No one needs to tell you that water is good for you. But drinking water right after eating or during your meal might pose some problems.
There’s no question that water’s beneficial, but it’s when you drink it that counts. Most of us do so after meals because the seasoning in our food makes us thirsty. However, drinking water after or while eating our food can be bad for us. Here’s why.
The Benefits of Water
We’re not saying that water is dangerous because it isn’t. In fact, it has an endless list of benefits.
Water makes up over 70% of the human body. It has a crucial role in maintaining our health. Experts suggest that men should drink about 13 glasses of water a day, while women should drink about 9 glasses. Water hydrates our bodies and keeps our cells functioning.
And it has other benefits as well.
1. Relieves Tiredness
First of all, your constant tiredness could be due to a lack of water. Fatigue is a sign of dehydration. It causes the heart to work hard to pump blood into the bloodstream, and vital organs to function inefficiently.
2. Enhances Mood
Also, dehydration, no matter how mild, affects mood. Researchers from the University of Connecticut found that it lowers mental concentration, mood, and energy levels. If you want to know how well hydrated you are, take a look at the color of your urine. The more yellow it is, the less water you have in your body.
3. Eases Headaches
When you have a headache, get plenty of water. Dehydration often causes headaches. Researchers confirmed that a water-deprivation headache is a condition after they came across two medical stucauses who experienced headaches that had no known causes.
4. Eases Digestion And Constipation
Furthermore, water helps the digestive tract to function. A lack of water causes constipation. Water boosts metabolism and helps break down food. Warm water promotes bowel movements.
5. Promotes Weight Loss
Water-suppressed the appetite and supports weight loss. It also prompts the breakdown of fat cells. Therefore, it’s a good substitute for high-calorie drinks. A review of several studies revealed that water increases energy, a precursor to weight loss.
6. Eliminates Toxins
Water flushes toxins from the body and eliminates waste through urine and sweat. It facilitates kidney functions and reduces the salts and minerals that form kidney stones.
Why drinking water after eating and during meals is bad for you
So water does wonder for your well-being. However, you shouldn’t drink water after eating, and here’s why.
1. Dilutes Digestive Juices
First of all, water dilutes gastric juices. These are acids in the digestive tract that help us to break down food. They pound iso that it passes through the digestive tract easily. Practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine call them ‘digestive fire’. We rely on these enzymes for our overall well-being.
Water dilutes these juices. It dulls the digestive system and causes cramps in the intestinal wall. This causes food to linger in the stomach. It takes a long time before it passes into the small intestine.
Experts like renowned nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood says that it takes about two hours for the stomach to digest food. It then moves through the stomach, and in a semi-solid state into the intestine. By consuming water after your meal, you force food to enter the digestive tract sooner than it should. It also hardens the food.
2. Reduces Saliva
Also, saliva contains Ptyalin, an enzyme that helps you to break down food. It also prompts the digestive juices in the stomach. Water dilutes it, causing it to send weak signals to these stomach juices. It also stops food in the mouth from breaking down.
3. Raises Acidity Levels
If you suffer from gastrointestinal reflux, excess water might be to blame. The stomach absorbs water until it becomes too full. The mixture becomes too thick. Undigested food leaks into the system causing reflux.
4. Raises insulin levels
Furthermore, your insulin levels may surge. Excess water in the stomach converts food to glucose and stores it. Consequently, it causes a spike in blood sugar.
5. Causes Weight Gain
Finally, a surge in insulin levels weakens the digestive system and leads to obesity. It leads to a disruption in the body’s systems.
When is the best time to drink water?
So if you shouldn’t drink water after eating, when should you drink it?
- After getting up. Drinking water right after waking up gets your internal organs to work. It also flushes out toxins.
- Before Meals. Drink 30 mins before a meal to aid digestion. Drinking an hour after a meal will help your body absorb nutrients.
- Before bathing. Drinking before a bath lowers blood pressure.
- Before Sleeping. Drinking a glass of water before bed replenishes fluid loss during the night.
In all, drinking water after eating, at least right away, isn’t the best idea. However, it offers many benefits if you drink at the right time.