The Art Of Drinking Water.
How many times have you
heard the advice to drink more water?
Your mom tells you. Your
doctor tells you. You read articles everywhere touting the benefits of drinking
at least eight glasses of water per day. “You’ll lose weight! You’ll boost
your energy! You’ll have glowing skin, shinier hair, fewer headaches!” And
the list goes on.
So you increase your water
intake with the goal of improving your health. You keep a gallon water jug
nearby, use an app to track how many glasses you’ve finished, and even set up
reminders on your phone.
But after a month or so,
your habit of drinking more water ends. The taste of plain water doesn’t excite
you. Your busy schedule keeps you from worrying about that lingering feeling of
thirst. And all those bathroom visits are driving you crazy.
You begin to wonder if
there’s something wrong with you. Why aren’t you experiencing all the fantastic
benefits of drinking water everyone is talking about?
maybe you haven’t given it enough time. Or maybe you’re making a few mistakes
in your attempts to stay hydrated.
According to Ayurveda, one
of the world’s oldest healing systems, there are six principles for something
you might have thought had no method: drinking water properly.
1. Sip, Don’t Chug
Growing up, I saw a huge
difference between how my grandfather drank water and how the following
generation of my parents drank water. Whenever I was spending the summer at my
grandparents’ place, my grandpa would suggest that I sit down and sip water
instead of drinking it all at once. In fact, I never saw my grandpa
hurriedly chugging his water while standing up.
Drinking your water all at
once causes it to flush through your system faster and can, paradoxically, lead
to dehydration. The inside of your body is a delicate, well-controlled
environment. Therefore, any fluid you consume beyond what your body needs to
stay hydrated winds up in your bladder.
In olden times, people
used to quench their thirst by drinking clay pot water. Sipping that earthy
water was a ritual in itself. But with refrigeration and bottled water taking
over, out went this healthy practice.
According to Ayurveda,
cold drinks extinguish the heat of the “digestive fire” and promote the buildup
of toxins that develop as a by-product of poor digestion. Cold water clashes
with the overall body warmth and energy, causing distress in the tissues and
blood vessels. Sipping warm water, on the other hand, improves digestion by
stimulating the natural digestive enzymes and improving circulation.
3. Start Your
Day with a Glass of Water
It has long been known
that drinking water first thing in the morning purifies the body’s internal
systems. This practice, known “early morning water treatment,” originates from
ancient Ayurvedic medicine as well.
Drinking at least 16
ounces (500 millilitres) of warm water on an empty stomach re-hydrates the body
after eight hours of sleep, jump-starts your metabolism, and helps to flush out
the toxins your body packaged up over night. Some of this water might not be
absorbed, but that’s okay. The main reason for drinking so much water at once
is to cleanse the colon and enable your body to absorb new nutrients from food.
4. Avoid Having
Water with Meals
Drinking while eating is
such a common practice that restaurants don’t even ask if you’ll have
anything to drink but what they should serve you. Often they bring
you a glass of iced water even before you order anything.
It seems that we have
forgotten the natural way of drinking water. Beverages with meals would never
be used if we took the time to thoroughly chew our food. Our saliva is the
first step to digestion. It contains enzymes to help break down food and
stimulate the stomach to release digestive enzymes. When you drink water with
your meal, your saliva and digestive enzymes get diluted, and digestion becomes
that much more difficult.
The best practice is to
avoid water 30 minutes before your meal and a minimum of two hours after your
5. Jazz Up
Your Water to Increase Absorption
Natural health experts
recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces of water per day. However,
more important than how much water you drink is the amount of water that
actually makes it to your cells. If you find yourself making frequent trips to
the bathroom, you’re probably not absorbing much.
Rather than drinking
copious amounts of water, you can reduce your water intake and still stay
hydrated simply by adding a pinch of unrefined mineralized salt (such as Pink
Himalayan salt) to every glass of water. Pink Himalayan
salt contains 84 minerals and elements, and plenty of electrolytes, which
effectively regulate the water content within your body.
6. Listen to
Your Body’s Cues for Thirst
Ayurveda has a simple
principle – listen to your body’s subtle signals and drink whenever you feel
thirsty. You don’t need to calculate how much air you need to breathe each day.
Your body does all the thinking for you. When you start paying attention to
your thirst cues and sip warm water throughout the day, you’ll drink the right
That being said, if you
continuously suppress your natural thirst, your body can become desensitized
and you might “forget” to drink. That’s when you need to look for secondary
tell-tale signs of dehydration, such as dryness (skin, lips, hair), inflammation
(skin rashes), dark-colored urine, and constipation.
The Art of Drinking Water
Ayurvedic medicine is
ancient, yet timeless. Some of its practices might seem simple or perhaps even
obvious, but their benefits have been proven over centuries of use. As you
start to form proper drinking habits, you’ll experience all those benefits
yourself. Whether you want to lose weight or have more energy, glowing skin,
shinier hair, or a healthier body, start with proper water intake.
Have You Changed The Way
In Which You Drink Water & Experienced Health Benefits? Please Share
In The Comments Below.
Other Water Articles You
May Be Interested In:
- 16 Health Benefits Of
Drinking Warm Lemon Water
- Are You Chronically
- DIY Vitamin Boosters
/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;