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Drink hot water??? That's disgusting!! Are you crazy??? I can't ever do that nor do I want to!!! Ice Ice Baby!!! I'm not giving up my ice cubes for anyone!

Every time, I recommend this protocol to anyone, I almost always get these responses.

I get it! This sounds ridiculous and pointless.

Here's a few reasons why drinking hot water is super beneficial for your gut microbiome and for your overall health:

Our human body is almost 70% water! There's water in our bones, in our muscles, in our blood, in our lungs and in our brains. Did you know your brain is mostly made up of water?

Water is also a key element to keeping our gut microbiome in balance. It acts as a protective barrier and coats our stomach lining. This is why drinking warm water 20-30 minutes before a meal is beneficial. It helps prepare the digestive system to properly digest food and absorb nutrients. I won't get into the nitty gritty of what's needed to properly digest food in this post.

So why hot water????

Think about how you feel when your body is cold? It contracts and tenses up right? Now think about adding cold water on top of that? This equals greater contraction. Greater contraction creates less proper flow. When do things flow better? When they are warm, right? Have you ever noticed if you drink something hot, you poop more easily? And I'm not referring to! Yes, that helps too, but that's a stimulant, so let's set that aside for a moment. Have you ever noticed, when you take a hot shower, your nose may run and everything relaxes? The hot water is restoring the flow. In the most simplest terms, the basic rule of thumb in Ayurveda is "like increases like" which further deepens the issue, and "opposites attract and heal."

So keeping that in mind...why hot water?

It helps relax the nervous system, it helps improve circulation, helps digestion, helps congestion, helps with constipation, it helps reduce stress, it helps release toxins from the body, it helps get things going first thing in the morning, and it helps relax everything at night time. The list goes on and on.

Think about this....Why do they use warm to hot water when making certain types of doughs for cooking? Well, because it softens things and helps break down the flour and binds the ingredients together. This is exactly what it does for our bodies. Cold water used in baking will definitely produce a different outcome.

Water is a carrier. It helps carry nutrients into all the tissues of the body. When it's warm it can absorb the nutrients better, therefore carrying more nutrients into the layers of body tissue.

In Ayurveda, we make a lot of medicinal teas. This is because water has the ability to carry the medicines deep into the tissues. There are other carriers that work really well with water, but I'll explain that at another time too.

Today we just want a simple understanding of the benefits of drinking warm to hot water...and even if it's just in the morning and at night. I'll take it! lol!

Another simple rule of thumb is that we want to keep our bellies warm and our head cool. Most of us have this in reverse. Hot heads and cool bellies. In simple terms, this will only create more heat in the head and more coolness in the belly. This is not good guys! I can break this down in more detail in another post, but lets keep it simple for now. We want our digestive fire to be like the embers in a fireplace, not raging flames, or completely out. When we pour cold water on a very hot surface, what happens? It just evaporates. It doesn't absorb much. So we have to bring this back into balance.

So, these are some simple reasons why hot water helps our minds and bodies.

True story....I had a female client complain about gut issues including severe constipation, anxiety, exhaustion, body pain, inability to lose weight. When we got to the diet part of her intake, she explained that she's always thirsty and can't get enough water in her body. I asked her what she drinks all day. Her answer, "I drink ice water all day long." She showed me her water cup. It was a 20 oz. travel mug full of ice with water, and she was having 10 of those per day, starting at 6am. She was proud of this because she was getting her water consumption in. Her intentions were definitely in the right place, and ice water is better than no water. So, I explained what I'm writing to you guys now, and logically she understood it. The challenge was, she believed that only ice water would quench her thirst. After A LOT of talk, she finally agreed to try warm water first thing in the morning and that was it. She made it clear Ice water the rest of the day. After about 6 weeks of this, she told me she she was able to poop most mornings, which hadn't happened in years. That's huge for her! She finally realized that the ice water was actually contributing to her thirst.

We are so used to ice as part of our culture here in the US. Water is always served with ice, unless we ask for no ice. Ice coffee is bigger than ever. Blended coffee is still blended with ice. Ice coffee in the winter? Uh oh!!! Ice tea...blended ice drinks.....on the get the idea.

So, when we think about simple self care...think about this. Sometimes the littlest changes can make the biggest difference.

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