Myth: Do not drink while eating.

Can a glass of water really hurt digestion or is it just a myth? The Challenger understands the issue together with the candidate of medical sciences, nutritionist, doctor

of the GMS clinic

Natalya Polenova.

Digestion begins when the food enters the mouth, where it mixes and softens chewing process and with the help of saliva enzymes. Digestion continues in the stomach under the influence of gastric juice, then partially digested food enters the small intestine, where it is exposed to bile acids and digestive enzymes. It is at this stage that about 75% of the nutrients are absorbed. Then everything that is not absorbed enters the large intestine and is excreted from the body.

The entire digestion process - from chewing to excretion - takes

from 24 to 72 hours


Opinion about the fact that water can adversely affect the digestion process is erroneous for several reasons:

  1. The liquid is absorbed in the stomach, and this happens quite quickly - within 15-20 minutes, and hence, the possible effect of diluting the gastric juice will be short-lived.
  2. Normally, the body responds to food intake by producing gastric juice in the amount that is necessary to digest it.
  3. Digestive enzymes affect only food - regardless of whether there is water in the stomach.
  4. Finally, food (especially vegetables and fruits) and even gastric juice contain water, so that its presence in the stomach is natural and does not contradict physiology.



show that drinking with food does not affect the rate of digestion of food and that the stomach needs approximately the same time to digest liquid foods, such as smoothies, or the same ingredients (fruits), but consumed in solid form and washed with water.

Actually, drinking in eating can even help digestion - at least at the chewing and swallowing stages: the liquid will soften the food and move it further up the esophagus.

Myth: Do not drink while eating.

Photo: shutterstock.


A glass of water before a meal will give a temporary (remember, water is absorbed for 15-20 minutes?) feeling of fullness, since the drunk liquid will take place in the stomach. For better or worse, it depends on your goals. Those who drink 1.5-2 cups of liquid before eating, as a rule, eat less. This option is suitable for those who plan to lose weight.

If your task is to gain muscle mass and you plan to eat a high-calorie dinner, do not overdo it with water before eating. But in general, you can drink as much liquid as you want - water will not harm the digestive process.

Drinking water during and after meals is not it’s harmful, and drinking 1-2 glasses of water before meals can even be useful if you want to eat less and lose weight.



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