WELLNESS HABITS: THE SURPRISING BENEFITS OF DRINKING HOT WATER
What if I told you there is a simple and free method that can help you with digestion? In this article, I will tell you everything about an Ayurvedic ritual I integrated into my daily life: drinking hot water.
According to Ayurveda (a holistic health system originating from India, meaning “science of life” in Sanskrit), drinking hot water daily after each meal, at sunrise and sunset, helps soothe Vata, balance Pitta and stimulate Kapha. Simply said, this ritual is suitable for everyone because it promotes a better functioning of the metabolism, regardless of your Ayurvedic constitution.
Why drink hot rather than cold water?
Ayurveda medicine favors hot water over cold water since the latter tends to solidify food (especially fatty foods) in the digestive track and reduce digestive fire, which then disrupts metabolism. According to Ayurvedic Sanskrit, Agni digestive fire refers to the biological fire responsible for all processes of metabolic transformation and food absorption. More specifically, it ensures the proper functioning of the digestive system (stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, salivary glands). When our digestive fire is weakened, it causes poor digestion and weight gain, in addition to storing the toxins (called Ama in Sanskrit) in the body.
Think about running a dishwasher: hot water is much more efficient than cold water, right?
Why drink plain hot water (and not with a slice of lemon or herbal tea)?
As Lydia Bosson, author of La tasse d’eau chaude à la santé de la vie says, “a cup of hot water in the morning purifies the subtle channels (which are called srotas in Sanskrit and which the doctors call meridians), cleans the digestive tract and promotes the evacuation of toxins through stool and urine. On the other hand, drinking herbal tea or any other hot drink does not have the same effect as drinking plain water, because the digestive system must then focus on assimilating the active principles ingredients, rather than eliminating toxins.”
Adding lemon, herbs or spices is up to you. Just keep in mind that the benefits are not the same and that according to Ayurveda, it is better to drink plain hot water and let it do its work in your body.
The ritual of drinking hot water: 4 key moments to remember!
If you’re like me and you love a good cup of tea, herbal tea or lemon water, you can keep drinking these throughout the day. But if you want to adopt the hot water habit, there are 4 key moments during the day that you should not miss: in the morning on an empty stomach, half an hour after each meal and before bedtime.
So does it really work? Yes! For several months now, I have integrated the habit of drinking hot water and my digestion is much better. I have noticed that in addition to warming my body throughout the day (which is very convenient in the winter!), the hot water that I drink greatly reduces my cramps and dissipates IBS discomfort very quickly. I now always carry hot water with me in a regular tea mug. It keeps me hydrated from morning till night. And when I do not drink hot water, I go for lukewarm water, around room temperature.
I hope that you have enjoyed my first article of 2018 and that you will also try this Ayurvedic ritual and reap its many benefits! I’ll be back next month with another wellness article, which I hope will help you define YOUR balance.