Countless people are accustomed to drinking water during their meals. The problem is, gulping down a glass (or two) of water while you’re eating significantly impedes the digestive function of your stomach. It also causes insulin levels to fluctuate like crazy.
If you’re drinking water with your meals, you’re not alone. People all over the world do it, not realizing that it’s really doing more harm than good. I mean, how else are you supposed to wash your food down? While a sip or two is acceptable, drinking any more water than this during a meal should be avoided.
Our bodies are designed to take care of themselves (to an extent), and there is so much happening that we don’t see. Our stomachs, for example, know when we begin eating and release their own digestive juices to assist in the process. If you happen to drink water at the same time you’re eating, you dilute these natural digestive juices and impede their ability to break down the food you’re eating.
When you drink water with your meal, it gets absorbed by the intestinal walls of the stomach. This absorption carries on until it becomes concentrated to the point that the digestive juices can start to digest your food. Drinking water with meals causes the concentrated digestive fluids to become thicker than the food in your stomach, leaving less gastric juice to digest what you’ve eaten. This causes undigested food to leach into your system through the walls of the stomach.
There are several things that can result from drinking water with a meal. For one, you’re likely to experience an onslaught of acid reflux and/or heartburn. It can also make your insulin levels skyrocket. When more insulin is released into the system, the more likely you are to store fat in the body.
If you’re accustomed to drinking water with your meals, it’s really not difficult to make the switch. There’s a couple things you can do that will help you avoid drinking too much water with your meals.
For one, slow down your eating. Many of us rush through meals without even thinking about eating. Take the time to really chew each bite and do so throughout your entire meal. This will help stimulate the natural digestive process, making you less apt to reach for that glass of water.
Another thing you can do is ensure your food isn’t too salty. Not only is loading your food up with salt unhealthy, but can make you extremely thirsty while you’re eating. Added salt will trigger your natural instinct to drink water and in turn, will hinder the digestive process.
If you just can’t bring yourself not to drink water with your meals (old habits sometimes die hard), just ensure the water you are sipping on is warm or at room temperature. This will help improve digestion, rather than make food more difficult to digest.
While we’re on the subject of water, something else that’s extremely important to keep in mind is ensuring you’re drinking filtered water. While you don’t want to drink water with your meals, you do want to make sure you’re drinking enough every day. But you don’t want to be drinking water straight from the tap.
When you drink tap water, you’re ingesting a lot more than pure H2O. The water you’re getting from your tap has travelled a good distance to get to your kitchen sink. It works its way through hidden pipelines, picking up contaminants, run-off, pollutants, and pesticides along the way.
Yes, your water has been purified with chlorine and ammonia. Then it’s given a boost of fluoride for good measure. Water purification is necessary, or you run into a host of problems seen in countless third world countries. Are these potential carcinogens something you really want to be giving to yourself and your family?
The Environmental Working Group has conducted several studies that look at the quality of water in the US. One study looked at the drinking water in the country and found that almost 85 percent of the population is drinking tap water contaminated with over 300 different compounds.
According to the EWG, when Americans “drink a glass of tap water, they’re also getting a dose of industrial or agricultural contaminants linked to cancer, brain and nervous system damage, developmental defects, fertility problems, and hormone disruption.”
Bottled water isn’t much better. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in most cases, bottled water isn’t always safer than tap. Not only is it often no cleaner than the water that comes out of dirty pipes, but it’s incredibly harmful to the environment. Were you aware that around 3 liters of water are needed to produce 1 liter? Then there’s the millions of barrels of oil required to produce the plastic bottles that end up in the ocean and filling up landfills.
Filtered water is 100 percent the best bet for consuming the water your body needs to survive. There are several options for filtering your water. One of the easiest is to simply get a water pitcher that has a filtration system built into it. You can take them with you, and they typically do a good job of filtering out the harmful chemicals your body doesn’t need.
Filters that attach directly to your faucet are also a way to ensure you’re drinking filtered water. These countertop filters are cost effective and don’t take up much counter space. Under-the-counter filters can be more costly, but do an excellent job of filtering out harmful contaminants. Since they’re also installed under the counter, they don’t take up space, making them perfect for small-sized kitchens.
Even government scientists generally agree that several of the chemicals found in tap water can pose serious risks even at low concentrations. You can avoid this by forgoing tap (and bottled) water altogether. A water filtration system will ensure what you’re drinking won’t make you or your family sick.