“Sir, you have written in your book that drinking water only when one is thirsty is good. But I have read in one book that thirst destroys body mechanism. Feeling thirsty is a sign of body weakness. Grab for water in a day even if you don’t feel thirsty.”
“Many health experts advise that one should drink 8 glasses of water. Is that true? What Ayurveda says about it?”
These are the questions from Maa! From USA and Vivek Tandon.
There is no truth in thirst theory
We feel hungry. Does that destroy our body mechanism? Many people do food-less and water-less fasting. Have they caused injury to their bodies? No. So, there is no truth in saying that thirst is a sign of disaster.
We feel hungry, when the body needs food. Similarly we feel thirsty when the body needs water. As per Ayurveda, thirst is one of the “Vega” – an urge of the body, indicating a need.
Thirst is an urge
Ayurvedic Mantra – Supply only when there is an urge.
According to Ayurveda, thirst, hunger, sleep, sneezing, urination, defecation etc are called natural urges.
Ayurveda preaches that “Not attending a natural urge, when it is there, and initiating an urge, when it is not there leads to disease. “
For example, any healthy person should eat when he feels hungry. He should not eat, when there is no hunger.
Similarly, water should be had whenever there is thirst and it should not be had, when there isn’t any thirst.
How much water to drink?
How much water should I drink?
There are some theories that if you drink 8 glasses of water, it will detoxify and flush of all the toxins in the body.
Excess of water drinking is good for skin, as it keeps it well nourished and hydrated.
But this is not true as per Ayurveda! As a co-incidence, researchers also have same opinion
Water is a coolant. Too much of water intake, even when you’re not feeling thirsty will cause indigestion and may cause or worsen a condition called as “Ama”. This is a product of improper digestion and metabolism at the level of digestive track and at the level of body tissues and cells. As per Ayurveda, ‘Ama’ is the precursor for a host of diseases.
Drinking a large quantity of water will cause increase of Kapha and Vata, and decrease of Pitta and digestion power.
Related reading – Greatest secret of Ayurveda
So, how much water to drink?
Till you feel satiated. Stop it there. Satiation is a signal from your body to stop drinking.
Right time to drink water is, while taking food. Drinking water before food is not very recommended. After food, drink water only if you’re feeling thirsty.
Associate Professor Michael Farrell from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute oversaw the work by University of Melbourne PhD student Pascal Saker as part of a collaboration with several Melbourne institutes, regarding this issue about right quantity of water intake. Michael Farrel says – “If we just do what our body demands us to we’ll probably get it right – just drink according to thirst rather than an elaborate schedule,” Associate Professor Farrell said. (Source)