• Posted by CERC India
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Should we drink water during meals? 


Water is essential for good health. However, there is a strong belief that drinking water with meals is not a good practice as it interferes with the digestive process. However, many experts feel that this is not the case. In fact, they say, drinking water while we eat aids digestion and helps us lose weight. Read on to find out more.

Digestive juices: Many people claim that drinking water with meals dilutes stomach acid and digestive enzymes, making it more difficult for the body to digest food. This claim, however, implies that your digestive system is unable to adapt its secretions to the consistency of a meal, which is false. Our body is a complicated but very well-tuned system. If the stomach “feels” that it can’t digest something, it produces more enzymes and increases the acidity of the liquid inside.

Pace of digestion: There are no studies that prove the misconception that liquid pushes solid food into the intestine before it’s fully digested. Food stays in the stomach for four hours while water stays in the stomach for only 10-15 minutes. Water goes through the chewed food very quickly, moisturizes it and leaves the stomach quickly. While liquid does leave the body faster than solid food, this doesn’t adversely influence the speed of digestion, according to scientists.

Water softens food: Water actually helps break down large chunks of food making it easier for them to slide down the esophagus and into the stomach. In fact, the stomach secretes water along with gastric acid and digestive enzymes during digestion and this water is needed to promote the proper functioning of the enzymes.

Weight loss impact: Drinking water with meals makes us pause between bites. This helps us recognise satiety signals and prevents overeating thereby promoting weight loss.

Word of caution: People suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) should not take water with meals. That’s because liquids add volume to the stomach, which can increase stomach pressure, similarly to how a large meal would. This can lead to acid reflux for people who have GERD.



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