Is it good or bad for digestion to drink water with meals?

When speaking about healthy eating, you have may have heard the opinion that you should not drink water with food. Some have opinions that water dilutes the gastric juice and because of this food is not digested properly. Others believe that drinking can interfere with weight gain or poor digestion.

Let’s find out how drinking water with food affects your body.

The digestion process begins when we are just about to eat, saliva is actively formed in the mouth. By chewing food, thereby mixing it with saliva, we get the necessary process of softening food for subsequent digestion processes.

The softened food then enters the stomach, where it mixes with acidic gastric juice. On average, the stomach needs about 4 hours to turn food into a liquid substance – Chyme. Then Chyme goes further into the intestines, where it gives the body various nutrients.

What about water?

Water does not stay in the stomach for a long time, 250-300 ml will leave into the intestines after about 10 minutes. So, if you drink while eating, water does not sit in your stomach. It passes through chewed food, additionally moisturizing it, and the excess quickly leaves the stomach.

Water does not lower acidity

In case it is difficult for the stomach to digest the received portion of food, it can easily excrete an additional portion of enzymes, which increases the acidity of gastric juice.

Water does not affect the rate at which food is digested

Scientists confirm that liquid leaves the stomach faster than dense elements of food and does not affect the speed of their digestion in any way.


If you drink water while eating, it is harmless and may help to soften and better digest dry snacks. However, do not drink while you are still chewing and have not swallowed your food.

What is interesting is that studies have shown that taking short breaks to drink slows down your meal and you eat less and therefore don’t overeat.

Don’t worry if you enjoy tea after meals. Research has not found any difference in the increase in gastric acidity from tea or water.

Photo by Pontus Ohlsson

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