Ayurveda is a complete science which governs every aspect of life, even something as simple/common as drinking water and other liquids throughout the day.
Here are some specific guidelines given in Ayurveda :
- Drink at least 500 ml (max 1500 ml) hot/warm water first thing in the morning after getting out of bed. This has a flushing effect on our bowels, hence it helps to get rid of toxic matter accumulated in our bodies.
- Always drink water in the sitting position, preferably in a crossed legged pose, on the floor. Drinking water in the standing position (particularly first thing in the morning) can cause knee problems. When we have just woken up, there isn’t much physical movement yet. If we drink water in the standing position, it will push the Apana Vayu (air in the lower abdomen) downward, towards our feet. And since there is not much circulation in and around the knees, the air element can get trapped/accumulated in the region of the knees. This can affect the moisturising/lubricating fluid in the knees, thus causing dryness and weakness in the knees.
- Drink water sip by sip, do not gulp it. Drinking water too fast can cause Vata (air) imbalance.
- Do not drink too much plain water while having your meal. You can drink a glass of warm water one hour before and one hour after a meal. After a meal, just have a couple of sips of water to rinse the mouth, but not a full glass of water. One can even drink a couple of sips in between the meals, which can actually stimulate the digestive fire. As it happens if we sprinkle just a few drops of water on a flame, the fire/flame can become stronger than before. Similarly, drinking a couple of sips of plain water can stimulate the fire in the stomach.
- Do not keep too long a gap (more than one hour) between a meal and drinking water, in order to avoid bile/acidity/gas related problems. If we do not drink enough water one hour after a meal, this can cause excessive dryness in the stomach due to insufficient water/liquid. In the long run, this habit of not drinking enough water after an hour of having a meal, can cause acidity and heart burn problems.
- Preferably drink a glass of fresh organic cow’s milk, adding a little cardamom seed powder, cinnamon powder and a little rock sugar, 30 minutes before going to bed. This helps to induce good sleep and prevents any acidic effect which may arise due to strong bile during the night whilst one is asleep. The acidic effect of the strong bile can disturb one’s sleep and thereby cause Vata (air) imbalance.
- In Ayurveda, it is recommended that one should drink fresh milk from the cow (milk should be hot), adding a little turmeric powder, a little cinnamon powder, cardamom seeds powder and pure ghee from the cow – this should be done 30 minutes before going to bed, and it should be consumed in a standing position. Ayurveda says that this helps to push the Pitta, Vata and Kapha down to the lower limbs, particularly towards and around the knees and ankles.
- As a result, inflammation can be reduced, due to the use of turmeric & cinnamon powder, which optimises the effect of Pitta (fire element) and maximises circulation of Vata, while flexibility can increase due to the lubricating effect of cow’s ghee, which strengthens Kapha. Also, toxins can be eliminated through urine due to the diuretic effect of the cardamom seeds.