Water and Digestion: Does It Help?

by wfnblog on May 19, 2010

Glass of Drinking WaterWe’ve all heard the admonition to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Whether it was from a parent or from a public service announcement on the radio, we’ve been reminded constantly over the years of the importance of drinking plenty of water. While some people may prefer juice or milk over water, this still doesn’t take away from the significance of proper and adequate water intake.

Becoming properly hydrated–and maintaining it–is crucial for living a healthy lifestyle.

However, with fluid intake during meals, questions have been raised as to whether or not water will interfere with the digestion process. According to Michael Picco, MD, a gastroenterologist with the Mayo Clinic, “There’s no concern that water will dilute the digestive juices or interfere with digestion.” In fact, he goes on to say, “drinking water during or after a meal can actually improve digestion” as liquids help break down the food in the stomach.

It’s also important to note that a body that doesn’t receive enough water–staying hydrated–will face a variety of problems that can run from fairly minor to significant. Athletes and others who engage in rigorous exercise understand how vital water intake is for effective performance–before, during and after exercise.

So the next time you hear how you need to drink eight glasses of water a day or how important fluid intake is to your health, you can rest assured that this is good advice.

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