Our body is made up of around 70%* of water. This shows the significance of water in our life. Life is not possible without presence of water; hence continuity of life is also impossible without it.
Ayurveda also describes importance of water in similar way. An entire section is dedicated to water, its importance and types. It’s among the 5 important elements which helped in formation of universe and its continuation. Ayurveda explains importance of appropriate use of water. It describes excess of water leads to hampering of digestive fire. Excess of water is major cause of disturbance regarding body weight, sinus related issues, cold, indigestion etc. As per Ayurveda natural urges are explicitly depending on person’s individual characteristics, occupation, age, seasonal changes, body size, etc.
Though water is important in our life, we cannot over hydrate our body. Yes, you are getting water out of body in form of sweat, urine, etc but we cannot overload our system to work. If this mechanism is over-loaded, it causes reduction in its functional efficiency thereby affecting body’s metabolism. Let’s take an example, imagine you are straining a cup of water through a small tea strainer. You can do it easily as the quantity of water and force is appropriate to tea strainer, but if you try and continue straining 2 large bottles through the same strainer at the same time, eventually it would reduce its capacity of filtering or water would overflow from strainer as it’s not designed to strain such large quantity of water.
Though directly this example cannot be linked but we can principally relate it to our kidneys. Our kidneys are functionally prepared to strain and form urine but excess load of water can cause damage to them and decrease their efficiency.
You might now get confused about what quantity of water should I drink? What’s the optimum quantity of water for me?
Answer lies in the questions itself… What quantity is the quantity required i.e. demanded by your own body. Our human body is well designed, it understands the natural urges to drink, eat, urinate etc. at anytime. If we are hungry and we don’t eat we feel weak or dizzy, when there is a natural urge to urinate we find ourselves in washrooms for sure, then why shouldn’t we follow same with Thirst? Our bodies have been designed with thirst centres which alert us if body needs water, then what’s the point if you don’t let it work and overdo.
Recently researchers have also finally claimed that their initial thought of having lots of water in a day is incorrect and it can lead to many diseases. No one except you can decide how much water you require.
Our water intake is different at different stages i.e. person working with strenuous exercise may need more water than a person who doesn’t exercise. During pregnancy and lactation, the need of fluids increases but without considering these conditions if every single person decides to have ‘X’ glasses of water he might overload his body with water but after due course of time one has to pay off
Finally, though water is important it’s not going to give nutrition like that of food which you eat, the quantity of water remains low compared to all you eat in a day.
* Percentage of water varies according to age and gender.