Why you Should not drink water after meals?

There are a lot of things for which we depend on age-old sayings or simply because we have heard or read it somewhere. But when it comes to our health, we should avoid this trend of just believing heard off things and instead depend of scientific data or expert consultation. The answers to your questions should only be satiated by experts in the field and no less. It becomes all the more important to follow the rule when the question directly affects your health.

There is one such question, the answer to which is often debated over all our dining tables at some point of time. It stands as to whether one should drink water immediately after meals or not?

Before we get into the details, let us first clearly state that the answer is No. We shouldn't drink water immediately after finishing our meals, be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner.


When its your health in the talks, always have a why with you to not only get a one-word answer but an explanation to why it is so. Here, our gastro specialist doctors have solid points explained on why it is not advised to have water after food in the immediate capacity

Slows down digestion: There are certain enzymes in our stomach which helps in the digestion of food. Swift digestion of food is necessary so that the nutrients from the food can help your body function soundly. Immediately drinking water after meals dilutes these enzymes and gastric juices in the stomach and makes it difficult for the food to get digested. The food does digest as per the body mechanism but the process is slowed down creating several health issues in the long run.

Heartburn and Acidity: The dilution of digestive enzymes not only slows down the digestive process but also interferes with the stomach's process of making or releasing these enzymes. As a result, a person is bound to suffer from frequent bouts of heartburn and acidity.

Overeating and Bloating: Contrary to a layman's belief that if digestion is taking time, you will feel fuller for longer, it's quite the opposite. It tampers the natural course of digestion of food and hence the person is bound to feel hungrier which leads to overeating and bloating (as the previously had food is already in the digestive system in undigested form).

Root cause of other health problems: It's not just that food digestion is delayed, but there are certain health problems which follow. Imbalance in uric acid, high cholesterol, and even diabetes and obesity can rise out of it if followed as a regular habit.

Now that we have answered the why, let's get into the why not argument often made to justify drinking water immediately after meals. It might just come handy when someone tries to offer you water after a meal served with their share of knowledge regarding it.

Oral Hygiene: An argument is often made that having a glass of water after meal ensures oral hygiene as it cleans any left out food in the mouth or stuck between the teeth. Firstly, water alone cannot clean stuck food in the teeth. And then, even qualified dentists recommend lightly brushing your teeth (without toothpaste) followed by a rinse with plain water. You will never hear them advising on having water to clean teeth. So, it's the best to just steer clear of fancy sayings which make things look easier but can cause significant harm in the long run.

Benefits of water: Of course water has a lot of benefits. Its the elixir of life. People argue confidently that water and liquid intake helps your body to absorb the nutrients better. It is true that water is essential, but when it comes to its role in the working of your digestive system, it is the gastro specialists who know the best. And as per their research, studies, and experience, water does not aid in digestion when had immediately after meals. In fact, it does the exact opposite.

The digestion of food takes a long time in our system, so why do gastroenterologists advise having water after thirty minutes of finishing your meal? That's a valid question. By thirty minutes, the process of digestion has already started and reached its second stage and therefore it is safe to drink water then.

Every biological system and organ is very delicate and complicated to study. It is therefore best to consult experts when it comes to matters of your health. From the above discussion, along with inputs from our gastro specialists, it is hence safe to conclude that you shouldn't be drinking water immediately after meals and instead postpone it to half an hour after finishing off.