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How Long Should You Wait To Drink Water After Eating?

The first thing we tend to reach out for once we're done with our food is water. It's such a compulsory habit for most of us, that we can't seem to gulp our food down, feeling an unquenchable thirst.

Although water is great, a proven elixir of life and should be consumed as often as possible, there are certain particular times we should avoid consuming it. One of them is directly after we have had our food.

It might seem a little impossible to follow this rule at first, but it gets easier as we start making it a routine. After reading all this, there might be one question lingering at the back of your head, the only thing that will drive you into taking the decision to not drink water directly after consuming food, and that is "Why?"

So, why should one not drink water instantly after eating food?

First of all, it's not just after food that water should be avoided, it's a threefold process. Water should be avoided before food, during food and after food.

One should wait at least half an hour after eating dinner to drink water. This is because it takes around two hours for us to digest our food. The food goes through our oesophagus to our stomach, then to our colon, before being finally flushed out of our body.

There is a certain fluid-solid proportion that needs to be maintained while our body is digesting the food. This balance is disturbed when we consume water directly after eating food as it tampers with the natural time it takes to digest food and makes us feel hungrier faster than usual, leading to consuming more calories than usual and bloating.

It is recommended that we have a 30-minute gap between consuming food and water. In these 30 minutes, our bodies would have entered the next stage of digestion, and drinking water wouldn't tamper with the process of digestion.

Drinking water directly after eating food also dilutes the digestive juices and enzymes that are extremely important in the process of digestion and lesser secretion of these enzymes leads to an increase in the acidic levels in our body leading to heartburn and acidity.

While digesting the food, certain essential nutrients are absorbed by the body; however, drinking umpteen amount of water directly after every meal tampers with that process and therefore bare minimum nutrients are absorbed during the process of digestion.

This habit of drinking water directly after every meal, not only affects digestion, but also the quality of the food we consume. Moreover, water is a coolant and naturally adds a coolant effect to all the kinds of food we consume.

This is really horrible for our bodies as it makes us obese. The obesity can also be explained in the terms that water hampers with the process of digestion which leaves a lot of undigested food in the system. The glucose from the undigested food stored in our body is converted into fat, which remains in our body.

Due to this, there is an increase in the level of insulin in our body which causes the blood sugar levels to rise. A rise in the blood sugar levels could lead to diseases like diabetes and obesity.

Apart from obesity and diabetes, gulping down water directly after food also increases the uric acid levels, LDL cholesterol, VLDL and triglycerides.

1. Uric Acid:

An increase in the uric acid levels leads to knee pains, shoulder pains and even pain in one's wrist joints. It also leads to swelling up of ankles, elbows, wrists and so on.

2. LDL (Low-density Lipoproteins):

This is also known as bad cholesterol. As mentioned above, the undigested food in our body is converted into fat leading to an increase in the levels of bad cholesterol in the body.

Moreover, when there is an increase in the level of the LDL cholesterol, it becomes extremely hard for the blood to flow through the veins and to the heart. This increases the blood pressure in one's body and if this happens on a regular basis, it could lead to a heart attack.

3. VLDL (Very Low-density Lipoproteins):

VLDL is worse than LDL. VLDL in our body increases due to improper digestion and if prolonged or the level of VLDL increases, it could be life-threatening.

4. Triglycerides:

Undigested food due to consuming water directly after meals leads to an increase in the levels of triglycerides. Triglycerides are basically the main components of natural fats and oils.

Therefore, high triglyceride levels may lead to heart risks and extremely high levels could even stop the blood supply to the brain or the heart completely.

Moreover, some people tend to drink ice cold water after eating food which completely kills the digestive fire leading to an accumulation of undigested food in our body, increasing risks of heart failure, diabetes and obesity.

Therefore, water is an essential component in our life and one should not consume any less than 8 litres of water in a day; however, there is a time and place for everything.

For water, it might be different as there tends to be time for drinking water throughout the clock, just not before, after or with meals. It ruins the entire digestive system and the system of digestion is much more important than eating food itself.

Moreover, digestion is linked directly to having a healthy and happy life and we should take as many steps as possible to maintain our health at least through the process of digestion. Ruining our health through something that is one of the most important things in our life does not seem the way to go.

Therefore, we suggest, through the means of this article that keep yourself hydrated at all times and drink as much water as possible; just hold on for thirty minutes after, and before eating food to drink water.

One's health comes above everything and this little step of breaking one's habit to consume water thirty minutes post the meal helps a great deal. Therefore, drink water, a lot of it, just not directly after eating food.

Read more about: diet food water diabetes obesity health
Story first published: Tuesday, July 10, 2018, 17:30 [IST]
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