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Drinking Water During Meals: Good or Bad?

Dt. Sangeeta Malik 88% (177 ratings)
Masters in Nutritional Therapy, Lifestyle & Weight Management, Sport Nutritions, graduation in Nutrition & Dietics
Dietitian/Nutritionist, New delhi  •  30 years experience
Drinking Water During Meals: Good or Bad?

Our digestive system is made up of a complex set up of organs, enzymes, secretions and much more. In order to ensure that they all function in tandem with each other so that our digestion works properly, we need to take many measures. Solid food and liquids both go hand in hand when it comes to digesting your food properly. Water is one of the main elements that one must ingest regularly during the day so that the body remains hydrated and the stool also softens. It is also a digestive aid. Yet, there are two varied schools of thought when it comes to drinking water during one’s meals. While some people say that it is good, there are others who say that it should not be practiced. So let us find out whether having water during your meals is a good thing or not.

  1. Stomach Acids: If we are to look at water during a meal from the perspective of our stomach acids, then most doctors will tell you that there is no problem in having water with your food. The main doubt here is whether or not the acidic fluid flowing through our stomach may become too diluted with the consumption of water. However, this does not happen. Various medical studies conducted by reliable hospitals and sources under a controlled environment have shown that the stomach’s pH balance is not affected by the consumption of water during a meal.
  2. Digestive Process: While the stomach acids may not suffer due to consumption of water during a meal, there are other schools of thought where people refrain from drinking water with food so that better digestion may be achieved. But this is also not entirely true. Digestion is well-known for being a complicated process where many elements need to work together for its proper functioning. This function includes a comfortable and healthy body and state of mind after one has a meal. Therefore, it is more important to have the right kind of food at the right time in a proper environment instead of rushing through one’s meals and eating junk all the time.
  3. Constipation and Overeating: Drinking water during the meal can help in curbing constipation as it helps in softening the stool. It also helps in clearing the food from the digestive track in a better and timely manner so that the toxins and stool do not remain there. This is due to the fact that drinking water during meals keeps the digestive track well-lubricated. Also, when you drink water with your meals, you tend to avoid overeating as water fills up substantial portion your stomach. Further, water has important nutrients that can suffice for your nutritional requirements along with food. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.
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