The Art of Drinking Water: 10 Ayurvedic Tips for a Happily Hydrated Body. ~ Julie Bernier

Via on Oct 30, 2013

Water cleanse

For more: 5 Myths about Drinking Water (NPR)

Again Ayurveda brings us indispensable guidelines for something we thought had no method: drinking water. Just like the rules for eating there’s a way to drink that helps your physical body thrive. It’s more than just glass to lips and chug.

With a teensy bit more awareness, the way in which you drink water can seriously be a life-changer. For me, it meant not having to race to pee all the time. For a friend who also heeded the advice it meant no more massive and uncomfortable post-meal burps. For another friend, drinking water the right way meant no longer feeling painfully full after eating a normal amount of food. And this all came with such simple, minor changes.

So, the Ayurvedic way to drink water:

1. First off, sit down to drink (just as you should sit down to eat).

2. Take sips, not full-glass chugs. Small sip, swallow, breathe. Repeat.

3. Sip water throughout the day. If you chug too much water at once your body doesn’t actually absorb all of it. Most of it will run right through you.

4. Drink at least room temperature water. Warm is even better. Cold and iced water literally douse the digestive fire.

5. Only sip a small amount of water with your meals. If you drink too much while you eat, your belly won’t have enough room for digestive action. Remember this rule: fill your stomach 50% with food, 25% with water, and leave 25% empty for the digestive juices and process.

6. For the same reason, don’t drink loads of water before or after your meals. Fill 50% with food, 25% with water, and leave 25% empty.

7. Drink when you’re thirsty. Thirst is a natural urge that should be heeded. It means your body needs water.

8. As far as how much, we’re all different sizes with varied diets and lifestyles. One set rule of eight glasses a day simply can not apply to everyone. Naturally, the miraculous human body has it’s own built-in measuring system: thirst. If you’re thirsty, drink water. When you listen to thirst cues and sip water throughout the day you’ll be drinking the right amount.

9. Your urine is a secondary confirmation to know if you’re amply hydrated. It should be fairly clear and straw colored. If it’s dark yellow you need to drink more.

10. Your lips are yet another indicator. If they’re dry you might be dehydrated.

The rules are so straightforward, perhaps even obvious or intuitive. But they might make a serious difference in the way you feel on a daily basis.

Whether it’s how to eat, how to drink, how to bathe, or the myriad of other natural behaviors that we’ve never given a second thought, the beautiful science of Ayurveda teaches us the ideal way to do each to feel our absolute best.


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Ed: Bryonie Wise

Photo: Bryonie Wise


About Julie Bernier

Julie helps women find wellness from the inside out. She lives and teaches the ancient sciences of ayurveda and yoga, and combines the two to help clients naturally restore their inner balance for lasting wellbeing. Julie has journeyed to India many times over to study this wellness wisdom at its source. Join her June 11, 2016 in Malibu for an Ayurveda on Your Plate workshop. Connect with Julie at Mahi Mata, Instagram or Facebook.



64 Responses to “The Art of Drinking Water: 10 Ayurvedic Tips for a Happily Hydrated Body. ~ Julie Bernier”

  1. Nick says:

    I always forget to sip and then I end up chugging to catch up because I feed dehydrated. Thanks for the tip on 25% water and %50 food. I'll try this method out this week and see if I notice any difference. Hopefully I won't be running to the bathroom all day!

  2. Infinite says:

    Thank you! Could you explain the action of what is in the bottle of water [in the picture]. Thanks.

  3. Shasha says:

    Lovely article. The book “the body’s many cries for water” gives more science on this too. X

  4. Sharon says:

    Thank you for this information. I will definitely begin "sipping" – I like the idea of gently filling the needs of my body rather than what I have been doing – that chugging thing with water.

  5. ValterV says:

    "Drink when you’re thirsty"

    Of course this is gold advice, but I've read several times that we need water even when we do not feel thirsty yet. When we DO feel thirsty, it means the body is already dehydrated.
    This means we better sip some water just out of habit, before thirst get in.

    I'm not sure that it's true, but it would have been nice if mentioned in the article.

  6. Krista says:

    First, I’d like to thank you for these tips. I’m a little confused on 1 of the tips. Aside from my coffee in the morning, I only drink water. I started drinking coffee in the morning & water for the rest of the day about 4 months ago, so I’m still learning about the best practices for water consumption. I’ve read that you should drink a glass of water before you eat. I’m wondering how or if it fits into the 50/25/25% rule.

  7. thiagodaluz7 says:

    Ugh, I'm so sad to find that I'm not drinking right. Or more accurately, to know how much I enjoy drinking wrong. I'm from Texas, so ice cold water and I have a history. I suppose it won't be so bad when we move and start getting used to that Calgary drinking water, though.

  8. Robert says:

    It is my understending that fresh lemon or lime has an alkalizing effect on the body.

  9. Deb Denis says:

    This is the first I heard drinking room temp water. I have read it is good to drink cold water because it kicks your metabolism into gear to heat up the water in your system. There are so many words of advice when it comes to water.

  10. Juniferyogini says:

    Good info on lemons and ph balance here:

  11. Amanda says:

    Number 5: should really eat with food as it dilutes the food down through your digestive tract, moves it to quickly so not all the goodness is digested. Water is better to be drank 30 minutes before food and 1 and a half hours after food.

    Number 7: unfortunately, a lot of us have lost our thirst signals or Mis place them. Drink water when you think your hungry. Drink water especially more if you’ve had a coffee. Coffee dehydrates us so much and then we go so past thirsty we loose our signal, because we enter out hind brain living also known as fight or flight, in this state, we are to busy staying alive to think ( frontal cortex is switched off so we can’t think fully, just react), so we just have to remember we are thirsty rather than wait for a sign.

    Thank you for posting up such and important reminder that we are human and made of 80% water and not yet evolutionised to 80% coffee or juice.

  12. misha says:

    how about fizzy water for those who dislike plain water? water nauseates me and its only the carbonated that i can tolerate..any suggestions?

  13. Anant says:

    Julie – wonderful article. I recently read up about ayurveda and how one should have water.

    I would like to add that water is the first thing one should have early in the morning after waking up. Again, one is expected to sit down and have it slowly – one gulp at a time. The unutilized saliva (alkaline, it is produced all through the night) should neutralize the excess acidity in the tummy.

  14. Hair Masking says:

    Drink baptize if you anticipate your hungry. Drink baptize abnormally added if you’ve had a coffee. Coffee dehydrates us so abundant and again we go so accomplished agog we apart our signal, because we access out afterwards academician active aswell accepted as action or flight, in this state, we are to active blockage animate to anticipate ( aboveboard case is switched off so we can’t anticipate fully, just react), so we just accept to bethink we are agog rather than delay for a sign.

  15. Angela says:

    Thirst is not necessarily a sign of dehydration. It may be a symptom of many other issues from hunger to illness (both physical and mental). The other points are certainly valid but be aware even if thirst is a sign of dehydration it means you were never consuming enough with to begin. It is a signal to change your drinking habits rather than it be the sign to start drink water.

  16. Salem Adnan says:

    Thanks for your nice topic and information lady .. but unfortunately our leader and prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has informed us with such an advice 1400 years ago :)

  17. Nermeen says:

    More than 1400 years ago we learned the same art for drinking water from Prophet Muhammad: 1) Start with mentioning the name of God, 2) Sit while drinking, 3) Use your right hand, 4) Drink in sips of odd number 3 or 5 or 7… etc. and never chug the water, 5) Thank God. He recommended drinking water at room temperature and forbid drinking water after meals until the food is digested completely. When you drink while eating then make one third for your food, one third for your drink and one third for your breath! Never eat till you’re full! The reason I mention this is that your art of drinking reminded me so much of his words. Many thanks.

  18. Madhusudan Das says:

    One ayurvedic doctor gave me this dietary guideline (among others), "Drink your solid food, chew your liquids," meaning, of course, chew very well and mindfully, and, as you said, sip, sip, sip–no chugging.

  19. Dear Julie Bernier,
    Thanks for sharing this information, this water drinking tipis is very important for any human body. Also I've following many rules before reading this article.

  20. Zoe Condon says:

    It's always my pleasure to read this type of stuff.I am very much interested in these types of topics from childhood and it's my habit to read this.

  21. Shuvo says:

    It’s first time for me landing on your blog. I’ve been reading your post recently and I’m so enjoying it.

  22. Ashley says:

    Thanks for posting, this is wonderful! I usually drink enough water but I usually down it. Leanr somethin new everyday!

  23. anastzns says:

    Could you please tell the scientific reason to sitting while drinking water??? And please also comment on second point…

  24. Cameron cushing says:

    Hi Julie, Great article thanks for sharing!

    I believe that over 80% percent of North Americans are seriously dehydrated. As a result, the thirst mechanism is dormant. People constantly mistake hunger for thirst so I feel developing the habit of drinking water is the best advice you offer.

    The type of water one drinks is key. Proper cleaning your water source and ensuring it is rich in minerals is best. If you purchase water it must be spring water in glass only. Living water has an electric frequency that is a match for the living body therefore minerals keep water in balance.

    Water will flush digestive enzymes which the stomach creates once the thought, smell and preparation of food/hunger arises. My rule is no water 30 minutes before and 90 minutes after eating (allowing for digestion), aside from sipping when needed.

    Water is our source of all living things on this planet. I find the magic, beauty and living energy of this to be most fascinating!

  25. Mori Eugene Gatewood says:

    I found drinking luke warm water is best with meals!

  26. Swaroop says:

    Although, some great advice, I would really like to know which ayurvedic book and chapter these tips are taken from. Some of them do NOT seem to be accurate too.

    For example the statement “if you chug too much water at once your body doesn’t actually absorb all of it. Most of it will run right through you”…I cannot fathom what this mean…since we drink via mouth and straight out will be release thru anus. Does that mean we will have liquid stool immediately after we drink excess water….if the author meant peeing then it is not straight…. the water from mouth goes through various part before reaching large intestine where it will be absorbed and will become part of the circulatory system. Being part of blood, it reaches everypart of the body before being filtered by kidneys, then sent to bladder and finally for urination. Clarification will be highly appreciated.

  27. Davera says:

    that last comment is on point: “run right through me?” Am I now become a sponge or a potted plant?? There’s the whole renal architecture inbetween … These are nice tips but fact checking will help you look more credible. Cheers D

  28. neeta says:

    20 glass water a day is good or bad for health

  29. Mohammad rabie says:

    Thanks for this article , I was amazed by some thing , don’t be surprised but all that you just mentioned was mentioned long time ago by Prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon him ) the messenger of Allah in Islam .

    Thanks again

  30. Humayun says:

    Nice information. Most of the time i was chugging. But from now on i will go for small sip, swallow, breathe. Repeat.
    Thanks buddy..

  31. ritesh says:

    Does drinking water in standing position cause ortho problem

  32. Pooja Chauhan says:

    very nice article… i just wanted to ask one question… how good or bad it is if i only drink warm water throughout the day. I have been drinking warm water for the past one month. My body feels great. There are lot of problems which have been resolved because of sipping on warm water throughout the day. I just wanted to know how much maximum quantity can i have it in and if there are any side effects?
    I am currently in Mumbai, India.

  33. Wonderful article this needed for me. Thanks for sharing…..

  34. gabic says:

    i`ve actually read somewhere that it is not good to sip water through the day because the body gets confused and it will absorb more water than it needs and your brain will swollen ;if you drink large quantities at once,the body will take what it needs and it will eliminate the rest ,this is the best method to drink water ;

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