When to Drink Water: Ayurvedic Rules for Drinking Water




Many people ask about ayurvedic rules for drinking water. When to drink water. What are the health effects of drinking water after meal, with a meal and before a meal? How much water should we drink a day? Should we drink water with meals? How to drink water? I will answer all these questions and tell you what ayurveda say about drinking water in the right way in this article.

When to Drink Water

You should drink water whenever your body demands it. When you feel thirsty, you should drink water. If you don’t feel thirsty and your body doesn’t ask for water, then you should not drink water. Don’t overload your kidneys with excess water.

Ushapan – Drinking Water in Morning

Ayurveda recommends drinking water in the morning on an empty stomach at the time of dawn. Dawn means when sunlight scatters in the sky, but the sun is yet to rise. It is time just 20 to 30 minutes before sunrise. According to ayurveda, drinking water before sunrise acts as rejuvenating therapy. It can help you to get rid of constipation, heart diseases, abdominal diseases, uterine problems, skin diseases, and hair problems.

Drinking Water Before, During and After

आदि मध्यावसानेषु भोजने पयसा युते ।  काश्यं साम्यं तथा स्थौल्यमिति स्युः क्रमशो गुणाः ॥१५९॥

Before Meal Weakness
During Meal Balances
After Meal Obesity

According to ayurveda, if you drink water before a meal, it causes weakness. Because drinking excess water before a meal, you will be unable to eat an adequate amount of food during a meal. If you drink a small amount of water during the meal, it has a balancing effect or no effect on your health. If you drink water after a meal, it can lead to obesity.

आदौ द्रवं समश्नीयासम्राग्नु न पिबेहुहु। मध्ये तु कठिने भचये यथेष्ट शस्यते जलम् ॥१६०॥

If you eat water-rich foods, you should not drink water before, during and after a meal.

However, if you eat hard foods, which are difficult to digest or take longer time to digest in your body, you should drink an adequate amount of water along with food.

Alternatively, you should make curries adding water while cooking e.g. lentil curry. If you eat very thick lentil curry, seeds or nuts, cereal-based food with very less water or liquid content, you should drink water.

However, the water amount should be appropriate, which should not cause heaviness in the abdomen. After drinking water, you should not
feel any discomfort or fullness in the abdomen.

तथा च भोजनस्यान्ते पीतमम्बु बलप्रदम्। द्रव प्रधान भुक्तान्ते किंतु तन्मात्रया पिबेत् ।।

Drinking water at the end of a meal is strengthening. It applies to hard foods. Drinking water after taking hard foods helps to digest hard foods. Therefore, it is beneficial.

However, if you take water-rich foods, you should avoid drinking water after a meal.

Ayurveda believes excess water consumption before, during or after a meal causes indigestion. It causes fullness in the abdomen. It results in heaviness in the abdomen. Food takes longer time to digest if you drink water in excess. So, you should drink water in right amount that your body actually needs.

I have experimented on myself several times. If I drink more than a half glass of water after food, it causes abdominal heaviness and food take longer time to digest for me. I don’t feel good appetite later on my next meal time. When I drink water less than a half glass, it does not cause any problem. I feel a good appetite on my regular mealtime. You can also experiment on your body. Each person is unique. So, his/her requirements may also be unique.

Now, it’s clear what ayurveda says about the effects of drinking water before, during and after a meal. The next question – if we should not drink water while eating, when should we drink water? What is the best gap period between meal and water intake?

Before Meal 40 minutes before a meal
After Meal 2 hours after a meal

You can drink water 40 minutes before a meal and 2 hours after a meal without any issue.

Meanwhile, if you feel thirsty, you can also drink water regardless of the time. Just you need to remember that you should not drink water in excess.

Can I drink water to take medicine before, during and after food?

Yes, you can drink water to take medicines. Some patients require medicine before food, in between meal or after a meal. Each time has a different effect on medicine absorption and its actions in the body or on a specific organ. Therefore, you should take medicine as prescribed. However, you should drink water in an adequate amount as required for swallowing the medicine.

How to Drink Water

Ayurveda recommends eating and drinking food while sitting on the ground. Water is also a food and macronutrient. Therefore, you should also drink water while sitting on the ground.

Drink water sip by sip with a calm mind. Don’t be in a hurry while drinking water. Don’t gulp huge amount of water instantly. You should enjoy drinking water as you enjoy eating other foods.

Drink water when you feel thirsty. Drink it slowly and tasting it in your mouth. Check if thirst goes away. Stop immediately when you no longer feel any thirst. It is the right and adequate amount of water that you should drink.

How much water should we drink every day?

It can vary person-to-person, season-to-season and workout-to-workout. Each person has different water requirements. You are totally unique.

For example, people with kapha body type feel less thirst and don’t require much water. People with pitta body type feel more thirst, s  they
require more water to drink.

It depends on your thirst. Ayurveda says when you feel
appetite, you should eat food. The similar thing applies to water. When you
feel thirsty, you should drink water.

Ayurveda only prescribes the amount
of drinkable water in the morning for Ushapan. You can find its detail here: Ushapan: Drinking Water in The Morning.

In all other cases, drink water slowly by sipping. Feel it in your mouth before gulping in the stomach. Drink with a calm mind while sitting on the ground. Check if your thirst goes away and then stop sipping water. It is the right method and the right amount. It can be unique for everyone.


  1. Yoga
    Ratnakar, Nitya Prabriti Prakar Maah.
  2. Ashtanga Sangrah.

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