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

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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


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anonymous Nov 7, 2015 12:16pm

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 ;

anonymous Oct 31, 2015 1:08pm

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

anonymous Oct 24, 2015 3:16am

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.

anonymous Oct 9, 2015 2:49am

Does drinking water in standing position cause ortho problem

anonymous Aug 18, 2015 12:06am

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

anonymous Jul 24, 2015 10:21pm

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

anonymous Jul 24, 2015 10:38am

20 glass water a day is good or bad for health

anonymous Jun 28, 2015 3:36pm

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

anonymous Jun 20, 2015 11:17am

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.

anonymous Apr 19, 2015 8:22am

I found drinking luke warm water is best with meals!

    anonymous Apr 19, 2015 6:57pm

    Hi Mori, I agree! Luke warm or warm just feels right while eating.

anonymous Apr 18, 2015 1:06pm

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!

    anonymous Apr 19, 2015 6:58pm

    Beautifully said, Cameron. We're the only (known) planet with such an abundance of water; it is a gift, a blessing, and as you said "living energy".

    anonymous Aug 1, 2015 7:48am

    Cameron, Do you have suggestions on how to filter well water that is very high in naturally occurring fluoride? I am very confused about which is the best filter to use. We cannot afford a whole house filter. Thanks.

anonymous Feb 22, 2015 7:34am

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

    anonymous Apr 19, 2015 7:00pm

    Sitting down allows the body to "digest" water correctly. When we're standing up, we're usually physically multitasking in some way such as walking or moving. Sitting, on the other hand, means our body is able to process water (or food) without diverting physical energy elsewhere.

    anonymous Aug 14, 2015 2:06pm

    Hello Julie, do you have a link for a study that supports this claim about drinking while seated?
    Thank you.

      anonymous Aug 23, 2015 7:18pm

      No, no study! But it makes sense, does it not? Ayurveda encourages us to use our yukti–our power of intelligence and discrimination–to understand how to take care of ourselves.

    anonymous Jan 4, 2016 7:45am

    The scientific reason behind it is that Prophet Muhammad used to do it and the body can better absorb water while sitting.Drink 8 glasses of water is also myth..we have our thirst to tell us when to drink!! I can tell from my personal experience, I was overhydrated by drink water before to get thirsty!!!

anonymous Feb 10, 2015 4:29pm

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

anonymous Oct 2, 2014 4:04am

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

anonymous Jul 11, 2014 4:26am

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.

anonymous May 15, 2014 1:49pm

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.

anonymous Mar 11, 2014 6:32pm

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.

anonymous Mar 10, 2014 11:02pm

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.

    anonymous Mar 17, 2014 10:49am

    Very interesting, thanks for sharing!

    anonymous Jul 10, 2014 4:28am

    Ayurveda has been in existence for more than 5000 years. My wife is Islam, and I realised how many similarities between Ayurveda and Mohammad's sunnah that I found, one of it is this drinking sunnah. Unani, is the traditional Arabic medicine system and scholars believe it to be a mixture between Ayurveda and Greek medicine systems. Its wonderful to see how many times things can be transformed and presented by intelligent people over thousands of years. So I guess that's the reason why there's many similarities. cmiiw.

      anonymous Sep 28, 2014 7:27am

      Yes, that's true! I'd like to learn more about Unani and see how Ayurveda has changed or held true in the Arabic tradition.

anonymous Mar 10, 2014 8:55pm

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 🙂

anonymous Feb 26, 2014 10:02am

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.

    anonymous Mar 9, 2014 7:17am

    Yes, thank you. Just to be clear you should not drink water only when you're thirsty, but never ignore the thirst instinct, which means you need water.

anonymous Feb 20, 2014 10:18pm

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.

anonymous Feb 20, 2014 4:40am

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.

    anonymous Mar 9, 2014 7:16am

    Great advice! I recommend warm to hot water in the morning. From an Ayurvedic perspective, this stimulates the bowels as well as the digestive fire- or agni- preparing your stomach for its first meal of the day.

anonymous Feb 20, 2014 2:25am

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

    anonymous Mar 9, 2014 7:14am

    It is best not to have too many carbonated beverages. Perhaps you could transition to filtered water, alternating fizzy with filtered and slowly cutting back, or even mixing 1/2 fizzy with 1/2 filtered.

anonymous Feb 20, 2014 1:25am

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.

anonymous Feb 19, 2014 6:49pm

Good info on lemons and ph balance here:

anonymous Dec 22, 2013 2:19pm

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.

    anonymous Dec 24, 2013 3:00pm

    Agreed, when it comes to drinking water and anything about diet there are so many differing opinions. The beauty of Ayurveda is that it is thousands of years old, tried and tested, and personally that gives me great confidence in the system. Ayurveda believes cold water would actually slow down metabolism, because it's dousing the digestive "fire".

      anonymous Jul 6, 2015 9:19am

      I was about to ask the same thing…i workout and run on a regular basis and hear all the time to drink ice cold water because the body absorbs it quicker than room-temperature water…i assume this advise is given to help cool the body when it is hot from a lot of movement or environmental heat versus for dietary or nutritional benefits. Any further thoughts? Thanks

    anonymous Mar 25, 2015 5:18am

    That's actuall weird. I have not heard anyone advocate drinking of cold water. It is widely thought to be harmful for digestion.

anonymous Dec 21, 2013 3:49am

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

    anonymous Dec 21, 2013 3:03pm

    I’ve read the same. Lemon is very alkalinizing from what I have dead in several areas.

    anonymous Dec 22, 2013 7:52am

    Yes I've heard the same and it would be a good thing to use in your water occasionally, unless there is acidity in the body. Interestingly Ayurveda says that too much alkaline foods/beverages cause early aging, but this is something I need to look into more, and certainly wouldn't come from the occasional lemon/lime water!

anonymous Dec 4, 2013 9:34am

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.

    anonymous Dec 22, 2013 7:48am

    Haha yes the move will be a good way to ease into warmer water! I am living in cold Vancouver and found that restaurants happily serve hot or ice free water to customers.

anonymous Nov 15, 2013 4:13pm

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.

anonymous Nov 3, 2013 4:36pm

"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.

    anonymous Nov 3, 2013 11:25pm

    Yes, that is true. Thirst is a sign that the body needs water. I agree with you, and hope that this pointer I mentioned conveyed doing both (listening to thirst cues and out of habit)- "When you listen to thirst cues and sip water throughout the day you’ll be drinking the right amount." Thanks for encouraging clarification.

anonymous Nov 3, 2013 6:48am

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.

anonymous Nov 1, 2013 1:07am

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

anonymous Oct 31, 2013 12:35am

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

    anonymous Oct 31, 2013 9:09am

    This photo was actually chosen by Elephant Journal. It looks to be lime… and if you don't like the taste of water you could add some lime or lemon, which is helpful to digestion and cleansing.

      anonymous Nov 3, 2013 11:48pm

      An important note about lemon and lime- if you have acidity in the body (acid reflux for example), don't use lemon and lime in your water- it could aggravate the problem further.

        anonymous Dec 22, 2013 12:58pm

        Thank you for that important note. I was drinking lemon in my water and I have reflux. Will follow the rest of your article. That was very helpful, as I struggle how much to drink, methodology, etc. Thank you again.

anonymous Oct 31, 2013 12:31am

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!

    anonymous Oct 31, 2013 9:06am

    I used to do the same! I hope this helps you. It's the chugging all at once that usually makes you have to run to the bathroom.

      anonymous Apr 19, 2015 3:09pm

      This makes a lot of sense! I’m wondering what you suggest for me as a hot yoga teacher though. I teach fifteen classes a week in a 103 degree room, so I always feel like I need to be drinking more water, and I often drink a lot at a time.

Mehboob Saifi Mar 4, 2018 7:30am

very informative

Abdul Basit Shaikh Oct 11, 2017 4:00am

Its already mentioned in sunnats of Prophet Mohammed. Every sunnats if studied will leave you amazed. We have sunnats of everything. From birth to death whatever the person need to do has been guided by Prophet Mohammed.

Esteban Salsano Sep 27, 2017 1:06pm

You can use a water reminder app like AquaMinder Really nice!

Diwa Singh Jun 17, 2017 7:24pm

Aurveda is older then mahamad.... It's right way to dring water that s it.... Why making religion

Rajinder Singh Oct 31, 2016 11:54am

drink water one hour after the meal

Dierdre Tucci Jul 19, 2016 7:11pm

Want To Lose Weight Without Dieting & Grueling Workout? ❗ Then This is Not For You ⛔ ⛔

Aware Reis May 22, 2016 10:10pm

prophet Mohammed taught us divide our stomach into 3 + advised us to divide glass of water into 3 repeats in each taking breathe + recommended us sitting then drinking water

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Julie Bernier

Julie Bernier teaches women the art of self-care so that they feel their healthiest and happiest in their own unique bodies. This holistic approach to individualized wellness is rooted in the ancient Indian knowledge of ayurveda: a complete medical science and way of life which explains that our wellbeing blossoms when we align ourselves with nature. Julie is a registered ayurvedic practitioner with the National Ayurvedic Medical Association, a Certified Massage Therapist, and a classical hatha yoga teacher. She studied each of these modalities in the US and straight from their source in India. Connect with Julie at and check out her upcoming events in LA: ayurvedic cooking basics and ayurvedic skin care.