So how much water should we be drinking?

This post is also available in: Eesti (Estonian)

When talking to smaller and bigger groups about health and Ayurveda, we sooner or later usually touch upon two topics – different diets and consumption of water. Diets we will go into in another blog post soon, but here, in the doorstep of spring, it seems appropriate to talk about drinking water, and clarify all related myths to it like when, how much, in which temperature etc.
Water is our life elixir. We consist of about 70% of water and while we without food can survive about a month, then without water only a couple of days.

The tasks of water, among others are for instance to regulate our body temperature, to be the lubricant between joints, to help flush out the toxins from our body through intestines and skin. During the Nordic late winter/early spring our digestion is slowest and needs an extra kick to wake up from the deep “winter sleep”. Drinking water plays a vital role in giving this wake-up kick.

There are many myths about how many liters of water we should drink per day, but the truth is the answer varies. Like always in ayurveda, there is no one single answer. It all depends on the individual’s dosha type, age, season and climate. In a hot climate we need more water and when getting older our skin is also naturally becoming drier.

  • If you have irregular digestion, periodically are congested and your skin becomes easily dry and you have a long and lean body, your dominating dosha is Vata, consisting of air and space elements. Vata types should drink a lot of water, and to help the digestion, the water should have been boiled and brought down to room or somewhat higher temperature. For the water to help your body even more, it is great to add to it spices like for instance ginger, fennel or cumin.
  • If you however gain easily weight, have slow digestion and bigger than average bone structure as well as you catch easily cold, then your dominant dosha is Kapha, consisting of water and earth. Due to your already slow digestion, you should definitely not overdo with water consumption in order not to kill your already slow digestive fire totally. You also benefit from warm water where it is during spring suitable to add ginger, and during other seasons cinnamon or clove.
  • Are you however with a sporty, medium type of a body, don’t easily tolerate heat and you have a fast digestion, then your dominating dosha Pitta is consisting of fire and water, and for cooling down the fire element, greater amount of water is advisable for you. You benefit even more from you water by adding spices with cooling properties like fennel or coriander.

Besides these tips based on dosha types, ayurveda has also some general advice on water drinking:

  • A glass of lemon water 45 minutes, or even better if 1,5 hours before breakfast is a great start for your digestion system
  • Water that has been boiled (and brought down in temperature) is easier for the body to absorb than the raw water
  • Drink water between the meals and not during the meals in order not to kill the active digestion fire
  • Carbonated water is disturbing the digestion
  • Prefer to drink water from glass mug or bottle rather than from plastic, so that the plastic particles are not able to poison your body

Conscious water drinking to you from now on!