Are you getting fed up with digestive problems? Do you feel bloated and gassy after every meal? If so, you could be sabotaging your own digestion and not even realize it.
When you sit down for a meal, do you find yourself sipping away on water? If you are, you might want to stop.
According to research, drinking water with your meal is contributing to your poor digestion as it dilutes your body’s own natural digestive juices which become released when we eat.
The digestive process begins the moment you start to chew. At this time, digestive juices and enzymes start to be released in the mouth and stomach. When you drink water with your meal, you dilute the digestive enzymes, which then slows down the digestive process. That’s why you feel bloated and gassy after you eat—your meal wasn’t properly digested.
When water enters the stomach and mixes with hydrochloric acid, the two combine to form a thick fluid that prevents proper digestion of food. This undigested food then leaks into the system, contributing to heart burn and acid reflux.
Lastly, the body converts the glucose from the improperly digested food into fat, where it is stored in the liver. This negatively affects insulin levels along with the health of the liver.
Combatting water intake during meals
As you can see, drinking water during your meal can have detrimental effects on your digestion. To combat this, there are a few simple tricks you can utilize that will have you feeling better post-meal. For starters, avoid consuming overly salty foods. Foods high in salt make you thirsty, which will prompt you to want to drink.
Another tip is to not eat quickly and avoid taking large bites. Eating fast and large bites will encourage you to drink water to help get the food down. Take your time with eating and take smaller bites. On the plus side, this will make you feel full quicker, which can aid in weight loss.
Focus on your chewing. As mentioned, chewing starts off the digestive process, so the more you chew your food, the better your digestion will be.
These tips can help you start improving your digestion. As for water, we recommend drinking a glass 20 to 30 minutes before or after a meal. This will ensure the body is properly hydrated to digest food and that the liver can absorb and redistribute the nutrients. For improved digestion, add a splash of lime or lemon to your water.
Related: 5 tips for healthy digestion