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Optimizing Hydration and Digestion

Water is an essential part of our lives. From children to adults, our bodies range from 50-75% water. We are made of water and it plays a special role in our over-all wellbeing. Yet, have we come away from how to ingest water? Ayurveda looks at the temperature of water to know if we are getting proper hydration.

The popular idea of how to drink water is usually iced and in large quantities. Most restaurants are served with ice water right before a meal. Ayurveda sees this as dampening your digestive fire (agni) and leads to improper digestion. Ice water is constricting and makes your bodywork to heat up the temperature. Cold water freezes the digestive enzymes and fluids in your G.I tract. It disables your body from effectively digesting and assimilating any substance fully. As a result, incompletely or undigested food moves through your digestive system and may lead to elimination issues. A sign of improperly digested food is feeling heavy, tired or bloated after eating. Ayurveda classifies this as high ama (toxins or undigested food or emotions) in the body.

You want your digestive strength at it’s highest right before eating. We suggest drinking room temperature to warm or hot water while eating. Drink it in small sips with no chugging. This will aid in properly digesting food.

The frequency of water is more important than the amount of water you drink. Many people are told to chug water throughout the day. This irregular flooding of water in your system does less to keep you hydrated then sipping warm to hot water throughout the day. Luke warm water or hot water should be sipped every thirty minutes to flush out toxins (ama) and keep you hydrated without dampening your digestive fire (agni).

Ayurveda suggests sipping warm water throughout the day and not chugging water. When you wake up in the morning have a few glasses of warm to hot water before other water or food. This opens up the pours of the body and helps morning detoxification.

Why Warm or Hot Water

1. It improves digestion and relieves indigestion. 2. It improves blood circulation and flushes out toxins. Hot water aids in burning the fat deposits in the body and built-up accumulation in the nervous system. This can also aid in weight loss. 3. It is a great aid for constipation. The main cause of constipation is dehydration. The stool settles in your intestines and slows the bowel movement causing irregularity in the passing of stool and can lead to painful evacuation. Hot water in the morning on an empty stomach helps to keep the bowel movement going and stop the irregularity. 4. Hot or warm water can help reduce cold and coughs as it reduces irritation and pain in the throat. 5. Hot water can also aid in pain relief as it helps stimulate blood flow to the tissues.

Other Water Misconceptions

In some weight loss communities it is recommended to drink ice water throughout the day as it burns a small amount of calories. While this is true, the amount of calories is very few and the cold water cramps up your stomach and leads to poor assimilation.

In summer people tend to drink ice water on hot days. Yet, cold water has an overall effect of contracting, slowing, and shrinking in the body. Your body then has to heat up the water, thereby heating up the body more and not cooling it down. For best results have room-temperature water or coconut water (cooling in nature) during summer.

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