In a traditional meal, the first item placed before you will be a glass of water. Age-old wisdom validates this on three counts. First a sip before a meal moistens and eases your food pipe to make passing of solid foods down them easier. Second, if you suddenly start coughing during a meal, a sip of water eases your throat. And third, a glass of water after a meal soothes down your mouth and food pipe and washes down the food giving you a sense of completion.
This traditional wisdom is being questioned by modern thinking. Modern thought says that water before, during of after a meal will dilute the stomach acids and slow down digestion. Some even say that it could lead to build-up of toxins, which could lead to a number of diseases.
Now you may wonder which thought is right- ancient wisdom or modern thought. In this case, modern thought is wrong. Drinking water before, during or after a meal is not just harmless, it is actually quite beneficial.
Here’s why drinking water with a meal is good:
- A little water makes the solid food move through the food-pipe easily.
- Water also softens the food and makes digestion easier.
- Water makes the enzymes work better.
- Water also prevents bloating and constipation
- Drinking water with your meal makes you feel fuller and prevents over eating
- It also may speed up your metabolism
When you should not drink water with your meals
People with gastroesophageal reflux disease should not drink too much water with their meal or immediately after as it could lead to uncomfortable acid reflux or chest burn.
In general water with food is good for you, but as with everything in life, there is an exception even for this rule.
The best guide to this is your body. Just listen to it and you will be fine. Water with your meal will make eating easier and also help in digestion, but if you have acid reflux problem, then you will have to limit intake of water with your meal.