Is it true that you should not drink with meals?

There is a recommendation, which says that you should not drink anything during meals. And if you do, it will lead to "dilution of stomach's gastric juices" and cause impaired digestion, hence also worse absorption of food. It is worth considering whether this assumption has any confirmation in hard facts, or if it is derived from the so-called "folk wisdom", which, aside from its charm, have no practical application at all.

Undisputed theory

Almost everyone is familiar with the theory of inadvisable drinking during eating. Its substantiation seems simple and logical: introduction of additional fluids to the stomach during a meal causes dilution of digestive juices and thus complicate the processes of decomposition of food. As a result, food is held in stomach for longer, or goes farther into gastrointestinal tract in an insufficiently digested form. The result is not only lower absorption of nutrients, but also digestive problems such as bloating and gas. This is the theory. And how about practice?

Problematic assumptions

Although at first glance there is some logic in the recommendation against drinking during meals, after more thorough examination it turns out to be only ostensible. It is easily noticeable when juxtaposed with specific practical examples. And so real enthusiasts can be challenged to eat a bowl of almonds without sipping a drop of water. Pretty soon they will find it impossible, or at least extraordinarily difficult. Nuts and seeds are "dry by nature", and have water content at the level of a few per cent. The situation looks quite different in the case of fruits. These, in turn, consist mainly of water (its content reaches 90%). Doesn't it dilute gastric juices and doesn't it interfere with digestion and absorption? Well, is "not-sipping" equally justified in the case of meals consisting of almonds, as it is in the case of fruits? And what about soups? After all, their composition can be compared to "dish mixed with a drink".

To sum up

As you can see, the recommendation of separation of meals and drinks loses its raison d'être. Most important, however, is that there are no scientific results that would confirm its validity. This dogma is derived from conjecture and speculation with no firm confirmation in facts. So you can have a drink to your meal, but what you should pay attention to is what you drink, since vast majority of drinks available on the market contains plenty of sugars which negatively affect health and physique.