Water is a necessity to carry out several functions in our body. Even though it seems simple, there are right and wrong ways to consume water. Hot and cold water have their own benefits. And the water amount required can vary from person to person depending on their body type and lifestyle.
For years, most of us have heard that the best way to consume water is to drink “8 cups of water a day!” Unfortunately it isn’t really that simple.
Each of us has a unique constitution and lifestyle that actually has different requirements to stay hydrated. The amount of re-hydration we need on a given day is directly related to how much hydration we have lost from our body.
Water Should Also Be Digested
Feeling bloated or overly full after drinking water is a sign that water is not being properly transformed
When we eat, we need to sip just enough fluid with our meal to make our food somewhat liquid. If we can’t digest the water we consume, it doesn’t matter how much we drink, we never really get hydrated. It may seem strange to think that we have to digest our water but, just like anything that we swallow, water has to be digested and transformed into a suitable fluid for our body’s nutritional needs.
And this is the most important factor. Our body is not like a sponge. Our bodily tissues don’t just immediately soak up the water we drink and suddenly become hydrated.
If we drink too much water, just as when we eat too much food, we can dampen our digestive fire. Drinking too little water can also weaken our digestion.
The simplest way to know how much water we should drink is to drink when we are thirsty. Modern nutritionists say this is probably too late, as we are already overly dehydrated by this point. But this may be because most of us have lost touch with the subtle signs of our thirst. It may take some time to redevelop that sensitivity.
In general, all of us tend to drink more water from the middle of summer through the autumn and less from mid-winter through the spring.
When Should You Drink Water?
As mentioned, the rule of thumb would be to drink when you are thirsty.
Drinking cold water (or any cold beverage) constricts the blood flow to the digestive tract, making digestion more sluggish. By now, many of us have heard that we shouldn’t drink beverages with our meal. But when we eat, we do need to sip just enough fluid with our meal to make our food somewhat liquid. This is why many cultures around the world include a small cup of tea or soup with every meal. In some cuisines, it is common to drink a bowl of broth before eating.
One way to get in touch with the sensation of thirst is to drink a glass of water large enough to quench your thirst when you wake up. Wait at least an hour before eating breakfast. Then again, at least an hour before your next meal (at least 1.5–2 hours after eating), drink a glass of water.
If you normally eat 3 meals a day, then repeat this before your next meal. The size of the glass of water should vary, based on what you want to drink at the moment.
Cook Your Water
Cooking your food and drinks is a process of pre-digestion. This means that your body doesn’t have to work as hard to benefit from the nourishment. In fact, it makes the nourishment more available to your body.
Boil clear spring water or filtered water (tap water is also usually fine) for 10 minutes. Cool the water to room temperature and keep it in a covered container. This is said to be easy to digest and particularly good for soothing inflammatory (pitta) conditions in the body.
Drinking the boiled water while it is still warm is even more medicinal.
- Hot water is said to stimulate hunger and aid food digestion.
- It is good for the throat and cleanses the urinary bladder.
- In addition, it relieves hiccups, bloating, and aggravation of vata and kapha doshas.
- It can be helpful in reducing fever and easing cough and asthma.
- It helps the body get rid of accumulated, undigested food and can soothe pain in the hips and back.
In contrast, drinking cold water (or any cold beverage) constricts the blood flow to the digestive tract, making digestion more sluggish. This is made much worse when the cold beverage is taken with a meal.
Adding The Oomph To Your Water
Sometimes, it can be helpful to add some spices or herbs to water to make it more absorbing and interesting. This is essentially what we are doing when we make tea. Here are some spices that can make your water more medicinal:
1. Cumin, Coriander, and Fennel Seeds
Add about 5 seeds of each for every 1/2 cup of water when boiling. Strain the seeds before drinking. This blend is particularly good for stimulating digestion during gentle cleanses.
2. Sandalwood, Cardamom, or Mint
These cooling herbs can soothe pitta irritability, especially during the hot summer months. A pinch of powdered herb or a few leaves of mint will work nicely. If you are used to drinking hot mint tea, try putting the mint into cooled water. It has a really nice cooling effect on a hot day!
Uncooked honey added to cooled water (about a ½ tsp or so) can aid in weight loss and help clear excess kapha during the spring.
A pinch of ginger powder in your morning glass of water kindles your digestive fire and can be helpful for reducing vata and kapha excess.
Yes, gold! In this case, you are not really adding gold to your water, but just putting gold into the pot with the water when you boil it. It should be 22k or higher.
I use a simple gold ring without any stones (gemstones have other effects that may be undesirable). Gold is said to greatly enhance immunity.
As chairman of the British bottled water association technical committee I can confirm that this is the biggest load of twaddle I have read in a long time. Water is absorbed directly through the stomach and intestine and does not need boiling to do this natural mineral water producers in Europe such as Nestle and Danone would be horrified as what makes natural mineral water different from tap water is that it is naturally wholesome and contains minerals. boiling destroys the character and effectively sterilizes it. This means that good bacteria which helps digestion is also destroyed. A good analogy would be to buy Yakult and cook it before consumption.
Even a non medical person like myself must surely be wondering what the benefits of cooking water (bottled or otherwise) and then leaving it to cool before drinking could possibly be. Twaddle sounds about right. However, coming from a person who bottles water into plastic bottles and then sells for a price which is higher than petrol does hake me want to shout hypocrite very loudly!!!
@AlwynDixon I should clarify that I am retired now and in my exuberance forgot to mention that fact. That aside I was writing from a technical aspect. The economics and commercial factors can be argued separately.
In Europe the rules for Natural Mineral waters are different from bottled waters in, Australia in that they are not allowed to be treated to sanitize them, the safety is in the testing before a source is recognized as a Nat. Min Wat. And most companies operate a positive release system where daily production samples are cleared before stock is released for sale.
In Australia and some other countries, the water must be treated eg ozonation or UV radiation, to ensure total safety , well that is my understanding from reading the Australian waters legislation, In Europe such water is sold as processed water even if from a natural source such as a bore hole or spring, hence that is why some processed bottled waters from international renowned companies failed to get a market in Europe.
Also, to be precise most bottles are PET not just any old plastic. which is recyclable and safe for the consumer and is far more eco friendly than glass, believe it or not, as when transporting heavy glass containers around is taken into account PET has a better total life cycle footprint. There was a brilliant articlepublished in one of the main UK papers, by a UK researcher who did several studies comparing plastic packaging and more traditional ways and plastic in all forms save huge amounts of produce from spoiling by damage or handling that other methods.
Sorry but this is a load of bull. You should drink as much water as you feel you need, evenly spaced through the day whether you are eating or not. The amount you should aim for is directly proportional to your weight.
Just to dropping in on the convo to add a couple of things:
1. @peabody3000 Even setting aside the more esoteric aspects, heating water does, indeed, change it. It makes certain minerals and compounds (such as calcium carbonate), fall out of solution and precipitate to the bottom of a vessel of water when it is heated. In addition, depending upon the vessel the water is heating in (glass vs. ceramic vs. steel vs. copper, etc), some of the molecules of that substance may enter the water or have a chemical reaction with some other substance in the water. And, of course, in places where bacteria may invade the water supply, heating and boiling the water for 10 minutes helps to purify the water.
2. @EllenEubankStaleyHenry Not feeling thirsty until your body is showing signs that you are far past the point of slightly dehydrated is not evidence that this advice is useless, but it might be evidence that you are not tuned in enough to the signals your body is sending. Drinking water on an empty stomach is usually the best way to hydrate a dehydrated system, but there may be other issues which are inhibiting your water absorption, resulting in the feeling of nausea. I would be curious to know if the same thing happens if you drink 8 oz. of mint or fennel tea. These herbs can both greatly improve digestion and ease nausea.
3. @Mandeep Singh Clean, fresh rainwater that is filtered or free of pollution is usually of excellent drinking quality.
@SusanFauman im talking about the water itself. heating water may change any bacteria within the water, but it does not change the water. precipitation is caused by chilling a solution, such as water containing dissolved solids, not by heating. so one could say that heating water makes it possible for more solids to dissolve into it, but again we're not talking about some inherently beneficial alteration of the water's properties
I don't get thirsty till my tongue is sticking to the roof of my mouth and drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning makes me nauseous.. So I find your advice a little...useless.
its the ions of gold that get infused in the water that is what happens on a very microscopic level and yes gold is actually very good for you as it rules vitality and immunity.
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It is a research work done by reputed University / Institution. It says that excess drinking of water causes agging faster. It is presumed that water is distilled and the research means that excess water drinking would lead to faster agging. I do not know how the Research Scholar has based his findings on but I will let you know further developments in this regards.
Maybe public water!!!, in which I would never touch anyway! But good well, or distilled, could not cause aging! I can't imagine what research came up w that!
No Mr Teri , the latest research on water indicates that if you drink too much of water , you will age faster ?