How many times have you been scolded for drinking water before, after and during your meals? Many of us have been told not to drink before having our lunch or dinner and to wait for sometimes after the meals to drink water. Controlling that thirst and restricting ourselves from consuming water can be really hard at these times. Well you do not need to follow this practice any longer as Dr. Siddhant busts all the myths related to this belief. Save this article for the next time anyone stops you from quenching your thirst in between the meals and know the truth behind this with Dr. Siddhant Bhargava, MBBS.
Should you drink water before, during or after your meals?
We are often told not to drink water before, during and after our meals in a belief that drinking water might disturb the process of digestion. People believe that drinking water might dilute the acids or digestive enzymes present in your stomach which will result in poor digestion and cause some kind of digestive issues. If you come from the same school of thought then we are going to burst the bubble for you because there is no such evidence that proves drinking water during or sound the meals interferes in the process of digestion.
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It is important to stay hydrated and as a matter of fact instead of interfering in the process of digestion, water aids the digestive process and makes it easy for your digestive system to break that food down. Pick that glass up and drink some water whenever you feel thirsty.
Here’s what Dr. Siddhant has to say about this “There is nothing wrong with consuming water before, after and during a meal. According to some people, drinking water in between meals dilutes the digestive enzymes in the body. There is no evidence or research that proves this. Infact water is going to aid digestion. It is going to increase the surface area and increase the solubility. Food stays in the stomach for about 3-4 hours and the process of digestion takes place continuously in this time frame. As digestion takes place for 3-4 hours, waiting for 45 minutes after a meal makes no sense. Drinking water before meals is a very effective weight loss tool as it gives you a feeling of fullness.”
Benefits of drinking water during meals
As we have burst the bubble for you and Dr. Bhargava has explained the science behind the meals and water combination, let us take a look at the benefits of drinking water before your meals-
- Weight loss- Drinking water right before your meals is one of the most effective tools that aids weight loss. This technique helps you to lose weight by making you feel full and suppressing your hunger. As water has no calories in it and hence drinking a glass of water before your meals will give you a sense of fullness without increasing your calorie intake.
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- Provides Energy- Water helps to energize your body by providing hydration. As a light drop in your hydration levels can drop your energy levels as well. As water is essential for the overall functioning of your body and all the organ systems.
- Improves Skin Quality- It is not just your internal organs that require hydration and water, but the protective layering of skin needs hydration too. Drinking water helps in improving skin quality, by moisturizing and hydrating the dry skin.
- Improves digestion- Water helps in increasing the surface area for the food and increases the solubility of the food as well. This increased surface and better solubility helps in improving the process of digestion. Water helps to break down the food and makes it easier to digest and absorb the nutrients.
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- Relieves Constipation- Not just aiding to digestion but consuming water with your meals also helps you to maintain a safe distance from issues like constipation. As by drinking water you stay hydrated which makes the stool softer and easier to pass through.
- Prevents Bloating- Sipping on water while having your meals can actually prevent bloating by getting rid of excess sodium
(This article isbased upon a post by Dr. Siddhant Bhargava on his instagram handle)