Did You Know... Drinking water during meals can actually impair digestion! Yes, it is important to keep your body well-hydrated but while your body is working to digest a meal it shouldn’t be flooded with water. Too much water during meals can interfere with natural levels of acid and bile needed in the stomach to properly digest your food. In particular, too much cold water during meals can slow digestion + may cause cramping in sensitive individuals.
A few more facts-drinking water + eating at the same time requires the body to work overtime. Therefore, it simply can’t be efficient to handle the digestion of both at the same time. Drinking water with meals also can dilute the digestive enzymes that are secreted to break down food particles in the stomach. The stomach will tend to bloat when unable to digest food properly, + undigested foods will not be properly absorbed.
HERE’S THE LOW-DOWN
Avoid drinking water from about 15 minutes prior to meals + up to 1 hour after meals.
TIPS TO TRY FOR DRINKING WATER WITH MEALS
- Take Sips: if you can’t imagine having a meal without anything to drink, have small sips throughout the meal or even add lemon to your water to aid in digestion.
- Stay Hydrated Throughout The Day: By keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day, you will not feel the desire to drink during meals. Since you are probably accustomed to drinking during meals, breaking this habit can be difficult. So continue to drink fluids before + in between meals to keep hydrated all day!
- Drink it Warm—Not Cold: Yes, you read that right! Warm water (or room temperature) is much friendlier on digestion. Cold water can actually impair digestion, especially for those already experiencing digestive issues.
- Drink Before Meals: If you find yourself thirsty during meals, try to have a glass or two of water 15-30 minutes prior to your meal. This will alleviate thirst + will provide an added benefit—it will provide a feeling of fullness which will keep you from overeating! Plus it will keep you from eating to the point of overfull which also impairs digestion!
- Moderation + Individuality: We are all individuals—we have specific individual needs that will improve or impair our health. Finding your balance is key, so experiment with these tips to find how to moderate your water intake. Some will find that drinking too much water during meals has no impact on their digestion; while others will see a dramatic difference in how they feel by implementing these tips.
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