Have you heard the advice, don’t drink with a meal? The reason for this is because it dilutes the stomach acid, making it harder for the stomach to digest. It’s recommended to drink [water, of course!] 20-30 minutes prior to, or after, a meal, but not during.
For the most part, this is true. Most of the foods we eat contain enough fluid to aid digestion sufficiently. You feel the “but” coming, right? 🙂
BUT, of course there are exceptions and all it takes is a little consideration. If you are eating a meal that has a reasonable amount of fluid, spaghetti and sauce, chili, casserole, or lots of fruit and veggies, for example, you are getting enough fluid with that meal and no more is necessary while you are eating.
But what if you’re eating something dry? A sandwich (depending on what’s inside), gosh, I’m having trouble thinking of dry food… help me out… uh, popcorn, crackers? Anyway, if you’re eating a meal that’s on the dryer side, then it would actually aid your stomach to give it a bit more moisture to help it do it’s job.
You can also go to other end of the spectrum – what if you’re eating soup? It’s already about as wet a meal as you can get, so adding a glass of water wouldn’t make any difference to your stomach at all.
I find for myself, at home, I have no problem drinking around meals instead of during, but where the habit to drink with a meal is natural, occurs in a restaurant. Doesn’t everyone have a drink with their meal when eating out? So, that’s a place to be mindful of how much you drink while you’re eating.
So, drink water and drink lots of it, but drink it wisely to aid your digestive process.