By Dr. Anis Akhtar, Ayurveda
Your body is made up of 70% water, and to maintain that balance, a lot of suggestions are shared, often very contradictory from one another. Ayurveda, the ancient science of natural healing, provides the answers to all your questions associated to the daily water intake.
How much water should you drink in a day?
Ayurveda says, you must only drink water as and when you feel thirsty, contrary to the popular belief that you must drink a fixed quantity of water every day. Like we eat when we are hungry, or we excrete when we feel the urge to, drinking water is also an act of maintaining the body’s balance. Ayurveda says, your water intake depends on-
1. Where you live- If you live in a hot and humid place, your water intake would be more than if you live in a cold and dry place.
2. How is the climate- Water intake would be higher in summer than during winter, because during summer, more water is lost in the form of sweat.
3. Nature of your work- If you do more physically strenuous work, you are likely to sweat more which needs to be replenished by drinking water.
When should you drink water?
1. Many people may advise you not to drink water during meals, but Ayurveda says it is only natural to drink water during a meal. This is because water moistens the food, making it easier to digest.
2. Drinking water before a meal extinguishes the metaphorical ‘Agni’ in you, making the digestive system weaker.
3. Drinking water after a meal only results in unwanted bloating, also causing disruption in digestion. This can lead to obesity.
Is drinking too much water harmful?
Drinking more water than needed to quench the thirst is not recommended since it distinguishes your inner ‘Agni’; which helps in breaking food down during digestion.
Is drinking cold water unsafe for you?
Yes, as a matter of fact, chilled water or soft-drinks straight from the refrigerator makes the ‘Agni’ weak, thus causing digestion problems.