Drinking water while eating: good or bad?
It seems that there are a few schools of thought when it comes to having water during the meals and even though there may not essentially be one correct way, it is obvious that there are some things which should be avoided. Our body performs many processes while digesting and eating. Hence, it is essential that we understand and consider each one of them while determining whether drinking water in between the meals is best for us.
Drinking water during the meals hampers the digestive powers of your stomach severely and also causes the insulin level to notably fluctuate. To know if you are drinking enough water, it is often suggested to only check in case you are feeling thirsty. If you are not, your intake of the fluid is likely to be just about correct. However, downing the glasses of water along with the meals may not be the right time for quenching the thirst.
Why can’t I have water during the meals when hydration is important?
Hydration is very important and many people also encourage sipping on the water 24×7- which even includes drinking water during the meals. The rumor that you should be skipping fluids at the time when you are eating comes from a decrepit thesis that water during the meals can impact your digestion because it apparently dilutes the acid in your stomach which is used for breaking down the food. That, as they claim prevents the body from absorbing the nutrients properly and also causes bloating. However, that theory is not really supported by any research, and even in case we do find out that there is some truth to this theory, the benefits and advantages of drinking water at the time of eating would surely outweigh those effects.
The basics of healthy digestion
For understanding why water is considered to disturb the digestion, it is useful to understand first about the normal digestive process. Digestion begins in your mouth the moment you start chewing your food. Chewing gives a signal to the salivary gland to begin producing the saliva which consists of enzymes which aids in breaking down the food. Saliva also helps in softening the food and prepares it for the smooth travel down your esophagus and into your tummy.
Once the food reaches the stomach, it mixes with the acidic gastric juices and gets further broken down. It them produces chime, a thick liquid. It moves towards the first part of small intestine, at last. In small intestine, it gets mixed with the digestive enzymes from pancreas and bile acid from liver.
Maximum nutrients are absorbed when the chyme travels through the small intestine. Just a small portion remains for absorption once it gets to the colon. Once in bloodstream, the nutrients are passed on to various areas of body. Digestion comes to an end when the leftover materials are given out through the rectum from the colon.
It is in fact great having a glass of water with you during the meal. Drinking water aids in liquefying the food in the stomach which helps in digestion and absorption of the nutrient. It can also help in preventing constipation and bloating by softening the stools and keeping the digestive tract lubricated. Drinking water with the meals can also keep you from over-eating. If drinking the water during your meals takes away from your enjoying the meal, or leaving you feeling too full too soon, it just makes sense treating your water intake as a between-the- meal activity. It aids in filling you up faster and encourage you to take breaks from the food leading you to slow down and check in with the hunger signals. Just make sure that you drink clean water.