Self-care series Part 3:
One interpretation of the meaning of the Sanskrit word Amrit (the nectar of immortality) is – The right procedure to drink water – “Am” = General or Common or correct and “Rit” = way or procedure or ritual. I learnt to convert this simple ever present water into my elixir for everlasting health in 2015 when I first heard a talk by Dr. Hiten Patel on water therapy. I have since, deeply studied this subject and also practiced it with myself and many people around me to experience amazing, almost miraculous health benefits.
The first thing to understand is that pure water is just simple natural filtered water and not any drink made out of water. Adding sugar or lemon or chlorine or any other taste giving substance takes away the benefits that plain water can provide, namely hydrating our body and flushing out waste from our bodies. Our taste buds are the triggers for the body to begin secreting various digestive enzymes in preparation to digest a meal. Every time you drink something other than water (coke, coffee, tea, fruit juice) the digestive process starts – again and again – putting the entire digestive system into overdrive. Just pure water does not do this and simply allows the digestive system to rest and the body to hydrate and cleanse.
If you are living in nature, a mountain spring water would be the perfect elixir. However in our urban environment it is important to understand the type of water our body needs. Water needs to be filtered, clear and very slightly pH alkaline not acidic (chlorinated water becomes acidic). It also needs to retain the natural trace dissolved minerals and not be hundred percent distilled pure water. If you have a good RO water purifier, adding just a grain of rock salt to a litre of water may be enough. The subject of acidic / alkaline water will be dealt with in another article, you may explore and find out more to know how to make the water you drink more suitable for your body’s needs.
The temperature of water you drink is also very important. The best temperature would be to drink water at body temperature, which will make it tepid or seem mildly lukewarm. Refrigerated or iced water or very hot water is not helpful as the body goes into a limbic shock to deal with consumption of too cold or too hot things. What gives you a seemingly energetic boost when you drink something too cold or hot is the hormones secreted by your body as a result of limbic response and not the drink itself and it eventually takes a toll.
Knowing when to drink water and how much to drink makes the difference between healthy body and disease. There are two functions that water does, one is to flush out or cleanse the digestive track and the other is to hydrate the body and flush out the toxins in a cellular level. The digestive track and especially the colon which is the last part of it, is a tube with lot of bends. It needs to be flushed and cleared out every morning as otherwise the colon always remains clogged causing innumerable gastric and other lifestyle disease that has now become a part of normal, sedentary urban life.
Begin your morning drinking a large quantity of tepid water to be consumed immediately upon waking up. The quantity can very between three fourth of a litre to one and half litre depending of your size. For at least an hour after this, do not eat or drink anything and just allow the water to do its function of flushing the entire digestive track.
The rest of your water consumption throughout the day is for hydrating your body. You can sip plain room temperature water at any time during the day except around your meal time. Eating food and drinking water are two incompatibly different things and should never be done together. The stomach secretes some hydrochloric acid and other digestive enzymes that is needed in the process of digesting the food you eat. This acid gets diluted when you drink water just before or during or just after eating a meal. Stop drinking water 30 minutes before your meal. Do not drink water during the meal. Begin drinking warm water one hour after the meal. Drink half a litre to one litre water in between two meals. You may be used to drinking some cold drink along with food and this seriously interferes with healthy digestion and absorption of nutrients from the digested food causing disease. This is explained in more detail in the next article about food.
To summarise, following the procedure outlined below with respect to your water consumption will result in almost unbelievable feeling of wellness and good health. Just test it on yourself for fifteen days and you would be pleasantly surprised, your body will be happy.
- Drink only plain filtered water, room temperature or tepid.
- Begin the day with drinking 0.75 to 1.5 litre of water.
- Stop drinking water 30 minutes before eating anything.
- Do not drink water or any other drink during your meal.
- Do not drink water up to one hour after your meal.
- Treat all other drinks as food and only pure water as your hydrating drink.
- Drink 0.5 to 1 litre water in between each of your meal.
- Your total plain water consumption during the day would be between 2.5 to 4 litres.
Go about changing your habit around drinking water gently and gradually. Especially the morning flushing practice. If you have no habit of drinking water in the morning, start with one or two glasses and gradually increase it.
Reach out to selvansmentoring for help in cultivating healthy habits for a lifetime.
The self care series will be of five parts namely:
- What is wholesome sleep?
- How to enjoy wholesome sleep ?
- Water – the elixir for everlasting health.
- Wholesome nourishment from food.
- Bare minimal physical activity for healthy life.