Yogis recommend drinking from 10 to 15 glasses of water per day (2-3 litres). In summer, obviously, you drink more and in winter less. This amount does not include soups and other liquids. Though the amount of liquid consumed does influence your need for water.
As a chemical compound, water can be found in any food. It is also formed as product of the food digestion. For example, 100 grams of fats produce 107 grams of water when oxidized, and 100 grams of carbohydrates or proteins give 55 and 41 grams of water responsively. Remember how camels can live without drinking for weeks? They just burn fat stored in their humps and use the water received in an efficient way.
The expense of water in people is quite significant. On average, around 1.5 liters are removed with urine, around 300 ml while breathing and around 200 ml with feces. That adds up to 2 liters, but this is an average number, of course.
In hot days, the expense of water can increase a lot, as it can decrease in cold temperatures. In winter, our organism automatically reduces the need of liquid, as even cold water, pure Yin, has a cooling effect. However, such regulation is perfect only in people living in harmony with nature, while sick city inhabitants usually need much more water.
Yogis call those who do not drink enough water “dried out people”, though such people might not want to drink more and do not look dry at all. A person often does not even imagine that all his numerous diseases are caused be water deficiency.
We have already explained how you should drink – enjoying every sip, thinking of all the goodness it brings you. By drinking like that, you get most life energy from water.
It is obligatory to drink approximately a glass of water in the morning right after waking up, in the evening before going to bed, and also during the day half an hour before each meal. Of course, if you eat a couple of apples 30-40 minutes before eating or drink a glass of juice, you do not need to drink water or you can drink it before. It all depends on your feelings.
With time, a purified and healthy person acquires a “feeling of water”, that is, he simply knows how much of and when he needs it. But before a person reaches this state, in the first months or sometimes even years, it is better to drink more than less. The excess of liquid cannot be harmful; it will always be removed with urine. The exceptions here can only be possible in case of some disorders of water-salt metabolism, for example in pregnant women. Edemas can also be caused by sick kidneys, heart or vessels. All such disorders are usually worsened by excess of salt.
However, there are cases when people trained themselves to drink 4-5 liters of water per day on purpose and later could not live with a smaller amount of liquid. This can also be considered a pathology.
In general, you tell if a person is drinking enough water based on the color of his urine. If it is very yellow or dark yellow, turbid or with strong smell, you should drink more water. If it is almost colorless and the urinations are very frequent, it is better to decrease amount of liquid consumed (exaggerations are always bad).
You should keep in mind that some harmful substances are removed by the kidneys in the same concentration in which they are contained in blood, without being separated. That means that the speed of removal of such compounds is proportional to the volume of urine. However, if you eat normally, it is not necessary to take this fact into consideration.
Water is also very important for people suffering from constipations. The deficiency of liquid in the organism leads to the process of absorption of liquid from the large intestine, which in turn does not help to empty it.
One can say that more than a half of people here suffer from lack of water. And almost everyone, who does not have any obvious contraindications, needs more water than what they drink now.
A healthy person can easily not drink the whole day or drink a couple of liters of water per day, while a sick one usually is not able to drink a lot (in some cases to not drink a lot). And it is exactly such people who especially need (or do not need) water.
If a person has stomach or intestinal problems (usually, they are interconnected), it is better to drink warm, almost hot, water. In winter, in summer, in the morning and in the evening, does not matter. In the morning, warm water stimulates and removes soy. In the evening, it calms you down and contributes to good digestion overnight and normal energy restoration. When drunk half an hour before eating, it cleans the stomach from remains of the previous meal, prepares it for the new meal and stimulates appetite.
Healthy people can drink warm water or room temperature water, as they wish. Cold water and drinks are not recommended for anyone.
I am often asked when it is better to drink after eating. In general, sometimes you can finalize your meal with a drink – if the food is very spicy, like barbecue, or very fatty, like pilaf, or very dry, like bread. In such cases, it is good to drink hot herbal tea (without sugar, of course,) or just hot water. With normal food yogis do not recommend to drink much. They say that the fire of digestion should not be put out with water. Thus, an ideal option is not to drink anything after eating.
Nevertheless, if you really want, you can drink a little. This liquid will become a part of your meal and your organism will decide what it should do with it next. However, afterwards it is better to not drink anything for some time. After eating fruits it is better to not drink for half an hour, for an hour or two after eating starchy food and after eating proteins, for an hour and a half or two.
In other times, between meals, you drink water without any limits. It is better to keep a schedule on your table and always take a couple of sips whenever you want. If you travel for a big part of your day, it is better to take a bottle with you and drink some water whenever your throat feels dry. I know many people trying to improve their health who do it.
Moreover, the water you drink should be of a good quality. The quality of tap water is, unfortunately, decreasing recently in many places and you should clean it. We will talk about this in detail in the next part of this book.
Text: from the book A.Eddar “Treatise of nutrition”. Interpreter: Liza Dukhova