When it is scorching hot outside and you are bathing in sweat, it might sound crazy if someone tells you to drink hot water. You will probably find yourself ignoring this advice while you reach into your fridge for a bottle of chilled, icy water.
While cold water may sound more tempting, in summer, more than any other time of the year, it is necessary to drink warm water. Summer is the season when your body loses the maximum amount of water in the form of perspiration. The main purpose behind drinking water then is to restore this lost water in the body.
In Ayurvedic medicine, it is believed that the quickest path to hydration is by drinking water that is at room temperature or even water that is slightly warm. This is because when one drinks cold water the body needs to expend extra energy in bringing up the temperature of this water to that of the body. This is in turn means that it takes longer for the water to be absorbed by your body and makes your body more tired than the hot water would.
On the other hand, when you drink hot water, your body temperature goes up. The body returns to normal temperature by sweating out the built-up toxins in the body. Not just that, it also removes deposits in your nervous system that help you to purify your thoughts and improve your emotional state.
It is quite a common habit to have water with one’s meals or immediately afterwards. Although it is a regular custom, it is not a prudent practice. It is best to completely abstain from drinking water during a meal. Ideally, wait for an hour after eating to drink water or have some warm water approximately an hour before you eat. But if you do find yourself feeling thirsty during a meal, reach for some plain water or warm water. If drinking warm water seems odd to you, you can try some herbal tea with ginger or tulsi, but have no more than half a cup when you are eating.
Cold water is not recommended with meals since it uses a portion of the energy required for the digestive process to raise the temperature of the water in the body. It effectively slows down the digestive process so it is not as efficient. Consequently, our digestive juices are unable to work their magic to their full potential. We end up with partially digested food and we feel tired, heavy and bloated. Our bowel movement may also be affected by the indigestion. Without proper elimination of wastes from our body, we suffer from toxins building up in our intestine. In addition, the necessary nutrients may not be assimilated into our body.
You may not believe that the temperature of the water you are drinking will affect your digestion much. To see the difference for yourself, try a little experiment this week. For the next seven days avoid drinking anything when you are eating. If you must, drink half a cup of herbal tea. When you do have water in the day, have plain or warm water. Then make a note of how you feel. Trust me; once you make the switch to warm water, you will feel a clear and noticeable change in your digestion.