I really try to drink enough water each day. I know it’s good for me, and I feel so much better when I do. But sometimes I just forget, or get busy and don’t drink as much as I should. Then with the information on drinking a gallon to drinking your weight in ounces of water, it can get overwhelming. In my quest to find what works best for me, I stumbled on the Ayurveda hydration method where the focus is balance; staying hydrated throughout the day, not just chugging a lot of water at once.
Water intake is very important: we are made up of 50-65% water, our brains are 73% water, and our blood is 83% water. Every system in our body depends on water. Water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to our cells, and provides a moist environment for ear, nose, and throat tissues. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.
There are many benefits to drinking water, and staying hydrated is crucial for our overall health. According to Ayurveda, the key to proper hydration is balance. Staying properly hydrated can help with:
Benefits of Ayurveda Hydration
Dehydrated skin can lead to wrinkles, and no one wants that. Drinking enough water will help with skin hydration, giving you a youthful appearance. Healthy skin begins with adequate hydration no matter your skin type and while there are many skincare products that target hydration, water should be your first line of defense.
Ayurvedic practitioners stress the importance of maintaining your digestive fire or agni. While water aids digestion, the digestive process actually uses up a lot of water. The digestive tract is lined with mucous which keeps it lubricated and functioning properly. The entire digestive system depends on water to keep things moving along and for the absorption of minerals.
With better digestion comes better absorption of nutrients which can lead to weight loss. When the digestive system is working properly, the body is able to break down and absorb the nutrients it needs and eliminate what it doesn’t. This can help to prevent overeating and lead to natural and healthy weight loss and body weight.
Kidney stones form when there is not enough water to dilute the crystals in urine. In Ayurveda, the water element is the principle of cohesion. In the body, this emerges as nourishment, growth, and lubrication.
Headaches and Migraines
Dehydration is a common trigger for headaches, foggy head, and migraines. In Ayurveda, a depletion of the sticky and smooth qualities of the Water element can lead to issues with the flow of energy which can cause pain and inflammation.
According to Ayurvedic medicine, water is the most important element in keeping the body functioning properly. Every system in the body depends on water, including our immunity. Drinking enough water helps to flush out toxins and keeps our cells properly hydrated.
Have you ever paid attention to the color of your urine? It can tell you a lot about your hydration levels. Light yellow or straw-colored urine is a sign of adequate hydration, while dark yellow or amber-colored urine is a sign that you need to drink more water.
Reduced Risk of Disease
Staying properly hydrated can help reduce the risk of some diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney stones, and UTIs.
Ayurvedic medicine believes the elements are the foundation of life: Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Space. Just as a river peacefully flows through our land, we want the water element within our bodies to flow calmly and smoothly. This means when I try to gulp down a gallon of water all at once, I’m actually disturbing the water element.
When we drink too much water at once, it can lead to bloating, gas, and indigestion because our digestive system isn’t used to processing that much liquid. When we don’t drink enough water throughout the day, we can become dehydrated, which can lead to tiredness, headaches, and dry skin. With Ayurveda hydration, you sip water gradually throughout the day instead of all at once. With a gradual stream of water throughout the day, you can gently remove toxins while keeping the water element balanced.
With Ayurveda hydration, you sip water gradually throughout the day instead of all at once. With a gradual stream of water throughout the day, you can gently remove toxins while keeping the water element balanced.
It’s a concept that makes so much sense when you think about nature. Everything in the natural world ebbs and flows – the tides, the seasons, the phases of the moon. Our bodies are no different. To maintain balance, we need to take small sips of water throughout the day rather than gulping down a lot all at once.
Water from the river is flowing, and it is typically clean because all impurities are being carried away by the water. When water is stagnant, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and other organisms. The same is true for our bodies – when we are properly hydrated, toxins are flushed out of our system. When we are dehydrated, toxins can start to build up and make us feel sluggish.
Hydration For Each Dosha
Ayurveda teaches that there are three doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha – which represent the different energies in the body. While all 3 have to maintain their digestive fire (agni), each dosha has different needs when it comes to hydration.
Vata dosha is light and airy, Pitta dosha is fiery and intense, and Kapha dosha is heavy and grounded. When any of these doshas become imbalanced, it can lead to physical or mental health issues.
Dehydration can cause an imbalance in any of the doshas, but it is particularly problematic for Vata dosha. Vata types are prone to anxiety and feeling scattered, and dehydration can heighten these feelings. To stay balanced, Vata types should make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and avoid caffeinated beverages.
Pitta types are also susceptible to dehydration, which can aggravate Pitta’s already fiery nature. When Pitta becomes imbalanced, it can manifest as inflammation, skin issues, and digestive problems. To stay hydrated, Pitta types should drink plenty of water and avoid hot drinks.
Kapha types tend to have more stable energy than Vata or Pitta types, but they can still become imbalanced when they don’t drink enough water. Dehydration can cause Kapha types to feel sluggish and can lead to sinus congestion. To stay hydrated, Kapha types should sip on warm water throughout the day and avoid cold drinks.
If you’re not sure what dosha type you are, you can take a quiz to find out. Once you know your dosha type, you can tailor your hydration habits to meet your specific needs.
In Ayurveda, digestive fire is the heat and energy that moves food through our body and it’s integral to keeping the body in balance. If we have too much or too little fire, it can disturb our digestion. To keep our digestive fire balanced, we should fill our bodies with the right fluids and foods to maintain this balance.
How To Stay Healthy With Ayurveda Hydration
- Starting the day with hydration is a good habit to practice. The Ayurvedic preference is that it is warm or at least room temperature or body temperature when you wake up.
- Ayurveda also recommends keeping water or drinks separate from the meals, and adequate hydration is emphasized at least thirty minutes outside of your mealtime.
- Avoid ice water. Your agni “digestive fire” is hot. Ayurveda’s principle of “like increases like, and treat with the opposite” and ice cold water will decrease the strength of your agni.
Teas and Fruit Water
- There are a number of ways that herbs and plants are utilized in Ayurvedic treatments, but one of the most common is to drink them as tea or to infuse water.
- Whole plants and herbs contain everything that is needed for proper absorption, digestion, and hydration.
- Fruit water is a great way to add flavor and nutrients to your water. You can infuse water with any fruit of your choice, but some favorites include lemon, lime, orange, and strawberry.
Foods and Fluids That Help with Hydration
There are a number of foods and fluids that help with hydration. Here are some of the best:
- Watermelon: Watermelon is more than 90% water and it also contains electrolytes like potassium and magnesium, which help to keep you hydrated.
- Cucumber: Cucumbers are also more than 90% water and they contain vitamins A, B, and C, as well as minerals like potassium and magnesium.
- Coconut water: Coconut water is a great natural source of electrolytes like potassium and sodium. It’s also rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Soups: Soups are a great way to get hydration and nutrients all in one. They’re easy to digest and can be packed with veggies and lean protein.
Although I have just started the Ayurveda hydration method I am already finding it much easier to stay hydrated and my skin is looking better too. I find that I am less bloated and have way more energy. My favorite way to stay hydrated this summer is with a recipe I tweaked from
Rehydration Tea Ayurveda Recipe
Rehydration Tea Ayurveda Recipe
- 4½ cups spring water
- fresh mint leaves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ lime squeezed juice
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- Boil water.
- Remove from heat and add mint, salt, and lime.
- Steep for 10 minutes, then strain and add the maple syrup.
- Enjoy as a warm tea or as a cool beverage when it’s hot outside.
- 4½ cups spring water
- Fresh mint leaves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ lime (squeezed juice)
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
Boil water. Remove from heat and add mint, salt, and lime. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain and add the maple syrup. Enjoy as a warm tea or as a cool beverage when it’s hot outside.
Ayurveda is all about balance, and that includes the water element. By sipping water throughout the day, you can keep your body properly hydrated and avoid any imbalances that could lead to health problems. So next time you reach for a glass of water, remember to sip slowly and mindfully – your body will thank you for it!