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Drinking water after a meal

I have read countlless passages and heard from dietitians that drinking water after the meal is bad for you. It dilutes the stomach acid which begins the digesting progcess, and causes the intestines to work double-time digesting the food which never got neutralized in the stomach. I have also heard this phenomenon makes you absorb less of the nutrients in the food. Has anyone else heard this?

Thu. Jul 12, 1:39pm

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water after food

I head that you should wait about 30 min. after eating so that the acids in your stomache can digest better. But also its ok to have a sip; and only a sip of water if you are eating salty foods.

Thursday, July 12, 2007, 2:32 PM

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Wow... This is the first I've heard of this! I'd be interested in a source/reference. After all my efforts to drink as much water as possible, now I have to worry about not drinking it too close to a meal?!

Thursday, July 12, 2007, 11:22 PM

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what about the whole idea that you should drink a large glass of water before a meal to curb your appetite? Or what happens when you eat broth based soup? Or cereal w/ milk? Or any liquidy food? I think your stomach must produce more acid to compensate.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 8:30 AM

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I have heard this is only true for ice cold water. You are fine to drink as much water during the day as you want, but at meals and for 30 minutes after you should drink room temperature water.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 12:19 PM

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Water during & before meals

Ok. let me give you my professional point of view to this one... Nevermind my incipient english.
Drink at least (depending on your body's liquid requirements) 2 cups of water before a meal. If your stomach is small drink it starting half an hour before meal to finish it by the time you start eating. (Note you need moisture to help digestion)
You can go ahead and sip water especially w/ foods containing high sodium during chow.
After a meal, depending on the food you intook. I usually go for an hour or an hour and a half for it's safetiest. because the more you give your stomach time to turn the food in to a chyme the better you benefit from what you put into yourself. On the other hand don't wait too long to avoid dehydration. Some foods like meat are digested slower, so wait longer. Some quality predigested foods require 15-30 minutes (depending on a metabolic rate) some protein shakes are just that good (don't get used to them either!).
Not only you're diluting the acid in the stomach when breaking this rule, but sometimes you turn the food into a poison that your body will be able to resist anyway, but you won't feel good & your aliment system won't deliver an ample benefit or depending on your anatomy you may develop complications, etc as you stick with the bad habit. It's good to drink citrucel or the like sorts of fiber-richness after an hour and a half from your last meal. it'll sweep off left over junk and keep your colon healthy which is a very important line of defence, believe it or not.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009, 3:41 PM

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Drinking water during or after the meals is bad

Hi all,

Yes, this is true. Actually, I am surprised so many people blindly argue that it is BS. It is simple science. When you are hungry, your mouth produces saliva which has necessary ingredients to break down the food once they both are mixed. Although, the science is simple, the procedure is complex which starts from the signals of your brain telling the body of the impending hunger and then it ends when you go to the toilet several hours later. Particular to this topic, once our body receives signals of hunger, our Stomach produces essential acid that is necessary to break down the chewed food further.

When you mix that acid with other liquids, say, water, you are diluting the acid and the stomach will have that much more burden to take care of the chewed food. Eventually, the stomach will stop churning the food and send them "AS IS" to lever, small intestine, and large intestine. That's when all the "junk" (even "good junk") get stuck in the large intestine and we have trouble with our bowel movements.

The most ideal time to wait till you drink water is to wait for 2 hours. Because in those 2 hours our Stomach atleast would have churned the food into manageable pieces for the smaller body parts to take care of and after that if even if we send down the water, it would not be burdened too much.

The bottom line?? It is a personal choice and the reason people don't give importance to this point is because it won't kill us. In my view, half of world's population (barring mal-nutritioned countries) suffers from problems because of improper use of water or not drinking at all. Call it a sedentary modern life-style or slavery to sugary drinks:-) (I have seen people who have sugared drinks and not water, for an entire week)

Monday, October 04, 2010, 10:00 AM

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I have had people tell me that it's not good to drink water with your meal, but I always thought it was old wive's tale.
This is interesting. I'm going to try not to drink water with my meal or 2 hrs after and see how that works out.

Monday, October 04, 2010, 7:03 PM

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I've read everything posted here before. You're not supposed to drink water with your meal. Waiting 2 hours is best.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010, 6:43 AM

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I totally disagree with this...your body needs water and there is nothing wrong with drinking before, during and after. I do agree with not drinking ice water.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010, 3:37 PM

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Drinking during or after meals aids digestion!

It's funny how some people give medical advice like they are experts.


Sunday, January 02, 2011, 12:33 PM

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Thanks for posting that link. I really trust the Mayo Clinic and the information on its web site. Now I can continue drinking before, during, and after eating without worrying.

Sunday, January 02, 2011, 3:00 PM

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I had big trouble with digestion for many, many years until I read in Fit For Life that it is best to drink water at least 30 minutes before meals, and best to wait at least 3 hours after you eat to drink again.

Once I followed this advice, my digestion issues were solved! So, Mayo shmayo...what works for some may not for others, but here is how I have been doing it for 10 years now and I NEVER have any digestive issues - plus I just feel better and it takes snacking off the table for me (some days I have "snack meals" and will have dip, crudite and mini quiches etc. for dinner :):

7:00am: Wake up and drink 32oz of water with fresh lemon
7:45am: Breakfast
11:30am: 32 oz of water with lemon
12:15pm: Lunch
4:00pm: 32 oz of water with lemon
6:00pm: Dinner
10:00pm: Before bed I drink a bit more water with lemon, and I take my 32oz of lemon water for the next morning up to bed with me so I can have it as soon as I get up!

I am always fabulously hydrated, and I never have to worry or even think about drinking enough water - it is DONE!

I have also done the five meals a day thing, and because I am eating far less at every meal, I can drink about 2 hrs after a meal, so it goes like this:

7:00am - Drink 20 oz lemon water
7:30am - Green smoothie (meal #1)
10:00am - Drink 20 oz lemon water
10:30am - small Breakfast (meal #2)
12:30pm - Drink 20 oz lemon water
1:00pm - small Lunch (meal #3)
3:00pm - Drink 20 oz lemon water
3:30pm - Protein smoothie or snack (meal #4)
5:30pm - Drink 20 oz lemon water
6:30pm - small Dinner
10:00pm - Drink a bit of lemon water and bring my 20oz lemon water for the next morning to bed with me so I can drink it right when I get up!

NOTE: I personally do not drink anything other than lemon water - no coffee, soda, anything. I don't even crave it. Food and drinks are no longer a duo for me, and this has become second nature to me to do this. If I am not around a clock, when I feel hungry I drink my water and then 30-45 minutes later I eat - repeat throughout the day! And if I am out at a social event I through caution to the wind and drink wine and apps together - as long as I don't have much of both I am fine, if I do od on either of them, my digestion is off for the night.

Thursday, February 17, 2011, 7:56 PM

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