Again Ayurveda brings us indispensable guidelines for something we thought had no method: drinking water. Just like the rules for eating, there’s a way to drink that helps your physical body thrive. It’s more than just glass to lips and chug.
With a teensy bit more awareness, the way in which you drink water can seriously be a life-changer. For me, it meant not having to race to pee all the time. For a friend who also heeded the advice it meant no more massive and uncomfortable post-meal burps. For another friend it meant no longer feeling painfully full after eating a normal amount of food. And this all came with such simple, minor changes.
So, the Ayurvedic way to drink water:
-First off, sit down to drink (just as you should sit down to eat).
-Take sips, not full-glass chugs. Small sip, swallow, breathe. Repeat.
-Sip water throughout the day. If you chug too much water at once your body doesn’t actually absorb all of it. Most of it will run right through you.
-Drink at least room temperature water. Warm is even better. Cold and iced water literally douse the digestive fire.
-Only sip a small amount of water with your meals. If you drink too much while you eat, your belly won’t have enough room for digestive action. Remember this rule: fill your stomach 50% with food, 25% with water, and leave 25% empty for the digestive juices and process.
-For the same reason, don’t drink loads of water before or after your meals. Think 50% food, 25% water, 25% empty.
-Drink when you’re thirsty. Thirst is a natural urge that should be heeded. It means you’re body needs water.
-As far as how much, we’re all different sizes with varied diets and lifestyles. One set rule of 8 glasses a day simply can not apply to everyone. Naturally, the miraculous human body has it’s own built-in measuring system: thirst. If you’re thirsty, drink water. When you listen to thirst cues and sip water throughout the day you’ll be drinking the right amount.
-Your urine is a secondary confirmation to know if you’re amply hydrated. It should be fairly clear and straw colored. If it’s dark yellow you need to drink more.
-Your lips are yet another indicator. If they’re dry you might be dehydrated.
The rules are so straightforward, perhaps even obvious or intuitive. But they might make a serious difference in how you feel on a daily basis. Whether it’s how to eat, how to drink, how to bathe, or the myriad of other natural behaviors that we’ve never given a second thought, beautiful Ayurveda teaches us the ideal way to do each to feel our absolute best.
(This article was also published on Elephant Journal.)