Water, the Manna We Forget to Stock up on

What the latest research says about the importance of staying hydrated.

Photo by Total Shape/ Pexels
Photo by Total Shape/ Pexels

This piece of advice is ubiquitous. We hear it from everyone—our elders while growing up, from doctors, and mainstream media swears by its benefit. Science agrees, too. Drink a lot of water, every day. 

But why does the world obsess over drinking water, anyway? Quite simply, water keeps our body functioning. It regulates body temperature, prevents infections, and delivers nutrients to our body cells. 

Water for the brain 

Drinking water at regular intervals is especially important for those of us who lead sedentary lifestyles because it’s not just strenuous work that dehydrates us. Even when our body is not used to any prolonged activity, the level of fluids decrease with time. Fluid loss results in dehydration, which in turn disrupts our brain’s functioning. Hence, the importance of keeping hydrated. 

Professor David Benton conducted a study with The Conversation UK—a non-profit research and academic based media platform—and Swansea University UK. They studied 100 healthy individuals and found out that those who were more dehydrated had poorer memory and attention, felt less energetic and more anxious.

According to another Harvard study, being well-hydrated improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood. It is one of the six basic nutrients (along with carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, proteins, and minerals). 

Yet, we often neglect this most useful substance that our body needs. Like many other good things, we often ignore our body’s need for an adequate amount of hydration and drink water only after we feel thirsty. Studies say we are already dehydrated by the time you feel thirsty. When caught up in meetings, during travel, or simply toiling away on our desks, we often allow ourselves to get dehydrated. 

It’s important to make drinking water at regular intervals a habit. 

While drinking water is important to overcome the side-effects of dehydration like nausea, fluid loss, and low performance, ancient Indian studies say it is equally important that we are mindful of ‘how’ this water is consumed. 

The principles of Ayurveda say that the way we drink water also affects our overall health. Here are some important Ayurveda mantras to drink water.

1. Drink water on an empty stomach in the morning

Ayurveda suggests that is a healthy habit to drink water first thing in the morning. It helps in detoxification and cleansing of the body.

2. Small sip, swallow, breathe. Repeat.

Ayurveda recommends that you avoid gulping down large volumes of water in a single breath. Sipping water in intervals allows body to efficiently process the water and hydrate without the spike in urination which is observed after gulping.

            Even during meals having small sips of water is advised. It allows the saliva in your mouth to get mixed, and balance the acids of the stomach which is good for digestion. On the other hand, chugging water all at once doesn’t leave much space for digestive action and makes you feel bloated. 

3. Drink water stored in copper vessels

Some Indian households have glasses and jugs made of copper to store and drink water from. Storing water in a copper vessel creates a natural purification process, which kills the harmful bacteria present in the water. Known for preventing common water borne diseases like diarrhoea, dysentery and jaundice, copper vessels are easily available too. Packed with very strong anti-oxidant and cell forming properties, it also helps to slow down ageing and boost skin health.

Do you need any more prompts to reach out for that bottle of water?

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