Why one must not drink water just after meal?
One of the most things we all do on a daily basis is gulping that tall glass of water along with food. While few people consider it necessary to have a drink of water, particularly cold water, along with your meals, this habit could cause considerable damage to your health.
Here are 6 reasons in order why you should avoid drinking water while having meals:
Dilutes gastric juices:
Your stomach holds digestive acids, particularly HCL, that helps in the digestion process and also in the breakdown of food. Along with this, these gastric juices also play a role in killing any agents that might cause infection if ingested along with food. Also called the ‘digestive fire’ in the Ayurveda texts, these enzymes are necessary for the overall well-being of our body. They also facilitate the stomach contractions and pulverises the food we consume.
When this fire gets diluted with water, it not just dulls the entire human system but might also lead to the cramping of the intestinal wall in a few individuals. This stagnation of the complete digestive process lets food to remain in the stomach for a longer time and hence slows down the process of passing the digested food into small intestine where the absorption of nutrients takes place. In an interview with TOI, Shonali Sabherwal, a Macrobiotic counsellor said, ‘Our stomachs have a way of realising when you will eat and accordingly starts releasing digestive juices immediately. If you intake drinking water at the same time, what you are doing is just diluting the digestive juices being released to digest your food. This hinders the breaking down of food.’
Reduces the amount of saliva:
Your saliva plays an important role in the very first step of digestion. It contains enzymes that help in breaking down food. It also helps in stimulating the stomach to release enzymes concerned with digestion and ready itself for the digestion process. When you take in water in between your meals, your saliva gets diluted. Thereby, your stomach gets weaker signals and there is also an interruption in the breakdown of food in your mouth. This makes digestion much more challenging.
If you are prone to acidity, then this habit might be a rooted reason. Drinking water is known to dilute the enzymes that your digestive system releases, which leads to a chain-reaction of ill-effects. Shonali Saberwal, says that the stomach always continues to absorb water in it till it reaches saturation. After this happens, this water starts the dilution of gastric juices; making the mixture thicker than normal. This ends up in lesser digestive enzymes being secreted, which in turn causes undigested meals to leak through your system causes to acid reflux and heartburn.
Increases the amount of insulin in your body:
Shonali Saberwal says that drinking water while taking meals can also lead to a rise in the insulin levels like high glycemic foods would. The reason behind this is that when the human body is unable to digest foods in the best possible way. This process leads to conversion of the glucose filled part of any food into fat form and then stores it.
Makes you put on weight:
As stated earlier, there is a rapid rise in insulin level. Food is dis segmented to make fat which can then be stored. Apart from that, even if we consider Ayurveda, it is a general belief that a weak digestive fire is one of the prime reasons for obesity. This has a number of side effects including an imbalance among the vata, kapha and pitta elements in the body. It also leads to disturbances in the ways body works.
While the practice might be infamous for being bad to health, there are still a number of ways through which you can overcome the strong urge to consume water during your meals.
Here are a few ways:
Use less salt in meals
Salt is a condiment that makes your palate urge for more water. To reduce your thirst it is best to lessen the amount of condiment you intake.
Don’t gulp your food, instead chew it properly
Chewing the food before swallowing has numerous health benefits. One of those is the important fact that the saliva n your mouth helps hasten the process of digestion. Moreover, when food is well chewed, it becomes easier to break down and assimilate. This allows your digestive system to do its job well.
Consume water around 30 minutes before you take your meal. This practice also plays a significant role in beating the urge to drink water during one’s meals.
It is very ironical how water is considered to be the giver of the life, but when taken untimely it can prove to be fatal.