It is often said that you should not drink water with meals as it dilutes the digested juices and absorption is affected. On deeper investigation there is no scientific evidence to support this theory. But on the contrary, the evidence of taking water with meals in digestion exists. Eminent Israeli scientist Ephraim katchalski–katzir ended the controversy with findings that proteins and enzymes function more efficiently in solutions of lower viscosity. Proteins need adequate water in their immediate environment to diffuse and work efficiently. In simple terms, when there is protein present in meals, which is mostly the case, it needs water for absorption.
We cook pulses in water already. Different common advises on the subject have gained popularity over time. Once, one such popular advice was- ‘eat salads before meals and then there is no need to drink water as salad contains upto 90% water.’ With time people started circulating the advise only partially just quoting ‘don’t drink water with meals.’ Thus, the salad advise was missed and water was also ignored, as a result dehydration is occurring in almost all people now.
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When a meal is processed without water it can form number of unwanted byproducts like uric acid, histamine production and mucus production. When we are not drinking enough water the reserve water from body is used for digestion which creates constipation on one hand and, affect the part of body from which reserve water is borrowed. According to Ayurveda, drinking water before meals is not healthy as it weakens digestive system and can causes unwanted weight loss. It adds that drinking water after meals will make one gain unhealthy weight.
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Ayurveda advises water to be drank with meals, sipping it in between. It is recommended though that the water isn’t cold. Apart from digestive benefits of drinking water with the meals, there are other benefits too. Drinking water with meals slows down the speed of eating, as well as it renews the taste receptors to go afresh. There will also be less chances of overeating while drinking water. So, enjoy the water with meals to fast-track health.
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