and helps open the channels
- Hot herbalized water, takes about 1½ hours, due to sharpness of agni and herbs and spices
Ayurvedic Tips For A Hydrated Body
- Warm water stimulates hunger, aids digestion, soothes throat, cleanses urinary bladder and relieves aggravation of Vata and Kapha doshas. It helps the body get rid of accumulated, undigested food and can soothe pain in the hips and back.
- Hot water is stimulating, raises the body temperature slightly, but at the same time also very relaxing and dispersing, especially to the muscles, joints and blood vessels. It also opens the pores and induces sweating.
- When you drink ice water your blood vessels shrink, restricting your digestion and hydration. Drinking cold water after a meal creates excess mucus in your body that deteriorates our immune system. The positive side is that cold water helps burn more calories. The best time to drink cold water is probably when you exercise. However, it can also hamper digestion and result in water intoxication.
- According to Ayurveda water is crucial for maintaining balance and the individual requirement of water may vary depending on their dominant doshas (the energies that make up every individual, which perform different physiological functions in the body).
- When you’re working out, you’re more likely to be losing water, both through your breath and through sweat. You’ll get dizzy, lethargic and your muscle won’t work. Water will help your body to exercise efficiently.
- Drinking water after waking up has been linked to curing and preventing ailments like kidney disease, gastritis, diabetes and constipation. The recommended amount of water to drink is 6 oz after you wake up.
- The minimum gap between food and water should be between 1.5 to 2.5 hrs.
- Drink when you are thirsty. It means your body needs water. Urine is a secondary confirmation that you are amply hydrated. It should be fairly clear and straw-colored. If it is dark yellow, you need to drink more. Lips are another indicator. If they are dry, you may be dehydrated.
Whether it\’s how to eat, how to drink, how to bathe, or the multitude of other natural behaviors we\’ve never given importance to, Ayurveda teaches us the ideal way to do each thing to feel absolutely fine.
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