Drinking WATER with meals: Good or Bad !!

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To understand whether water is good or bad with meals, let’s first understand what happens when we have water before and after meals.

Hunger and Thirst are two feelings which the mind finds difficult to differentiate, that too when we are into very hectic schedule and no time is given to realise whether we are Hungry or Thirsty.

In such a situation, if one has meals directly without having water, there are chances of eating solid food more, as body will try to consume water from food sources.

But instead, if you have water first and wait for some time, you may realise that actually you are not hungry at all and it was only the thirst. And if you still feel hungry, then you will eat only the amount of food that is needed and not overeat to compensate the thirst.

Also, by adding herbs like ginger, pepper, lemon, mint, cumin seeds powder, cinnamon powder; etc., one can increase the appetite and improve the digestion of the food eaten later, which in turn helps you to stay away from gas, hyperacidity, bloating; etc.

Now, what happens when we drink water immediately after meals in a large amount.
I would like to explain this with an example..

When we are cooking any meal, we put oil and seeds in it till it crackles. Then imagine, if we add a glass of water to it, then all the oil with the seeds and herbs will come up and float.

Similarly, when we have our meals, and then immediately have a glass of water, the fats like oils with all the masala in it, comes up and floats as those are not digested yet. This oil floats and ends up irritating the lower part of food pipe (oesophagous), which doesn’t have a thick mucous lining like our stomach has. This leads to burning sensation or hyperacidity or GERD.

But after 30 to 45 minutes, the food and oils in it are digested and broken down further, due to which they no longer can float.  Hence, you can have a glass of water now.

What happens when you have water in small amount along with meals..

Just imagine a mixer jar. Whenever we are mixing some thing, we add little water first, then we keep adding little water later on,  depending upon the need to make a proper paste of required consistency.

Same way, you can have little water in between, depending upon what you are eating. If the food is of dry consistency, you may need more and vice versa.

Again, if you drink too much along with your meals then it won’t stay in the stomach and will pass ahead, taking along with it, the acids and enzymes and leading to indigestion.

So, have some amount of water before your meals to satisfy your thirst. Have small amount  of water in between meals to maintain the consistency and liquid portion of food (as Ayurveda says, 50% of food should be solid, 25% should be liquid and 25% of the stomach should be left empty) and have water after a gap of 45 minutes post your meals.

Stay Healthy.. !! 🙂

Dr. Mansi Pujara’s Clinic

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