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Drinking Water While You are Eating

Updated on November 3, 2014

I have visited some forums to find a hot debate about drinking water during meals, and the majority of members advocate that you should not , because water would dilute enzymes and induce indigestion. Heck no, drink water when eating for better digestion, and here are the reasons.

You Take Water From Foods More Than From Drinking

Common sense tells us to observe and analyze the way man lived on this planet for millions of years. Humans had taken -and still- water from their food more than from drinking water. Almost all vegetables and fruits contain more than 80 percent of their weight as water, meat, fish, cheese, and even bread contain a good percentage of water. Were any food not containing water, it would not be spoiled. If it is not necessary for digestion, then why is the human body so designed to receive water at the same time of eating?

Drinking water does not produce gross change in the conditions of digestion.

Water and Digestion

Drinking water during or after you eat will improve digestion. It helps breakdown the food in your stomach and keep your digestive system on track.

Have you ever tried to eat milk powder without drinking water? you feel an immediate need for drinking water to wash down the crumbles formed. This is exactly what happens to food in the stomach, food needs to be hydrated, broken down, and moved to be digested.

The stomach is not an inert pan, its walls move and secrete, and its portals are guarded by 2 valves (sphincters) that regulate movement of food, in and out. It has an inherent property of adjustment, and many times you feel the need for drinking while you eat.

There is another important property of the whole lining of the gastrointestinal canal, it is its capability of absorbing water and transporting it into the blood.

The whole digestive system does not find water as a strange element during digestion.

This is our Stomach

Microvilli Lining Your Intestine

The Membrane Digestion Theory

According to the Russian professor Ugolev, membrane digestion in man is defined as taking place on the surface of the cytoplasmic membranes of microvilli (lining of the small intestine), and constitute an intermediate type of digestion between extracellular digestion within the cavity of the gastrointestinal canal and intracellular breakdown within the cells.

It is like frying the food , the outermost layer that is in contact with the walls of the frying pan is the most part that is more submitted to browning. With that said, the contact between the food particles and gastrointestinal cells requires that the particles are very small and wet, the thing that needs water. The more rapid these particles are formed, the more rapid and complete is the digestion process. Foods need to be diluted to offer smaller particles to come in contact with the intestinal wall, it helps ease digestion and not the opposite as some people say.

Some Hints

When you take water during meals, you feel a need to eat more and this is because all the food stuck on the walls of the gastrointestinal canal is flushed down in part, the immediate loss of calories that are consumed by the body to raise the temperature of the water, to the same temperature of the body , and to move food particles downwards.

There is a huge advantage of drinking water while eating, it is that eating helps your body demands water, thus you can respond to the universally recommended advice to drink 8 glasses of water, or when the hill would you get them? Are health recommendations just for reading?

The baseline is that good digestion requires water - on scientific basis - so obey nature and drink while eating.

What do you Think? Create a debate.

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    • profile image

      rahul bhut 

      7 years ago


      we have 2 drink h2o while eating food

      it is very good for our health...........

      and helps in the digestion of food very quickly

      hence take liquid diet also.......

    • elqalatawy profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Egypt

      Despite the insults in George Sanders' comment, I took the positive part in his advice and updated the article with links to 3 respectful websites, all recommending drinking while eating.

      I wish that anybody does not go very deep beyond his specialty , I am a pharmacist.

      It is not practical to speak arrogantly and insult others to prove that you know what you are talking about. Besides it's misleading too when you speak about the basics and explain them your own wrong way because you are not aware of the correct basics.

    • profile image

      George Sanders 

      8 years ago

      ... which brings us again to my point! Your reasoning sir is childish. Again sorry, but if being insulted is what is required for you to realise the gravity of giving medical advices and the severe consequences they might have in the long run to individuals that are convinced by your arguments, then so be it. Mind you, you are ranked high in "google", so if you are wrong, certain people that "google it" might be misguided into an unhealthy eating habit, which in the long run could severely affect their health.

      You cannot be diagnosed with rotten protein food, cause it gets excreted the natural way, in a matter of hours. You should be familiar with the basics, before giving advice to people.

      The time it takes for food to leave your body, it produces a certain amount of toxins, part of which gets into your blood stream and affects your health. If food in not properly digested, it produces a significantly higher amount of toxins, due to fermentation / putrefaction (rotting, that is).

      This is a scientific fact. Period. And protein can only be properly digested under the presence of a high concentration of hydrochloric acid for the enzyme pepsin to break the bonds between amino acids. Again, scientific fact. Tested, verified, google it.

      If you have the slightest decency, instead of acting insulted, correct your article.

      If you have the slightest sense of responsibility, stop writing more articles.

      Google it

      (read section Significance of pH in digestion)

    • elqalatawy profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Egypt

      George Sanders,

      I read articles of doctors and they say in easy simple English that you should drink water while eating, just Google it.

      As for your reasoning, I would like to ask you, have you ever seen any individual that is diagnosed to have "rotten protein in his digestive track" due to drinking water while eating??!!

    • profile image

      George Sanders 

      8 years ago

      The reasoning in this article is childish... Sorry, you can read articles by doctors giving complex and scientifically established arguments as to why you should avoid drinking (at least high amounts) of water around meals.

      For example, protein digestion (meat, eggs, etc) requires extremely high concentration of digestive juices. If you drink water with protein, you make it significantly harder to digest ending up in a high toxic load for you organism, as undigested protein rots within your digestive track.

      If anything, the article is right about one thing though, properly hydrated individuals do have better digestion. So make sure you drink enough water throughout the day, but rather do that long after eating, especially if the meal you last ate was high in protein.

    • profile image

      surender mehra 

      8 years ago

      no doubt that water is nessecity for us but it should be after half an hour of taking the food

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I disagree. Liquids SHOULD NOT be consumed along with meals... and there's good evidence to back this belief up.

      "...Laboratory tests have determined that water leaves the stomach in about ten minutes after its ingestion. It carries the diluted, and consequently weakened, digestive juices along with it, thereby interfering seriously with digestion. It is often argued that water drinking at meals stimulates the flow of gastric juice and thereby enhances digestion. The answer to this is (1) It is not the natural way to stimulate the secretion of digestive juices and results sooner or later in an impairment of the secretory power of the glands; and (2) It is of no value to digestion to increase the secretion of digestive fluids, only to have them carried out of the stomach, into the intestine, before they have had time to act upon the food.

      Water taken two hours after a meal enters the stomach at a time when the gastric juice is there in abundance and the reactions are proceeding nicely. The water sweeps these on into the intestine and retards digestion. Take your water ten to fifteen minutes before a meal, thirty minutes after fruit meals, two hours after starch meals, and at least four hours after protein meals.

      Drinking at meals also leads to the bolting habit. Instead of thoroughly masticating and insalivating his food the one who drinks with his meals soon learns to wash it down half chewed. This practice should be avoided at all costs..."

    • profile image

      Joseph de-izan 

      8 years ago

      I think this is a great way2 create awareness abwt da importance of water presence while eating.

    • profile image

      Aflfred D 

      8 years ago

      I think its absolutely necessary 4 one 2 drink water while eating so as 2 aid in digesting the food very well.

    • elqalatawy profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Egypt

      Hi Jasetriplett,

      Thanks for commenting.

      You actually discuss the situation from a completely theoretical point of view. The stomach is not a pan through which enzymes are "swimming", and the stomach grinds food gradually so that it can be digested. As for the cold fluids they soon acquire the temperature of the body.

      Finally I am not misleading anyone because Mayo Clinic is not misleading the public, just Google "drink water while eating+Mayo Clinic.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      your comparisons are not logical...meaning, when people at back in the day, they didn't have the convenience of large size drinks to go along with their vs. the beginnings of man are completely different. also not to mention, eating fruit and veggies is not the problem because that food group is naturally easy to digest..., its today's food that requires undiluted stomach acids...drinking water while eating does infact dilute stomach acids and slow down digestion. also to mention, cold fluids coagulate fats causing other health issues.

      i suggest rewriting your message to the public because your comparisons are misleading.

    • gajanis786 profile image


      9 years ago

      great hub.....keep it up.

    • elqalatawy profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Egypt

      Thank you all.

      gmrwebteam, just type in the title of this hub in Google and look for what is written in some websites related to medicine or science.

    • Persia Canales profile image

      Persia Canales 

      9 years ago from Maryland, USA|

      enlightening. Thanks for the new knowledge; I never thought of it like this.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Well I doubt about this. I have heard from many doctors that one must not have water after having a meal for atleast 15-20 minutes. Correct me if I am wrong.

    • betherann profile image

      Beth Morey 

      9 years ago from Montana

      Interesting! I know that my body certainly feels better when I drink water with my meals.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      this seem to be a good explanation to the public and i would like to read more about this.hope you guys will write more about this.

    • profile image

      Mark Moller 

      9 years ago

      Drinking purified water while eating also helps you from consuming more food than your body needs, considering it takes longer for your stomach to send the signal to your brain that it is full than it takes for you to over eat.

    • William T. Hanks profile image

      William T. Hanks 

      10 years ago

      Great Hub! Interesting and scientific at the same time.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      very helpful information.

    • profile image

      Nisha shan 

      10 years ago

      Thanks for providing such a wonderful hub. It is very nice to learn how our digestive system works. Nice hub.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      This hub is very informative and quite useful too. Learnt a lot about the digestive system and significance of water in our body. Nice hub.


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