You already know how important it is to chew your food properly, and some people believe that drinking ice cold water helps improve digestion. However, drinking beverages with your meals can do more harm than good. If you’re slowing down the digestive process because there is too much liquid in the stomach, you could experience bloating and indigestion.
HOW DRINKING WATER DURING MEALS INTERRUPTS DIGESTION
Guzzling down on water or other beverages during your meal can interfere with the digestive process because it increases the size of your stomach. When there is too much liquid and food settling in your stomach, digestion can slow down. Some experts suggest that drinking water also dilutes the gastric acid that your stomach produces. Low gastric acid leads to incomplete digestion, and the extra liquid can also cause the fats and oils in the food to cling together which further prevents absorption.
Experts say that, in general, four to eight ounces of water is permissible during each meal. However, if you’re suffering from acid reflux disease or severe indigestion, you may need to scale back on the water completely. (Source: HappyCow.net)
OTHER DRINKS TO AVOID DURING MEALS
Finally, the carbonation in soda can leave you feeling bloated and tired, especially after a meal that contains a lot of carbohydrates and fats. Skip the soda during the meal and enjoy it as a treat later in the day if you need your ‘fix.’ Give your stomach a chance to break down all of the food you’ve ingested and wait at least an hour before consuming your favorite carbonated beverage!
TIPS FOR IMPROVING INDIGESTION
The best way to ensure you’re getting enough water is to drinking water 10-20 minutes before a meal, or up to three hours after eating. Here are some more tips for improving digestion:
Sabah Karimi writes on health, fitness and lifestyle for DivaVillage.