Why Are Iced Drinks Not Recommended in Ayurveda? [video]
Welcome to our AskBanyan series, where we answer the most popular questions about living an Ayurvedic lifestyle.
Have you ever put ice on a cut to stop the bleeding, or seen a medical professional do that? Why does that work? Why do we do that?
While heat expands, cold contracts. Applying cold to a wound will help to constrict the blood vessels to help slow the loss of blood. In the same way, ice-cold drinks shunt blood away from the digestive tract, and just as blood is like an energy that fuels our cells tissues and organs, when we reduce the flow of blood, we're potentially weakening that system.
Ayurveda sees digestion as a fire (agni), and so it sees it as if you're putting ice water straight onto a fire. And that can potentially weaken digestion, which Ayurveda sees as central to optimal health.
Additionally, your body is always seeking to regulate body temperature, and when you put ice in your drink, it has to rev up and work a little harder to balance and regulate your body temperature.
So when you're hot, instead of putting ice in your drink, put ice to the back of your neck, or to your temples, or plunge your feet into an ice-cold foot bath. When it's warm outside, sip room temperature water with mint as a refreshing cooler.
Otherwise, Ayurveda recommends sipping hot water with our meals to optimize digestion.
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