If you ever followed any of those healthy shows and news, you probably heard the experts say that you mustn’t eat and drink or any liquids during the meal and immediately after. Some of them explain that doing so makes us fat, it makes metabolism slower and dilutes our stomach acid. Can water be that harmful to us?

Why some of the people are against drinking water while eating?

It’s a common belief that water is not the best friend with digestion, especially when consumed during the meal. Some people believe that water pushes food that is still undigested into the intestines. So what happens to food and water in the stomach together?

The digestive process or in other words the breakdown of the larger pieces of food into tiny food units that can be absorbed into the blood starts even before you put the spoon into your mouth. When we just start thinking about our future meal saliva starts getting secreted in the mouth. Saliva is an initial step in the digestive process because it contains enzymes that break-down the food we chew. After food is soften, it goes into our stomach, where it gets mixed with stomach acid. On average in a healthy person, the stomach needs 4 hours to digest the food, before turning it into liquid.

Water, unlike food, doesn’t stick around for so long. It takes usually about 10-15 minutes for the stomach to pass 15 ounces of water. When you drink water during the meal, it goes through the chewed food very quickly, moisturizes it and it leaves our stomach way before the food does!

Does water decreases stomach acidity?

Liquids in general don’t decrease stomach acidity. The efficiency of our bodies is incredible and don’t underestimate it. It’s a complicated system but all the same well-tuned one. When our stomach feels that it can’t digest something, it pumps the enzymes to increase the acidity of the liquid inside. Even if your drink a gallon of water, the acidity won’t change. In case you drink tea with food, it’s the same. Researches showed that there is no difference in acidity levels after drinking water or tea. However, water doesn’t enter our body only from the glass, and all food we eat contains water! For example, cucumbers are 96% water, and water is in all our foods, just at a lower percentage.

Liquids also don’t influence the speed of digestion. The answer we got, in the end, is – having something to drink while eating is harmless, in fact, there are few advantages from doing it! It helps soften and breakdown solid food, so your body can absorb the nutrients better, it also prevents constipation and it makes you even eat less and slower. If you drink water during the meal, also don’t exaggerate, pay attention to drink in small sips and slowly.

The best water for your body is room temperature water. Too cold water is incredibly satisfying, but you should avoid it. It can shrink your blood vessels, give you a sore throat, joint pain and a slower heart rate. That’s because the cold water can stimulate the vagus nerve, which helps your heart rate normal.

How Much Water Should You Drink Everyday?

Optimal intake of water for women is at least 72 ounces of water every day, which is equal to 9 cups. For men, because they need more water than women, it’s recommended 104 ounces, or 13 cups a day. Do you drink this amount every day?! You should. If you don’t keep your body hydrated every day, your brain will start to function poorly and your energy level will drop, you may experience headache and anxiety. Every time you lose water – you have to replace it with new water, even if it’s after the meal!