A study conducted by nutritionists reveals whether it is a good idea to drink water during our meals.
Robyn Youkilis, a certified wellness expert and the author of the book “Go With Your Gut“, explains that this practice harms the digestive tract and the absorption of nutrients in the body.
Youkilis recommends drinking water at least half an hour or an hour before eating. If you really have to drink water during the meal, try to take smaller sips only to wash down food.
On the other hand, drinking large amounts of water during meals can lead to diluting the hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which is a key for theproper breakdown of food.
“Drinking water during meals can do more harm than good. Too much fluid during a meal can cause bloating, problems with digestion, but also prevent the proper absorption of nutrients” – confirms Ali Miller, a registered dietitian.
According to her words, the ideal pH in the stomach is 1 to 2, and this level of acidity helps in the breakdown of proteins, stimulates the release of digestive enzymes, helps in the absorption of vitamins such as B12, and facilitates digestion.
When you drink large amounts of water during the meal, the whole process slows down and leads to stomach bloating and poor digestion.
When and how much?
For a proper digestion during the meal, you can drink up to 200ml of water in very small sips. During the rest of the day, the water should be drunk between meals which will help prevent the false hunger you actually feel when you are dehydrated.
If you want to improve your digestion, try to adopt the following practices:
- The more you chew, the better!
- Eat when you’re relaxed
- Consume more bitter and acidic foods
“These habits will stimulate the gallbladder and the flow of enzymes, which creates the ideal conditions for the breakdown of food and the maximum absorption of nutrients”, says Miller.