The World's Healthiest Foods

I hear that everyone should drink more water, but Iím worried that it will dilute my digestive juices. Is it okay to drink water while eating?

The short answer to your question is, "yes" - it's ok to drink some water while you are eating. But a better answer requires a little more understanding of digestion and how it works.

Digestion is a complicated process that depends on many factors for a healthy and comfortable outcome. These factors include: not overeating, not eating too much fat at one meal, eating in a relaxing atmosphere, and truly appreciating your food. Different areas of the digestive tract have different functions. The stomach is designed as a high-acid environment that not only makes it difficult for certain bacteria to survive onward past the stomach, but also helps certain parts of food begin the breakdown process. Too much water alongside of a meal can raise the stomach pH in some unwanted ways, and we recommend avoiding excessive water intake during a meal. What counts as "excessive"? The answer depends on many factors, including amount of food eaten and type of food eaten, but in general, 4-8 ounces spread out evenly over the course of a 20-minute meal would not problematic. But we would recommend keeping your high-level intake of water (in the 1-2 glass range) as a between-meal practice.

This page was updated on: 2004-10-14 15:19:28
© 2002 The George Mateljan Foundation