Contrary to popular belief, drinking too much water can do your health more harm than good, a senior Ayurveda practitioner told a select audience at Chamber Bhavan in Ranchi on Sunday.
Parmeshwar Arora, a consultant with Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, said contrary to usual advice, the Vedas advocate minimum water intake, except during summer and early autumn.
"Actually, water is elixir when taken in the right measure at the right time; otherwise it may turn into poison," said Arora, who is also the author of the book Water: Elixir or Poison?
The belief that drinking more water helps in digestion, detoxification and weight loss is a myth, the consultant emphasised.
"Problems like constipation and acidity arise owing to sluggish digestive power or decreased secretion of digestive enzymes. I fail to understand how excessive water can increase jatharagni or digestive power in such a case," he said, claiming that water inhibited the action of digestive juices.
The Ayurveda consultant from the national capital also quoted from ancient books such as Charak Samhita and Shushruta Samhita to support his observations.
Replying to a question, Arora said it was enough for a healthy adult to drink 250ml warm water in empty stomach in the morning and 150ml of warm water during meals and slowly drink up to 200ml when thirsty.
"Broadly speaking, one should have 1.5 to 2 litres of fluid intake, including water, in 24 hours," the Ayurveda practitioner explained.
Arora, however, maintained that water intake could vary from person to person. "But the quantity should be kept to the minimum level possible," he added.
"If a person passes 500ml to 1 litre of urine in 24 hours, his fluid intake is adequate," he said when asked how one could know about the exact requirement of one's body.