You might have come across this question quite often. In fact, this is a very common doubt that most people have. A few doctors suggest that you must not drink water during your meals. Instead, you should wait for an hour or so, and then drink water. A few others suggest not to drink water before eating food. With so many suggestions and advice, which one should we follow? When exactly must we drink water?
Let us solve this mystery with an Ayurvedic perspective.
When do we drink water, or when are we supposed to drink water? Obviously, when we are thirsty. Thirst is a natural urge, and when it occurs, it should be attended to, no matter if it is in the middle of your meal, or before or after it. Likewise, we eat food when we feel hungry, and urinate or defecate only when there is an urge to do so. The only purpose of all this is to maintain the circadian rhythm of the body.
Drinking Water After Meal – Good Or Bad?
Is it good to drink water after eating? Many doctors advise not to drink water in between your meals. But Ayurveda has a contradicting fact. Ayurveda suggests that you drink water in between your meals.
When you drink water before eating, it weakens Agni’ i.e. the digestion strength. Since water is a coolant, it dilutes the gastric juice, and this is directly opposite to the digestive strength of the body. Hence, Ayurveda firmly believes that you must not drink water a few hours before having your meals. It is also said that drinking water before meals causes weakness and emaciation as well.
Now, when you drink water immediately after having your food, it directly affects the quality of the food plus the digestive strength of the body. Whatever food you eat, drinking water adds a coolant effect to it, and the chances are that you might become obese if you follow the practice regularly. Thus, Ayurveda does not support the practice of drinking water just after a meal.
The third option i.e. drinking water during a meal is quite beneficial according to Ayurveda. Doing so moistens the food you eat and helps break down the food into fine and smaller particles. And if you’re eating something oily or spicy, it also quenches your thirst. Thus, it is an ideal and healthy habit to have water in between your meal. But, it does not mean that you should drink a glass full of water in order to quench your thirst. Try sipping a minimal amount of water during your meals. Otherwise, your stomach will be full of water, and you’ll eat less amount of food comparatively.
Even if you wish to drink water during the meal, make sure the water is at the room temperature. Drinking very cold water can reduce the digestive fire, which makes the digestive enzymes inactive, and leads to the accumulation of toxic waste in the body. This also results in toxic ailments such as acid reflux or a hiatus hernia. Also, avoid consuming aerated drinks or coffee while having your food.
So drinking water after meal immediately is not advisable. Once you’re done with your meal, wait for around half an hour, and then drink water. This will quench your thirst and also give you a feeling of fullness. After an hour or two, you can drink as much water as possible as the digestion process will be over by then.
The next question that arises is in the case of people who are prescribed medicines that have to be taken before a meal. If drinking water before meals is not a healthy habit, how can those people take medicines?
Do you remember your doctor suggesting you to take medicines ‘half an hour before your meals’? Well, the answer lies there. Since you must not drink water right before having your meals, it is suggested that you must take the medicines half an hour before your meals. Also, make sure you drink water in a limited quantity.
We hope this article has clarified your doubts and the information is helpful. Share your views in the comments box below.