Should you drink water with meals?





I’m going to try and answer a tricky question that’s been causing a lot of controversy in the “health world”- should you drink water with meals?

We all know that it is important to try and drink eight glasses of water each day (or the equivalent in herbal tea, etc.) to keep us hydrated. Being well hydrated is important for every part of our wellbeing, allowing our bodies to function optimally. The big question is, should we avoid doing any of this drinking at mealtimes?  

Some say drinking with meals ensures digestive juices reach all the food in the stomach. My feeling is that, although this may be true, the reasons against drinking with meals far outweigh the reasons for.  

Drinking with meals may dilute the digestive enzymes and stomach acid which allows food to be properly digested.  The strength of our stomach acid tends to lessen over time anyway, so drinking water with meals will only add to this problem.  

If food is incompletely digested it may also to food intolerances, because when food is not broken down properly in the stomach, larger molecules enter the bloodstream. This makes it difficult for our bodies to “recognise” what has entered the bloodstream, and so your body treats it as a foreign substance- which it then tries to attack. 

 Also drinking cold water slows down digestion. This means that food stays in the digestive tract longer, and is therefore more likely to produce toxins.  Overloading the stomach with water at mealtimes can even lead to acid reflux and heartburn.  It is even said that drinking water affects insulin levels, leading to blood sugar problems.

My advice would be to drink plenty- but away from meals. Try and leave the drinking to 30 minutes to an hour before and after meals, and see whether it benefits your overall wellbeing. 

Article Copyright © 2014 40plusandalliswell

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