Why You Shouldn't Drink Water Before, With, or After Food
It may seem weird to you that a health advocate is recommending avoiding water at any time... but did you know that, while drink enough water is crucial for optimal health, there is a right AND WRONG time to drink it.
For years, health advocates and diet specialists have suggested drinking a big glass of water right before every meal. The logic behind this is that you'll feel some fullness from the water and then, therefore, eat less. Although it sounds reasonable, traditional medicine and modern research strongly oppose this idea.
In order to break down your food, your stomach contains hydrochloric acid and maintains a pH of about 1-2. This acidic environment stimulates the release of digestive enzymes and helps break down food and absorb the nutrients from that food. Water has a pH of 7.
So, the practice of not only drinking water during, but also up to thirty minutes before and one hour after, a meal dilutes the necessary gastric juices, leading to indigestion, bloating, and, potentially, nutrient malabsorption, acid reflux, and insulin resistance.
How to do it:
Work Your Way Up: As with everything, I recommend starting slow. If you're used to drinking a lot of water with meals, start by stopping to drink 5 minutes before a meal and then 10 minutes after. Gradually work your way up. Remember, we're all different so the timing that's good for you may not be what's good for me. I've found that with myself; 20 minutes before and 50 minutes after works.
Hydrate: Many people use meals as their main time to drink water. By consciously hydrating throughout the day, you're less likely to want to down a glass of water with your meal. Make sure to drink at least a full glass of water first thing in the morning (I drink1.5L) to replenish any liquid lost at night and to activate your organs after being asleep.
And that's all from me! Try it out and let me know how you feel in the comments below.
Have you noticed less bloating? Easier digestion?