We can’t stress enough on the importance of staying properly hydrated throughout the day. Ever since we were kids, our parents have been telling us to have at least two litres of water a day. What matters is not only how much water you consume, but also when you consume it.
Drinking water with your meals or any other liquid for that matter can interfere with proper digestion. Let us start by giving you a quick run through on how digestion works. The process starts in the mouth itself. When you chew food your salivary glands produce saliva, which is 98 percent water and 2 percent digestive enzymes. If you chew your food properly the saliva mixes with the food and enables it to move through the food pipe and into the stomach more freely. In the stomach several other digestive enzymes and gastric juices are produced to properly break down the food and complete the digestion process.
When you drink water with your meals, it dilutes the digestive enzymes in the saliva interfering with the digestive process from the very beginning. Further, water also dilutes the digestive enzymes and the gastric juices in the stomach making it difficult to break down the food. This means your body will not be able to properly absorb the nutrients. So no matter how healthy you’re eating, you will not reap the full benefits.
However, this does not mean you cannot have anything to drink with your meals. Sipping small quantities of water is fine but by no means should you drink one entire glass of water with your meals.
It is recommended you drink water at least 20 minutes before you eat and wait for another hour after you’re done eating. Keep yourself properly hydrated throughout the day so that you don’t feel the need to quench your thirst while you eat.