Have you ever heard people advising you to avoid drinking water during your meals? Well, the common notion is that drinking water during your meals can put off the digestive fire (agni) and can cause tummy troubles. Turns out, it's not true. Health experts suggest that one should drink water during meals as it only helps make the digestion process smoother and better. Water is one of the main elements that one must consume regularly during the day so the body remains hydrated and the stool also softens; in fact, it can be called as a digestive aid.
According to Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Health Coach, Shilpa Arora, "Drinking water between meals is fine; however, avoid drinking it closer to meals. Our body produces enzymes and gastric juices, pancreatic and other chemical juices that digest food. Drinking water closer to meals would dilute these digestive enzymes and juices leading to indigestion and improper utilisation of nutrients. It's a great idea though to have raw salads and apple cider vinegar before meals to allow flow of the digestive juices and aid digestion." Ayurvedic Expert Dr. Ashutosh Gautam agrees, "We can have water while taking meals but not right before and after meals. This can dilute our digestive juices and delay or disturb digestion."
It is claimed that consuming water with food dilutes the bile and stomach acid that is needed to break down and absorb nutrients better. Moreover, it also helps your stomach liquefy food that aids in digestion and nutrient absorption, further helping prevent conditions like constipation and bloating by softening stools. In fact, it also helps you fill up faster and encourages you to take breaks from your food, causing you to slow down on eating. Remember, the brain takes some time to register that you have eaten enough.
Try drinking warm water than chilled glassful of water as it helps ease the process better. Drinking water during the meals does not mean that you gulp down too many glasses in one go. It means sipping on to not more than one glass through the meal.