If there was one recommendation I could make to all of my clients and students to immediately and greatly improve their lives, it would be to drink a tall glass of warm water in the morning,at least 20 minutes before eating.
When I first adopted this habit, it felt a bit odd and definitely took some getting used to, but after a few years of doing it just about every morning, I feel strange when I don’t do it.It’s incredibly simple, yet extremely powerful.
Here are four reasons a glass of warm water can change your life.
1. It gets things moving.
Take it from me, constipation is a BUMMER! I have been lucky only to suffer from it once in a blue moon, but I once had a client who would routinely go for 2 WEEKS without pooping!
Besides the obvious discomforts,the mind starts to get very cloudy and dull under those kinds of circumstances. Starting her day with a big mug o’ hot water was one of a few new habits I helped her adopt to get back to feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning.
Drinking warm water in the morning flushes your system, stimulates your bowels to move, and hydrates you, which leads us to the next point.
2. It helps you start to recognize the difference between thirst and hunger.
A lot of us are fortunate enough to not really know what REAL hunger feels like.
For me, it wasn’t until I spent five months living with one of my teachers in India, waking up at 4:30 A.M. to study and then waiting until 11 A.M.to eat breakfast that I actually knew what it meant to be HUNGRY (actually, by then I was usually H-ANGRY).
I used to not really think about being thirsty unless it was super hot or I had really exerted myself physically. Otherwise, I usually drank something with my meals, when I would suddenly realize that I was thirsty, or stick to the “8 glasses a day” rule.
Unfortunately, drinking a lot, especially cold drinks,alongside a meal dilutes your digestive juices and makes them less effective.This causes your food to stay longer in your stomach and duodenum and everything is just more sluggish.
Furthermore, drinking when you’re not thirsty might be as questionable a practice as eating when you aren’t hungry (read: you probably shouldn’t do it).
On the other hand, treating tall glasses of water, or simple herbal teas like ginger or peppermint almost as a separate meal, allows your body to properly digest the fluid. You end up more effectively hydrated, and your body-mind learns a good lesson about thirst vs. hunger.
3. It stimulates your digestive fire.
You know that gunk that collects on your tongue while you sleep? Actually, your whole digestive tract releases build-up like that during the night. A big glass of warm water flushes through your digestive system and washes that coating into the bowels for elimination.
In addition, the warmth of the water contributes to your body’s internal fire which is responsible for maintaining your body temperature and the digestion of everything you take in.
When your body is properly hydrated, your digestive tract also has the proper lubrication to assimilate nutrients and move waste products through.
4. It’s medicinal.
Even without herbs, drinking boiled water while it is still warm is considered very medicinal by Ayurveda. It is said to be good for the throat, easily digested, and a great cleanse for the urinary bladder.
In addition, classic Ayurvedic texts say it relieves hiccups, bloating, and aggravation of Vata and Kaphadoshas, help reduce fever and easing cough and asthma, help the body get rid of accumulated, undigested food, and soothe pain in the hips and back!
How to Start Your Day With Warm Water
Just boil your water. Bring it to a full boil. If you have the time, let the water continue to boil for 10 minutes. You can boil enough for the whole day all at once and keep it in a covered container or jar.If you really want to give your water some oomph, consider some simple herbal additions.
Cumin, Coriander and Fennel Seeds
Add about five seeds of each for every ½ cup of water you are boiling. Strain out the seeds before drinking. This blend is particularly good for stimulating digestion during gentle cleanses.
A pinch of ginger powder in your morning glass of water enkindles your digestive fire and can be helpful for reducing Vata and Kapha excess.
In this case, you won’t really add gold to your water, but just put gold into the pot with the water while it boils. It should be 22k or higher. I use a simple gold ring without stones—gemstones may have undesirable effects. Gold is said to greatly enhance immunity.
Now try this advice for warm water in the morning out for size, and see how much better you feel as you make this a daily habit!