Is drinking water with meals healthy? This is a common doubt many people have. While our elders forbade us from sipping on water while eating, the doubt continues to linger. A common belief is that drinking water in between the meals interferes with the digestion process, dilutes the nutrients from the food, and causes bloating. But, what actually happens inside your body when you drink water while having your meals?

Here’s the Fact

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Drinking water along with meals is not a good habit. Here’s the research explains, what happens when you drink water with a meal:

  • It softens the food and hampers the activity of saliva and other digestive juices.
  •  The digestive juices are diluted and fail to break down food completely.
  • The water washes down the food from the stomach to the intestines before it could get digested by the gastric juices.

All these factors make drinking water during meals harmful for proper digestion. But this is not the complete picture. You can avail some health benefits, if you consume water at a proper time during a meals.

What is the right time to drink water during a meal?

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While drinking water in between a meal is not a good habit, the time frame you drink water in the course of a meal and the temperature of the water are the factors that matter.

Here’s how - Drinking water 20-30 minutes before and after a meal  - is the right way to attain optimum health:

  • Drinking warm water 30 mins before a meal controls hunger and prevents overeating during the meal.
  • Drinking water 30 mins after a meal aids better digestion, increases your metabolic rate, and helps in weight loss.

With all the aforementioned details, also keep in mind to always prefer having warm water with the meal. This is because drinking cold water during meal restricts the digestion process, upsets the normal body temperature, and makes it harder to digest nutrients such as fats.

Stay informed to stay healthy!

For any query related to dietary concerns, you can consult a Dietician at

About the Author

Neha Garg

Neha Garg is a clinical dietician and health writer with an outstanding academic and clinical background. A post-graduate from the prestigious Lady Irwin College, she was also a Delhi University topper. With a work experience spanning more than a decade, she has worked for renowned healthcare organizations such as Indraprastha Apollo Hospital and HealthifyMe. An avid reader and health enthusiast, she also develops customized diet plans along with personal diet consultations. Presently, she is working with EbixCash as a senior medical writer.

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