The title is not a gimmick to catch your attention, but the gyan comes from Ayurveda and nutritionists.
We all are aware that our bodies need hydration on a regular basis, everyday. Did you know that most bodies lose 100 ml of water per hour as a natural course? More loss of water then again due to exercising and excessive sweating if you live in hot, humid climates. Replenishing the lost fluids is a must if dehydration is not to set in, but let us see how to make the best out of drinking water at the right time.
Chanakya, a superb economist and a philosopher that India produced 2300 years ago also touched upon physical well-being in his works. He had this to say of water “When water is consumed half an hour before eating a meal, it is like holy nectar. When one drinks water during a meal, it works more like medicine. But drink it immediately after the meal and it works like poison”. There is much medical foresight in his words.
If you are one of those that drink water soon after the meal even before you wash or wipe your hands, time to take a re-look at the practice or rather give it up completely. Find it hard to give up the habit? You may not think so after we tell you the why and how to drink water at the right time the right way. In fact, with proper hydration habits, you may not really find it a necessity to drink water after a meal. Believe me, it’s just a habit.
Research has long-established these facts :
- Ingesting water soon after a meal leads to the dilution of gastric juices, thereby interfering with proper digestion.
- In addition, it puts pressure on the liver and pancreas to secrete more enzymes.
- When we disturb the digestion process, the nutrients are not sufficiently absorbed by the body, cravings set in and we tend to eat wrong.
It’s a vicious circle, so lets move away and form good water drinking habits, especially if you are aiming at losing weight.
The benefits of drinking water 20-30 minutes before a meal :
- It prepares the stomach to receive food.
- It activates the digestive enzymes.
- It helps produce ample saliva.
- It aids in better and faster digestion.
If you drink water during a meal, it does no harm nor does it offer any benefit. It merely liquefies your meal.
The ill-effects of drinking water soon after a meal :
- Your body is in the process of breaking down chunks of your solid meal.
- Drinking water immediately dilutes the digestive enzymes.
- The body has to work harder and longer to digest the food.
Do you know what happens to your body metabolism with improper digestion? It goes for a toss and with metabolism slowing down, little help with weight management and optimum health. And do not forget to watch your moods at such times, they can swing!
Good Water Habit Tips
ONE GLASS ON WAKING UP
- Will do you a world of good.
- It hydrates and rids your circulatory system of stubborn free radicals and residue from burned calories during the night.
A GLASS OF WATER 30 MINS BEFORE A MEAL
- Makes you feel fuller with zero calories and keeps calorie intake in check.
- Water wakes up the taste buds and moisturizes the stomach lining, clears leftover tastes from earlier meal.
DRINK WATER 1 HOUR AFTER LUNCH
- A glass of water one hour after lunch will allow the nutrients to get better absorbed by the body.
DRINK WATER WHEN YOU FEEL HUNGRY
- Sometimes thirst can be mistaken for hunger pangs in between meals.
- Drink a glass of water, you could be dehydrated. If hunger stops, you know what it is.
DRINK WATER BEFORE AND AFTER A WORKOUT
- Protects you against dehydration during and after workout from lost fluids.
- But avoid drinking immediately after workout, your stomach may cramp. Just a few seconds gap will help.
DRINK WATER BEFORE A BATH
- A glass of water before a bath will help keep the blood pressure under control.
ONE HOUR AFTER DINNER
- A glass of water one hour after dinner and before bedtime will replenish any fluid loss during the night and aid in cell renewal process during sleep.
Nutritionist and weight management consultant Kavita Devgan‘s take on Hydration and Weight Loss : Both are strongly connected. A given that water helps speed up metabolism and dehydration slows it down. Here goes how : Kidneys that are responsible for chucking out waste from the body do not get their supply of water when dehydrated. Liver then becomes the standby taking over the kidney’s job, in the process doing less of its own. Hence it metabolizes less fat hampering weight loss or even maintenance! You really can lose weight from drinking water the right way.
Kavita Devgan gives tips on ways to incorporate the required amount of water in your diet if you are one those that cannot stomach plain water every time.
- Drink water as it is
- Sip it in the form of tea, coffee (limited of course), green tea or other herbal teas
- Eat water by consuming foods with a high water content in them like watermelon, muskmelon, papaya, pineapples, apples and veggies like cucumber, lettuce, tomato, broccoli, carrots etc in your daily diet.
She advocates consuming water through foods as much as possible, since water absorbed through foods remains longer in our stomach. But the ideal way would be to combine all the three.
Drinking water mindfully is half the wellness work done. Inculcate right water drinking habits from childhood amongst the kids around you. Change your own if you are not already into it. Spread the word to the elderly even, it will do them a world of good.