A daily intake of 2-3 liters is mandatory for the proper functioning of the organ systems. The digestive system relies a lot upon water to carry out digestion and elimination effectively. Although, a much-debated topic, scientific researchers have proved that drinking water while eating has various health benefits.
To have or not to have water while eating food has been a much-discussed matter at every dining table across the world. Scientific researchers claim that an adequate intake of water is necessary for the proper functioning of the body.
Among the different types, having lukewarm water has been proven to be very beneficial for the digestive system.
Benefits Of Sipping Water During A Meal
Many of us feel the compulsive need to drink water while eating, particularly to allow food to pass through the food pipe with ease. But there’s more to it. Sipping minimal amounts of water during a meal has the following benefits:
1. Aids In Better Digestion
Digestion is a complex process. It involves powerful enzymes and acids that help break down food so that the body can absorb nutrients present in the food. Sipping water while having a meal is a great way to boost the digestive system as it softens the food that reaches the gut and makes it easier to break down.
Drinking lukewarm water while eating even prevents gases from getting trapped in the stomach during digestion.
2. Prevents Overeating
Sipping water while eating helps you feel fuller faster and prevents you from stuffing yourself with food. Especially when people are on a weight-loss regimen, portion control is mandatory to prevent overeating. This is why sipping a glass of lukewarm water before eating or during a meal can actually help you prevent excessive consumption of calories.
When you take a break in between meals to sip water, you also slow down your pace of eating. This gives your stomach more time to mix the digestive enzymes with the food and digest effectively.
3. Keeps The Digestive Tract Lubricated
Although certain fruits and veggies do have water, based on your activity levels and the weather, your requirement for water will vary. When you have water along with your meal in minimal amounts, it naturally lubricates the intestinal walls.
Water plays a huge role along with dietary insoluble fiber in improving intestinal motility and bowel movement, thereby preventing constipation.
4. Reduces The Risk Of Dental Cavities
Food debris often gets trapped in between the teeth while chewing food. Drinking water while eating helps to flush out the entrapped food remnants. If food remains stuck to the surfaces of the teeth, especially in between teeth, it can serve as a breeding ground for harmful oral bacteria that can cause dental cavities.
So, the next time you are munching on something and are in no position to brush your teeth, a glass of water can help keep your mouth cleansed and refreshed.
Tips To Remember While Having Water During Meals
- Refrain from drinking cold water as that can hamper the digestive processes
- Don’t chug more than a glass of water during a meal as it can dilute stomach acids that are needed for proper digestion.
- If you have slow digestion or motility due to acid reflux or a hiatus hernia, you should drink a minimum amount of water during meals to prevent further slowing down
- Drinking carbonated or sugary drinks or alcohol cannot substitute for water consumption
Very importantly, your thirst should determine your need for water. If you are having food after being out in the sun for too long or after intense physical activity, have water until your thirst is quenched.
Having water while eating aids in digestion. Whether or not you choose to have water after, before, or even during a meal, ensure you have at least 2-3 liters of clean drinking water daily for your overall well-being.