Most of you might have heard that drinking water in between or after meals can affect your digestion. It can also prevent your body from absorbing nutrients properly and further lead to bloating. Well, there’s some good news. All these claims about the bad effects of water on your body are not completely true.
Hydration is not only good for our health, but it is also known to encourage digestion whether we drink water before or after meals.
Dr Priyanka Rohatgi, chief nutritionist, Apollo Hospitals, says, “Drinking water before, in between or after the meal is not a bad idea. If you have overeaten and are trying to drink small quantities of water, that can be a challenge. That increases your gastritis and you will have the food passing undigested and unabsorbed.”
Rohtagi further says drinking chilled water should be avoided after a heavy lunch or dinner, “If you are drinking chilled water or chilled beverages, it will delay your digestion. Even after a heavy meal, you can have a glass of some warm or room temperature fluid but not excess quantity of water. If you have too much water, you will feel bloated and will have a quick and easy transit, which is not ideal. Limit the amount of water you drink. Just one or half a glass of water is good enough.”
On a similar note, Mayo Clinic, a non-profit academic medical center based in Minnesota said, “There’s no concern that water will dilute the digestive juices or interfere with digestion. In fact, drinking water during or after a meal actually aids digestion. Water and other liquids help break down food so that your body can absorb the nutrients. Water also softens stool, which helps prevent constipation.”
“Drinking water facilitates digestion. If it’s a heavy meal, one just needs to have a decent amount of water, for example, a glass would be fine but not more than that,” says Dr Minal Shah, senior nutrition therapist, Fortis.
So, now you do not need to think twice before drinking water. Just remember to limit the amount.