The art for drinking water
There is no doubt that drinking water is one of the most beneficial liquids that we can ingest. Nobody really teaches us how to drink water for longevity along our life’s. According to the Centre of disease for control and Prevention, worldwide, 780 million people do not have access to an improved water source. Interesting enough, 60% of the people who can drink from this valuable source, do not take the best of it from the Ayurvedic point of view. Some get harmed by their way of consumption. Beside of using it for keeping us alive, we should use it to promote longevity.
In Ayurveda we do not generalize, that is why when people ask me how many liters of water per day is recommended, my answer is always the same: It depends on the individual constitution. Classical Ayurvedic texts mentioned that those who drink 8 prasti (750ml) of warm water (Usah Pana), on an empty stomach, before the sun rises, will live more than one hundred years free of diseases. Even this statement must be adjusted per individual.
Can water intake harm us?
The answer is yes if we do not consume it in the right amount, according to our constitution and at the right time (counting day/season). Our body is made up of 70% water, which can be found in liquids and viscous substances, in vital body fluids, in the blood, in mucous and sexual fluids, among others. Water is vital. It regulates taste and the perceptive organ is the tongue. A wrong habit occasionally does not cause disease but a repeated one can be the causative factor from many of our pathologies. Let´s understand the Ayurvedic point of view behind this statement.
– In excess: can create edemas, abscesses, dries out the tissues, etc. Emotionally: everything flows so much that we can feel as if we are losing things due to the speed of the events
– Default: physically we can notice that our body is dehydrated. Emotionally: we can feel like stagnant water, not being able to see clear or our goals.
When to consume water?
- Empty Stomach: It is recommended to drink most of the liquid ingested in the morning. The best is plain cooked water without herbal infusions unless they are prescribed are the best, so the kidneys do not have to wake up fast or work in excess. Cooked water is considered lighter than uncooked one.
- Throughout the half day, to be well hydrated we can drink warm water, herbal infusions.
- In the afternoon we start to decrease the amount. I case is needed you can have a tea here or herbal infusion.
- We should stop its consumption one hour before going to sleep. With this, we make sure that we will have a more pleasant sleep since we will not get up to urinate at night. The kidneys will have a rest and their process of rejuvenation will take place while we sleep. Also, in Ayurveda, drinking water (especially cold) before bed can be linked with future diabetes.
How much water should be taken on an empty stomach first thing in the morning?
Vata type can go back to sleep if they need to, but they should drink before the sun comes up. The temperature of the water should be warm, and the quantity should be up to 1 litter. Of course, this is not done overnight, it must be incorporated progressively. You start with a glass, a week and a half glass, the next week two glasses, and so on progressively. They need more warm water in the morning since they are cold and dry in nature.
When a person with aggravated Vata does not feel that the warm water benefits, it is a sign that the state of mental tamas is aggravated since a quick improvement is seen with this simple practice.
They should not sleep later. Their dominant elements are earth and water, so we do not want to increase this element since during 6 am to 10 am its Kapha time. The temperature should be hot, and 300ml is enough.
When Pitta drinks water on an empty stomach before the sun rises, the excess acidity in the organism and the ama (toxins – undigested food) is removed. Its temperature must be warm and in hot climates, it can be consumed at room temperature. The recommended amount is 500ml.
How to drink water to protect your digestive capacity
– Drink warm along the day: Protects your enzymes, increase circulation, keeping the channels open, to aids elimination of waste.
– Drink warm water between meals (in summer for Pittas can be room temperature)
– Avoid cold water especially during eating
– Little sips of warm water only during meals
– AVOID Water with gas, the excess of Tea (black/green/red/white), packed bottles (read more here How does plastic affect our hormones?)
– Do not drink before or after meals
– Stop drinking an hour before going to sleep
Drinking WARM water in the morning has innumerable benefits:
We start waking up the body slowly and gently together with our digestive system. The warmth activates the elimination process, which should be taken into place on empty stomach as well. Increases the body circulation and soothes the heart. Clears up the possible blockages. It heals and prevents hemorrhoids, dropsy ness, disorders of the duodenum, fever, expansion of the abdomen, obesity, suppression of urine, bleeding diseases, earaches, throat issues, headaches, eyes diseases, pelvis and imbalances of Vata, Pitta, Kapha and Rakta (blood), between many others.
What happens when we suppress the thirst?
We are too busy sometimes to connect with our natural urges. The body might be sending certain signals and we do not have time to perform them. Very often I have patients who confess that they do not have time to drink water during the day.
The Sages already noticed that suppressing thirst leads to emaciation, weakness of the body, loss of hearing, disappointment, loss of consciousness, dizziness, heart disease, pain in the heart, dry mouth and throat.
Are you connected to your thirst?