It is said that water is life. True, our body is made up of 70% water and is therefore an essential element for survival.  How much we drink each day depends upon our habits, climatic conditions and the kinds of food we eat. Moreover water helps in detoxing our bodies, maintaining body temperatures, fighting infections and staying fit and energized.  Lot of online content is available reiterating about the significance of drinking water. Rarely any speaks about its negative effects.  Not to forget excess of anything is bad. The same goes for water. Many of us will be surprised to read how excess water can be harmful.

Dr. Deepak Sachdeva will uncover the facts and remove the myths related to drinking water. Dr. Deepak is the Director and founder of Medical Yoga Center at Delhi which works with modern medical science and yoga to diagnose and heal several health issues. He is an experienced and qualified medical yoga practitioner who has worked with Dr. S. Karandikar. Dr. Deepak has a track record of averting several surgeries and healing through yoga. He has done Ph.D (Honoris) from Indian Board of Alternative Medicine and Ph.D in yoga from C.M.J. University along with M.Phil. Dr. Deepak trains and heals people at his center through therapeutic techniques evolved from Hatha Yoga.

hellomyyoga got an opportunity to bust the myth of too much drinking water with Dr. Deepak Sachdeva.

hmy : Does drinking too much harmful for our body?

Dr. Deepak: Excess of anything is bad. Sunlight- cause skin problems, too much of walking can erode knee cartilage too much of hygiene reduces immunity, similarly too much water reduces the concentration of electrolytes, vitamins, minerals dissolved in our blood. Consequently the blood reaching to our cells/organ will have lesser amount of nutrition in it. It also increases load on cardiac muscles which are responsible for pushing and moving all the fluid in the body like pumping blood.

hmy : Is there any ideal ratio or quantity of water we should drink each day?

Dr. Deepak: Your body knows the best. Listen and respond to your body signals. If it feels hungry - eat, if it feels tired - take rest, if it feels thirsty - you should drink. People have altered the signals of the body due to widely spread myths like drinking two glasses of water every morning. It actually makes our intestines sluggish and they do not function at their best. They become dependent on the intake of water to flush out the fecal material from the body.

We mostly live in artificial and not natural environment, our homes, offices and cars are all air conditioned. Therefore, no loss of water as there is no sweating from body except urinating. When we keep drinking water we continue moving between our desk and the restroom. The quantity of water intake depends upon the color of urine. If it is dark yellow then irrespective of how many glasses of water we drink, our body needs water. Conversely if the color of urine is transparent, it indicates excess of water intake which needs to be reduced as our body is just expelling the amount of water without any waste material or urea. If the color is transparent once or twice a week it is fine but if it remains waterish the entire week then you’re probably drinking water in excess.

The correct color of urine that indicates the amount of water in right proportion is the very light or pale yellow color of urine. It indicates that the kidneys are flushing out waste material properly and your water intake is appropriate.

hmy : How to check and change faulty habit related to water intake?

Dr. Deepak: The most common faulty habit related to water intake is drinking two glasses of water every morning. Yes, we must drink water early morning with empty stomach but only half glass of water. Once our intestines are flushed we can drink the remaining half glass or any amount of water our body needs. If we drink water before our body flushes out the waste, then the peristalsis movement of intestines through which the intestines clean themselves will become dependent on water intake and will lead to constipation the day on which water will not be supplied to them. So the intestines which normally work well will become sluggish due to the intervention of excess intake of water at inappropriate time which normally many elderly people make a habit and try to pass it on to younger people in the house.

Those who have already developed this wrong habit must divide their water intake in the morning in two parts: first before going to wash room and second after coming back. From 2 glasses of water before going to washroom: move to 1 and ½ glass then shift to 1 glass and then finally to ½ glass of water intake before going to washroom. This will improve the function of your intestines and will work naturally at its own pace. Intestinal tract will remain healthy. Else the water which we take as medicine will aggravate the degree of sluggishness in intestines.  But if we will allow the intestines to work at their own then it will maintain a healthy gut even in old age.

hmy : Is there any particular times of day when we should drink or avoid drinking water?

Dr. Deepak: Again listen to your body signals. Moreover avoid not just water but any kind of fluid 30 minutes before and one hour after meals. If you eat dry or spicy food, in that case the liquid in your body evaporates or dries up. In such situations it becomes necessary to take liquids in sips during meals. Further those suffering from prostrate problems mainly found in males in their middle age, should reduce the intake of fluids at night and will not have to go to washroom frequently.  The blood pressure patients should not drink excess water and keep a watch on the color of urine. If they will drink water in excess it will pressurize their heart to pump in blood.

hmy : Does yoga helps to maintain water content and maintaining health of kidney?

Dr. Deepak: Maintaining water content? Yes, it helps in rationalizing the content of intracellular fluid and extracellular fluid. Moreover it reduces puffiness of face, reduces the swollen fingers and legs. Thus, yoga is quite helpful in balancing the fluid content in our body. Further the veins work as drainage pipes in our body. Yoga improves oxygenation through arteries by improving circulation to body parts and drainage through veins. Moreover, it helps in maintaining the tone of the walls i.e. if valves of the veins which are carrying blood to the heart are not functioning properly or are partially functioning, then the fluid goes back through those valves and the kidneys have to put in extra pressure creating problem of spider veins or varicose veins. Yoga helps in such cases by maintaining the circulation of fluid to the organ and back to the kidney. Thus yoga , especially medical yoga helps in maintaining the optimum content of fluid in our body and maintaining health of kidneys by removing excess pressure from it.  When the veins take fluid from legs to kidneys, the kidneys filter it. The transmission of filtered fluid from legs to kidneys works well in inverted postures of yoga.

To improve the health of kidney, twisting asanas and middle back to back arching postures are very helpful. Moreover the kidneys that are constantly filtering also start getting clogged, so along with yoga postures we can start doing renal flushing and detoxing our kidney. As a result, if there is any clogging or kidney stones developing in the kidney they can also be removed through medical yoga.  

hmy : Does drinking water should depend upon the lifestyle, gender and the kind of food we eat?

Dr. Deepak : 100% yes, if you eat dry food like spicy food or non –veg that does not contain fiber, then it stays in your body for a longer time and your body requires lots of digestive juices to break it down. Your body consumes more water to make digestive juices as body needs more fluid to push the food to your intestines and if you eat spicy or dry food you need more water. Other than this, the secretion of calcium from bones increases if we eat more acidic or spicy food. The body secretes more calcium from bones to alkalize the blood. There must be a proper balance of alkalis and acid in blood otherwise the homeostasis gets disturbed which can prove to be fatal. Therefore, to maintain a proper balance and alkalize the blood, make digestive juices and mobilize the calcium in body, we need to increase the intake of water. The females at the time of menstruation lose lot of fluid from body; they must increase the intake of water at that time. The people who go to gym on weekends, such people in addition to weekends (Saturdays & Sundays) should consume more water a day before and after the gym i.e. from Fridays to Mondays. Those belonging to cold regions require less content of water as their bodies do not lose much water in absence of sweating. The people suffering from Urinary Tract Infection must increase the intake of water to minimize the risk of UTI. 

Health Tip: The UTI causing bacteria is E.coli which travels from anal to vaginal opening causing infection. The jets used in western commodes bring the bacteria from back to front. The recommended way of cleaning is front to back either hand spray or water jet. It automatically solves the problem of UTI.

hmy : Any piece of advice to people at large to stay healthy?

Dr. Deepak: Yes, only two words Love Yourself.