In short . . . no. Drinking water in moderate amounts with your meals shouldn’t affect your digestion in a negative way. In fact, drinking water is important for healthy digestion, so avoiding it can actually have a negative effect. Here’s a little more explanation.
Fact vs. Fiction: Some articles on the internet suggest that drinking water during a meal may dilute the acid in your stomach that aids digestion. Therefore, in theory, the food you eat doesn’t get broken down as it should. However, in carefully controlled studies where researchers measure water intake during a meal and stomach acid levels, as well as digestion outcomes, there is no evidence that there is any interference in digestion. The body’s digestive system is very adept at its job, which is to break down food — including mixed meals with a variety of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and fluids — into nutrients from the minute you start chewing. This process doesn’t get easily flustered in healthy individuals, and certainly not by drinking water.
Why is water so important for digestion? Water and other liquids help break down food so that your body can absorb nutrients. Water also softens stool, which helps prevent constipation. Drinking enough fluids, mostly water, throughout the day is not only important for digestion, but for other important processes in the body too. Actually, it’s important for just about everything: your brain, your heart, your muscles, your skin, and the list goes on.
Do you have to drink water with meals? While getting enough fluids each day is super important for digestion, you don’t HAVE to drink your water during your meals. Many people enjoy having a beverage with meals (and that’s OK, too). However, if you prefer to drink before and after, rather than during, it’s not going to harm you, especially if you enjoy your meals more without drinking during them. As long as you’re adequately hydrated throughout the day, you can drink your water whenever you want. (Note: An exception to this is people who experience acid reflux (heartburn). If you get heartburn, it is best to sip your fluids between meals.)
Here are some tips on hydration and how to make sure you’re getting enough water daily! www.bumblebee.com/healthy-living
Do you prefer to sip beverages with your meal or only in between?