I have seen most of the people either do not consume water during meals or consume it just before or after the meals. Incorrectly consuming water has its demerits, and consuming water correctly can help us stay fit and healthy. Let’s explore how you should drink your water to stay healthy and fit.
In only one phrase, Ashtanga Hrudayam clarifies this difficult concept.
समस्थूलकृशा भुक्तमध्यान्तप्रथमाम्बुपाः ।
sama-sthūla-kṛśā bhukta-madhyānta-prathamāmbupāḥ |
What Is Ashtanga Hrudayam?
I am sure the question struck the mind when I mentioned Ashtanga Hrudayam. So, let me explain in a single line: Ashtanga hrudayam is the essence of the 8 branches of Ayurveda.
And you may ask, what is Ayurveda?
Again, keeping it short. Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medical system, which is based on a ’natural’ and holistic approach to physical and mental health. Ayurvedic treatment combines plant products, exercise, diet, and lifestyle.
Translation Of The Verse
If we translate the above Sanskrit line, it gives the below meaning:
bhukta madhya ambupāḥ–When water is consumed while having food
sama–the person’s body will be in good shape
bhukta anta ambupāḥ–When water is consumed after the meals
sthūla–the person will become obese
bhukta prathama ambupāḥ–When water is consumed before the meals
kṛśā–the person will be frail and thin
Drinking water while eating ensures that the food is properly hydrated and facilitates easy digestion and absorption. The person maintains good health because the nutritive portion of the food is effectively utilised and the waste portion is eliminated. Thus, when you drink your water during the meals, it reduces your chances to attract illness and thus stay healthy for long.
After a meal, drinking water causes the extra water to be ingested into the body tissues, where it will combine with the nutrients. The extra water in the tissues vitiates the fat tissue and prevents the other tissues from receiving nutrition. This will affect both dietary quality and digesting power. Water adds a slight cooling effect to any food that is consumed, and as a result, a person gets obese over time.
Water dilutes the digestive secretions before a meal, which results in a lower absorption of nutrition and makes a person lanky and weak. Drinking water before food weakens and dilutes the digestive strength. Water is considered cool and digestion is like fire. Thus, according to Ayurveda, water is the polar opposite of digestion. So, drinking water before eating is not recommended.
To Conclude How To Drink Your Water
Avoid drinking water 30 minutes before or after meals, if possible.
If you are very peckish before a meal, drink some water, wait at least 30 minutes, then eat.
It is best to take any medication that must be taken with water, either before or after a meal, at least 15 minutes before to or after the meal.
You can drink half a cup of water before meals if you have an increased appetite and want to lose weight.
It is not a good idea to drink water before or after meals if you want to gain weight. Water consumed after meals may aid in weight gain, but tissues’ quality will be compromised. In order to gain weight, it is therefore advised to drink water throughout meals, eat foods that are high in nutrients, and stay away from junk food.
Many science websites suggest avoiding water consumption between meals. However, according to Ayurveda, you should only sip water in between meals. And this is what I follow and highly recommend.
In one of my earlier posts, I had also written the benefits of drinking water on an empty stomach. You might also want to check it out.