Drink your water! We hear that a lot from our doctors, health coaches (eh-hem), and other sources on dietary expertise, but should we be drinking it when eating meals?
Some theories suggest drinking several large glasses of water before meals, others say avoid water altogether. Then there are advocates for drinking water before and two hours after. Which one is correct? Honestly, all. Everyone reacts to the combination of food and water differently in their digestion tract.
What category do you fall into?
If you’re having trouble moving your bowels you need more fluid intake. There’s no doubt if you are not drinking water on a daily basis or moving your bowels at least twice a day your lacking water. Increase your intake and see if you notice a change. I suggest drinking at least 6-8 ounces of water per day. If you still have an issue check your fiber intake. Leafy greens, dates and prunes can also help get things moving smoothly.
If you’re having digestive issues during a meal, gas, bloating, pain, and you’re drinking water, try eating without drinking anything during your meal. In this case drink before a meal and wait awhile after to drink more. There are many other causes to digestive distress. Seek professional care if your issues continue.
If you’re not a big fan of drinking water at all there are a few ways you can drink it to help it go down easier.
Flavor you water. Adding lemon, lime, or orange not only flavors you water it aids digestion. Lemon will help flush your system out and keep it hydrated. Drinking it at room temperature is best. Some people like to drink lemon water first thing in the morning. Other suggestion: berries, which have good antioxidant properties and herbs such as mint, rosemary and basil. Try a combination for a unique flavor.
Herbal tea. I discovered the healing properties of herbal tea in 2014. I advocate drinking it for it’s two fold advantage: water consumption and healing qualities. Tea can be consumed hot, warm or cold. I prefer mine on the really warm side. Many teas have anti-inflammatory properties. Several teas I suggest trying are Pau D’Arco, Marshmallow, Ginger, Green, Turmeric, Dandelion, Mint, and Chamomile. Each has a good quality of it’s own. Try a few and see what you like best, see how your digestion reacts. The best part about tea, there are thousands of varieties and flavors. Most are naturally decaffeinated as well if that is something you are concerned with. I am positive you will find one that you not only enjoy drinking but one that will aid your digestion and decrease your inflammation.
Is drinking water with meals a good practice? Everyone is a bio-individual and will react in their own way to water and food consumption. Pay close attention to the signs your body gives you. Adjust where necessary and advocate for your wellbeing. See your family physician if digestive issues persist.