Sit at the dinner table, and you'd find yourself invariably extending your hand to the glass of water on the side of your plate. While you may think it's absolutely necessary to have a glass of water during your meals, the truth is this habit of yours might be damaging your health. Read on to find out how.
1. It Dilutes your Gastric Juices - When the digestive acids (acids responsible for the digestion and breakdown of food as well as for killing infectious agents ingested with food) present in your stomach are diluted with water, they bring about a slowdown in the functioning of your entire digestive system. This slowdown results in food remaining lodged in your stomach for a longer period than normal, thereby causing indigestion.
Additionally, the reaction caused by the dilution of water and stomach acids can give rise to cramps in your tummy.
2. It Reduces the Saliva in your Mouth - The same thing that happens to the acids in your stomach, happens to your saliva as well. Water dilutes the saliva, which stops the breakdown of food in your mouth. Also, your saliva is responsible for stimulating your stomach to release digestive enzymes and prepare itself for the process of digestion. By drinking water with your meals, such signals sent by your saliva to your stomach become much weaker. All these together can make digestion very difficult.
3. It Causes Acidity - Studies show that drinking water with your meals not only leads to the dilution of digestive enzymes, but also brings about a reduction in the secretion of digestive enzymes. This causes the undigested food in your stomach to leak into the lower part of your oesophagus (food pipe), causing acidity and heart burn.
4. It increases insulin Production - Sipping on water in the middle of lunch (or any other meal for that matter) causes a spike in your insulin levels just as glycaemic foods (foods with high starch or sugar content such as honey, potatoes, white bread, rice to name a few) would. When your body is unable to digest food properly, it usually tends to convert the glucose filled part of that food into fat and stores it, reason why your blood sugar levels see an upsurge.
5. It Adds to your Weight - Since drinking water causes an increase in insulin levels in your body (as the food you eat is converted to fat), it can result in the piling of extra weight on your body. This is because a weak digestive system is one of the major causes behind obesity.
Try having your meals with less salt and drink water 30 minutes before each meal to control your thirst when you're eating. This can help you in controlling the negative effects that drinking water with your meals can have on your health.