Have you ever wondered why your mother used to scold you when you used to drink water while having food or immediately after? Your mom might be on to something here. There’s actually a scientific reason behind why you should avoid drinking water while consuming food. Did you know that a myriad of issues related to digestion of food coupled with constipation related issues can actually stem from your habit of drinking water right after meals? If you have been living under the illusion that drinking water after food is good for digestion, then sorry to burst your bubble as this information doesn’t agree with the scientific studies.
As per several acclaimed nutritionists and the gastroenterologists around the globe, when an individual drinks water right after having a meal, it actually results in the destruction of all or a certain amount of enzymes which are secreted by our pancreas and stomach. These enzymes play a crucial role in the digestion of the food and are also known as digestive juices. Whenever you have a glass of water after a meal, what you are doing in effect is actually diluting these enzymes and slowing down your digestion process which, in turn, leads to an array of digestive disorders and gastroenterological problems.
When Should You Actually Drink Water After a Meal?
As per studies, researchers have found that it is best to drink fluids, two hours before and after meals as it helps in absorption of nutrients. When you give your stomach enough time to digest, your food will be processed for the next stage of digestion following which you can drink water without the fear of it causing any issues.
Furthermore, drinking water right after consuming food results in your food passing to the large intestine in a far shorter duration as compared to the normal time taken, thereby causing bucket loads of problems. Additionally, as the water gets absorbed by the intestinal walls of the stomach, this absorption goes on until it finally gets concentrated enough for your digestive juices to take control and do their job of digesting your food. As your food gets diluted with water, unfortunately, the concentrated stuff becomes way thicker than the contents of food present in your stomach. This results in less gastric juice getting secreted in order to digest your food which, in turn, causes your undigested food to seep into your system while it’s still getting absorbed through the stomach walls. This also results in issues such as acid reflux and heartburn.
Research has also revealed that drinking water with your meals can also result in a surge in your insulin levels, similar to how high glycemic food would affect you. When more insulin is released into your bloodstream, the chances of you storing fat in your body also increases exponentially.
What Is the Right Time To Have Water?
We all have grown up listening that one should consume water throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated! But how much water is actually required for your body to function optimally throughout the day before your energy levels and brain function starts to suffer?
Considering the fact that you’re constantly losing water from your bodies, primarily via urine and sweat, there is a need to keep hydrating. If you’re an adult, its recommended that you should be having at least 2-3 liters of water daily. In fact, more water is needed if you are working hard under the sun or indulging in tough physical activities.
The right time to have water is –
- Just after you wake up in the morning. This is a regime followed by several fitness and health conscious individuals as drinking a few glasses of water right after waking up helps in activating all your internal parts and organs. Moreover, it helps in flushing out toxins from your body from the previous day.
- You should drink a glass of water at least an hour or half an hour before every meal you consume. This is a great way to improve the functioning of your digestive system.
- If you’re looking to lower your body pressure, you can drink water right before you are heading for your shower.
- To keep the levels of fluid in your body intact, you should have a glass of water an hour before going to the bed.