Ayurveda discusses water in great detail that spans across its properties, sources, impact of soil on the water properties. Ayurveda also discusses geographic like the hilly areas or barren lands where the water flows from and how storing methods also impact the properties of water. This discussion of impacts covers, well water, water from streams, lakes and even rivers!
Our ancestors have exhibited their depth of knowledge in Ayurveda in their detailed discourses on how and why water purification is needed. From the readers’ view point however, let me present some these gems of wisdom…
On the backdrop of the heightened awareness for health among the layman and the various posts that keep flying across social media I see a huge number of people stuck in myriad myths…like, drinking a lot of water helps flush toxins easily or drinking 1 or 2 litres of water on empty stomach in the early morning or that drinking a lot water helps in weight reduction…never ending myths that people follow with great convictions!
So let me throw some light on what Ayurveda says in this regard…
Ayurveda mentions some of the natural urges and highlights that these should be attended to only when they arrive! Meaning..? we should eat only when we feel hungry. Like the urge to pass urine or excreta …done only when there is an URGE! The very purpose behind this advice is to maintain body’s natural circadian rhythm! Similarly thirst is a natural urge and one should drink water only when there is urge! A normal body doesn’t need excess of water to drink.. however, in certain diseases, there are exceptions.
Drink water only when there is an urge, without restriction of quantity & time…and that is the thumb rule for drinking water. Normally the quantity and time depends on the constitution of the body and body condition of a person….
Today I am also answering the supposedly million dollar question… “WHEN TO DRINK WATER..?”
People mostly ask me when to drink to water in relation to the food consumption. Of course there are hundreds of diverse opinions and discussions are abundant on social media too!
Astanghrudayam, the famous text of Ayurveda clearly advices that drinking water just before and immediately after food consumption is harmful for health. However, sipping water along food consumption is considered healthy, according to Ayurveda. Let us see why…
Ayurveda describes the digestive strength as ‘Agni’ and the water consumption before food dilutes and weakens the ‘Agni’. Water consumptions before food therefore, will not be conducive to digestion and thus not a good idea! The ideal time gap between water consumption and food thereafter is recommended to be 40 minutes!
Drinking water immediately after food also affects the digestive strength. It makes the food rot inside the system instead of getting digested. This in turn leads to excess acid generation
and gas in the system. It gives a touch of coolant effect to whatever the food is eaten. People who are used to drinking water like this generally tend to become obese over a period of time. So again it’s not an ideal way. One should take a sip or two after food.
The most healthy way is to drink water in small sips along the food. This helps break down the food into smaller particles. The sips of water also quenches thirst and helps proper digestion. An ideal way!
The minimum gap between food and water post meals should be between 1.5 to 2hrs. But please note that this also varies based on individual constitution, geographical conditions & so on.
I am sure that this helps you all drive a better bargain with your body & water consumption habits!