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We all know that, drinking water is essential for maintaining good health as it helps to regulate body temperature, flush out toxins, and support the proper functioning of various organs such as the kidneys, liver, and digestive system. Dehydration, on the other hand, can lead to a range of negative health effects, including fatigue, headaches, dizziness, and even more serious conditions such as kidney stones.
The recommendation to drink 8 glasses of water per day is a common piece of advice given by many health advisors and experts. This may be suitable for some people, but it’s not a “one-size-fits-all” recommendation. The amount of water one should drink to stay hydrated during the summer depends on various factors such as one’s body type, age, level of physical activity, the climate they live in and so on.
So, how much water do we really need to drink in summer?
Let’s look at the ayurveda take on water intake.
In Ayurveda, water is considered one of the most important elements in maintaining health and balance in the body. It is said to represent soma, which is the nourishing, cooling quality associated with lunar energy.
According to Ayurveda, thirst is indeed a natural instinct that we should follow. When we feel thirsty, it is a sign that our body needs water, and we should drink water to fulfill that need. The universal rule of eight glasses a day is simply not applicable to everyone.
However, it is also important to note that some people may have a weaker thirst response or may not recognize their thirst cues, which can lead to dehydration. In general, it is recommended to sip water regularly throughout the day, to maintain proper hydration levels. This is especially important in hot weather, during physical activity, or if you are experiencing any illness that may cause dehydration.
It is important to keep in mind that drinking too much water can also have negative effects on the body, such as diluting the digestive juices and disrupting the balance of electrolytes in the body. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a balance in fluid intake and listen to your body’s natural thirst cues.
Water intake for different body types – the ayurveda take
According to Ayurveda, there are three doshas or body types: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each dosha has specific characteristics and requires a unique approach to diet and lifestyle to maintain balance and good health. Pitta types tend to be naturally thirstier than Kapha types, while Vata types may require increased water intake due to common issues such as constipation or dry skin.
Here are some general guidelines as to how different dosha can approach water consumption.
Vata: People with a Vata-dominant constitution tend to have a light and dry body type. They may benefit from drinking warm or room temperature water to help balance their tendency towards dryness. Vata individuals may also benefit from sipping water throughout the day, rather than drinking large amounts all at once, to help maintain hydration.
Pitta: People with a Pitta-dominant constitution tend to have a fiery and intense body type. They may benefit from drinking cool or slightly chilled water to help balance their tendency towards heat. Pitta individuals may also benefit from drinking water with added cooling herbs such as mint or coriander.
Kapha: People with a Kapha-dominant constitution tend to have a heavy and sluggish body type. They may benefit from drinking warm or hot water to help stimulate their digestion and metabolism. Kapha individuals may also benefit from drinking water with added warming herbs such as ginger or cinnamon.
The Ayurveda Way of Drinking Water to stay hydrated in summer
According to Ayurveda, staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining good health and well-being. Here are some Ayurvedic recommendations for drinking water during the summer season.
Listening to your body: Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of listening to your body and drinking water as per your thirst. Over-hydration or under-hydration can both lead to imbalances in the body.
Drinking water in small quantities: Rather than drinking a large amount of water at once, it is recommended to drink small quantities of water throughout the day. This helps to prevent overloading the kidneys.
Sipping water slowly: Sipping water slowly over time can help to maintain optimal hydration levels throughout the day. This is important for overall health and can also improve digestion by keeping the digestive system functioning properly.
Drinking warm or room temperature water: According to Ayurveda, drinking cold water can disrupt the digestive process and lead to imbalances in the body. Warm or room temperature water is better for digestion and helps to remove toxins from the body.
Sipping warm water during a meal: Drinking too much water before a meal, during a meal or immediately after a meal can dilute the digestive juices, making it harder for the body to digest food properly. Sipping warm water during a meal or after a meal is recommended, as it can help to aid smooth digestion and promote the elimination of waste from the body.
Watching out for signs: It is easier to identify signs of dehydration than hydration. Symptoms such as constipation, dry mouth, dark yellow urine, fatigue, headache etc. can be signs of dehydration. It’s possible that you are not consuming enough water.
Balancing water intake with other fluids and foods: Ayurveda also emphasizes the importance of balancing water intake with other fluids and foods as well. This may include drinking herbal teas, such as ginger tea or chamomile tea, or incorporating hydrating foods into the diet, such as fruits and vegetables with high water content, like cucumbers, watermelons, and oranges.
7 Drinks To Keep You Hydrated in summer
According to Ayurveda, in addition to water, there are a variety of drinks that can help you stay hydrated during the summer months such as:
Tender coconut water
Coconut water is considered a natural electrolyte-rich drink that can help to replenish the lost minerals in the body due to sweating. It also helps to cool down the body temperature.
Lemon juice is another fluid that can help you stay hydrated during the summer months, according to Ayurveda. Lemon is a natural source of Vitamin C and can help to detoxify the body. You can add lemon juice to water or herbal teas for a refreshing and hydrating drink. Additionally, lemon water can help to balance the body’s pH level and promote healthy digestion. However, it’s important to note that drinking too much lemon water can erode tooth enamel, so it’s best to drink it in moderation and rinse your mouth with water after drinking it.
Ginger has a warming effect on the body and can help to stimulate digestion and boost immunity. You can add fresh ginger to water or herbal tea for a hydrating drink. Ginger can also be used to make ginger lemon tea. However, if you have a history of digestive issues or sensitivity to spicy foods, it’s best to consult with your doctor before consuming ginger.
Mint has a cooling effect on the body and can help to alleviate indigestion, bloating, and nausea. You can add fresh mint leaves to water or herbal tea for a refreshing and hydrating drink. Mint tea can also help to soothe sore throat, reduce stress, and promote relaxation. However, if you have acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), it’s best to avoid consuming mint as it may worsen your symptoms.
Fresh Cucumber Juice
Cucumber has a high water content (about 96%), that can help to keep your body hydrated and cool. Cucumber juice is also a popular Ayurvedic remedy for skin health, as it can help to reduce inflammation and promote a clear complexion. Additionally, cucumber is a good source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which can help to support overall health and well-being. You can also add sliced cucumber to water or herbal tea for a refreshing and hydrating drink.
Fruit Infused Water
Fruit juices may not be the best hydrating drinks but a glass of fruit infused water is a refreshing and healthy way to stay hydrated. Infused water is made by adding slices of fruits to a pitcher of water and letting it sit for a few hours, allowing the flavors to blend together.
Ayurveda recommends drinking herbal teas like mint tea, fennel tea, and coriander tea during the summer months. These teas have a cooling effect on the body and can help to regulate your body temperature.
Staying hydrated during the hot summer months is crucial for maintaining good health and general well-being. The amount of daily water intake required to stay hydrated in summer can vary depending on your specific needs, health conditions, and lifestyle.
Ayurveda offers valuable insights into the best way to drink water to keep our bodies properly hydrated. By drinking water frequently throughout the day, sipping it slowly, and avoiding ice-cold water, you can optimize your digestion, detoxification, and overall hydration. Adding natural flavorings like ginger, mint etc. and alternatives like coconut water and herbal teas can also make drinking water more enjoyable and provide additional health benefits. In addition to this, Ayurveda also recommends including water-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables.
By adopting these simple Ayurvedic practices, we can stay cool, calm, and hydrated all summer long.
What is the Ayurvedic view on staying hydrated during the summer?
In Ayurveda, staying hydrated during summer is important to maintain balance and prevent imbalances in the body. The summer season is associated with the Pitta dosha, which is characterized by heat and intensity. Drinking enough water and staying cool can help balance Pitta and prevent imbalances.
How do I know if I am drinking enough water?
A good way to tell if you are drinking enough water is to check the color of your urine. If it is pale yellow or clear, you are likely drinking enough water. If it is darker yellow or amber-colored, you may need to drink more water.
How can I stay hydrated if I don't like drinking water?
While water is the best choice for staying hydrated, if you don’t like the taste of water, you can try infusing it with fruit or herbs to add flavor. You can also eat foods that have a high water content, such as watermelon, cucumber, and celery. Additionally, buttermilk, coffee and tea, all count toward overall water intake.
Can I drink too much water?
When you drink too much water, your kidneys can’t get rid of the excess water. The sodium content of your blood becomes diluted. This is called hyponatremia and it can be life-threatening. To avoid this, drink water in moderation and pay attention to your body’s signals of thirst and hydration.
How much water should I drink according to Ayurveda?
According to Ayurveda, thirst is a natural instinct that you should follow. When you feel thirsty, it is a sign that your body needs water, and you should drink water to fulfill that need. In general, it is recommended to sip water regularly throughout the day, to maintain proper hydration levels. This is especially important in hot weather, during physical activity, or if you are experiencing any illness that may cause dehydration.
Can I drink cold water to stay hydrated during the summer?
Ayurveda recommends avoiding cold water, especially during meals, as it can weaken digestion and cause imbalances in the body. Instead, drink room temperature or slightly warm water to stay hydrated.
Are there other Ayurvedic remedies to stay hydrated during the summer?
Yes, there are several Ayurvedic remedies to stay hydrated during the summer. Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of balancing water intake with other fluids and foods as well. This may include incorporating hydrating foods into the diet, such as fruits and vegetables with high water content such as, melons, cucumbers, leafy greens etc. and drinking water infused with seasonal fruits and herbs like coriander, mint ginger etc.