In order to determine whether drinking water with meals is good or bad, first we need to understand how the food gets digested in our body.
- Digestion starts in our mouth. Mouth creates saliva, which contains digestive enzymes to help break down the food. Saliva should get mixed with the food properly while chewing for good digestion. So we should chew our food properly instead of gulping it with water before sending it to the stomach.
- Our stomach contains digestive juices that aid in digestion and also help in killing any bacteria that we might consume with the food we eat. It is important for these juices to function properly so they can break down the protein and covert the food into a paste so it can be easily pushed down to the small intestine for further digestion.
- Small intestine also contains digestive juices that further break down the food. The liver and Pancreas also pour their juices like Bile juice and insulin so food can be completely digested and absorbed by the blood.
What actually happens?
- When you drink water with meals digestive enzymes become inactive and leads to accumulation of toxic waste in the body.
- Water during meals can interfere with natural levels of acid, bile, insulin and other digestive juices that are needed to properly digest your food. So it actually slows your digestion. It’s even worse if the water is cold.
- Drinking water with meals can also affect your insulin levels. The pancreas makes insulin. It helps regulate and control your blood sugar levels by signaling cells to absorb sugar from the bloodstream. Due to disturbed insulin levels more glucose/sugar accumulate in the bloodstream rather than being moved into the cells. This can cause diabetes and acne too!!
What should you do?
- You can take very small sips of warm water during your meal.
- Chew, chew and chew your food properly because a lot of digestive juices (enzymes) get mixed with the food while chewing, which makes our stomach’s job easier.
- You must drink a lot of water throughout the day, but avoid drinking water during meals.
- Fruits, vegetables and soups itself contain a large amount of water. It is recommended to drink little amount of water half an hour before and one hour after meals.
Digestion is very important because it’s of no use even eating very healthy foods, if your body can’t digest it properly.