Welcome back to The Ayurveda Glow Podcast, a place to discuss how the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda can be applied to your modern, everyday life to help you feel vibrant in mind, body and spirit, enjoy optimal health, and glow from the inside out.
I’m your host, Katrina, an Ayurvedic Health Counselor and plant-based nutrition advocate based in Santa Monica, California. Through this podcast, I’ll be sharing with you what I’m learning in the areas of plant-based nutrition, sleep, yoga, meditation and a variety of holistic mind-body approaches to optimal health. I aim to explore each of these areas through the lens of Ayurveda.
In this episode I want to share a simple, super easy to prepare and inexpensive beverage you can drink that has a number of health benefits and will help you to get your morning off to a fantastic start.
Drinking this beverage is a part of my own morning routine and for the reasons I’ll share in a moment, I’d even say it’s become as important to my morning routine as oil pulling, brushing and flossing my teeth.
With that said, the morning drink I’m referring to isn’t a coffee or matcha latte, but instead, a simple glass of warm water.
Now, I know warm water may not sound as fancy as a double espresso latte with oat milk or some other fancy coffee ritual (which, by the way, I do enjoy myself once in a while) but the health benefits of a tall glass of warm water are well worthwhile and unfortunately, often overlooked.
Here’s how a simple, beautiful cup of warm water can support your overall health and well-being – more so than coffee, your beloved matcha, or even tea:
Aids In Digestion & Hydrates The Body:
First, drinking a large warm cup of water first thing in the morning is purifying and detoxes and rejuvenates the major systems of the body. It’s also hydrating.
According to Dr. John Douillard, a globally recognized leader in Ayurveda and natural health:
“Drinking plain boiled hot water is an ancient Ayurvedic method for flushing the lymphatic system, softening hardened tissues, and dilating, cleansing and then hydrating deep tissues. It also heals and repairs the digestive system and flushes the GALT (lymph on the outside of the intestinal wall).”
Now, there’s debate over whether hot water or warm water is best, and while researching this finer detail I came to the conclusion that you have to find the temperature that works best for you. Naturally, you don’t want your cup of warm or hot water to be so hot that you burn your tongue or your esophagus.
So it’s up to you whether you choose warm or hot water or something in between.
One thing Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine and experts do seem to agree on, however, is that warm water is better than cold water.
Ayurveda, for example, teaches that warm or hot water is best because cold water can dampen the digestive fire or agni, as it’s called in Sanskrit, and this weakens your body’s ability to digest food.
In Ayurveda, digestion is believed to be the ruler of our overall health because how we digest and absorb nutrients are the building blocks for everything in our body from our skin, to our tissues, bones and everything that makes up our body.
Cold water not only dampens the body’s digestive ability, it also requires more energy for the body to process.
So, a middle ground is to drink a tall glass or large cup of warm to hot water.
As for the timing of drinking warm water, it’s important to drink your tall glass of warm to hot water first thing in the morning because the body is often dehydrated in the morning.
Remember – the liver is extremely active during sleep, since this is when your body restores and regenerates itself. And during the night, the liver is accumulating toxins that need to be eliminated in the morning.
So, drinking a tall glass of warm to hot water in the morning hydrates the body and helps to flush out the toxins that have built up over night.
Now, if you need some extra flavor to make your morning glass of warm water more exciting, you may want to add a squeeze of lemon juice to your water. I’ve heard from a number of people that the taste of water alone is too plain and flavorless for them.
If this sounds like you, the extra flavor provided by the lemon may make the water more enjoyable and exciting to drink. And – the preparation of a tall mug of lemon water may become a ritual of its own just like a morning espresso or latte. If you enjoy the taste, you’re more likely to drink more water and that’s really what’s going to benefit your body the most, especially in the morning when you wake up.
Supports Your Liver’s Natural Detox and Cleansing Processes:
Next up – in addition to aiding digestion and hydrating the body, warm water in the morning helps flush out toxins and helps your intestines to contract which helps old waste in your intestines to pass out of your body. Drinking warm water regularly throughout the day will therefore keep you, well regular.
If you do add lemon juice to your warm cup of water, there’s some evidence that lemon juice can help stimulate stomach acid production and bile production. Bile is an acid that is required for digestion and helps to keep food moving smoothly through the GI tract.
Boosts Your Energy:
The third benefit of drinking a tall glass or two of warm water in the morning – and this is huge – is energy!
Dr. Josh Axe, certified doctor of natural medicine and clinical nutritionist says this about water:
“One of the first signs of dehydration is feeling tired or exhausted; not drinking enough water could be the reason your energy levels are lacking and you feel exhausted. (13) Because our bodies are made up of mostly water, even small dips in hydration are enough to affect your metabolism.”
Meanwhile, Dr. David Jockers, a doctor of natural medicine and functional nutritionist, writes:
“After sleeping through the night the bodily tissues are dehydrated and need clean, pure water to filter out toxins and improve energy production in the cells. Most individuals turn to stimulants like coffee in the morning to give them a jump start. Unfortunately, coffee is a diuretic that depletes your body of water reserves and essential minerals and electrolytes like sodium, potassium, calcium & magnesium.”
The takeaway is this:
Stay hydrated by drinking a tall glass of water in the morning and make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day as well.
So, these are 3 ways that a simple tall glass of warm to hot water can benefit your overall health. As a recap, drinking warm to hot water in the morning will:
Aid digestion and hydrate your body
Support your liver’s natural detox and cleansing processes
Boosts your energy
Supports Weight Loss:
Last but not least, drinking warm water not only helps to boost metabolism, help flush out toxins and keep the body well-hydrated, it’s also considered by experts to be a way to support weight loss.
Experts explain the reason for this is that, “Water is a natural appetite suppressant. So – when the stomach senses that it is full, it sends signals to the brain to stop eating. Because water can help to take up space in the stomach, it leads to a feeling of fullness and reduced hunger.
Another thing to consider, and I know I’ve experienced this myself, is that it’s common to feel like you’re hungry when you’re actually just thirsty. So, drinking a glass of water before reaching for something to eat can help to curb unnecessary snacking.”
So these are the top 4 benefits of drinking a beautiful tall glass of warm to hot water, especially in the morning.
The most important thing to take away from this episode is that if there’s just one new habit that you can start doing in the morning to help your liver flush out toxins, aid your digestion, hydrate your body and deep tissues, and boost your metabolism, it’s making time in the morning for a simple glass of warm to hot water, preferably on an empty stomach and at least a half hour before you eat breakfast.
And – if your current go-to ritual in the morning is coffee, a latte or espresso because you want the energy boost that caffeine provides, remember that staying hydrated with a tall glass of water will boost your energy without the caffeine crash and without taxing your adrenal system that happens when you drink coffee.
Okay! So this brings us to the end of this episode. Thank you for joining me today. I hope you enjoyed this episode. I’ll be sure to drop links below to all research referenced in this episode.
To aid digestion, support metabolism, flush out toxins, stay hydrated and boost energy, consider swapping out caffeinated or sweet beverages in the morning with a tall glass of nourishing, hydrating warm to hot water.
If you need a twist of flavor to make your tall glass of water more flavorful and exciting, just add a a squeeze of fresh organic lemon to your glass. You may even want to find a way to make a morning ritual out of this like many of us do with coffee or tea.
I know for myself, little rituals like pouring hot water into a kettle and heating it on the stovetop, slicing a lemon and turning on calming binaural beats and meditation music in the morning creates a peaceful experience I look forward to each morning.
Of course, you can keep it simple, especially if you’re usually pressed for time in the morning. The most important thing is to drink a tall glass of warm to hot water to reap the many benefits mentioned.
Water is the most hydrating beverage you can consume and will help you to get your morning and day off to a fantastic start.
Try this out and see how you feel. Have you noticed how you feel when you hydrate with warm water first thing in the morning? Do you notice a difference to your energy, mood, or digestion? Feel free to let me know by sending me a private message or dropping a comment below.
I’m excited to share more about Ayurveda, as well as science-backed insights and practical tips we can implement into our modern life to optimize our health and well-being.
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Thank you so much for listening. I appreciate you! Wishing you a beautiful day. : )