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Does drinking water while eating pose danger to the body?

Claim: A Twitter user claimed drinking water while eating is not good for the body.

DUBAWA’s findings, through studies and experts’ positions, show that drinking water while eating is not bad for the body. 

Full Text

A Twitter user, Sirwoley (@SirWoley) recently claimed that drinking water while eating is not good for the body. He advised that water should either be taken 30 minutes before a meal or an hour after. 

“Just found out drinking water while eating isn’t so good for the body. So You either Take water 30 minutes before a meal or 1 hour after Eating,” he tweeted. 

Screenshot of the claim.

 One Twitter user, ayo bami  (@olufowose_ayo) commented affirming the claim but noted it’s difficult to practice.  Another user, Sweet Nectar (@Lily_retta), however, requested the source of the claim

“This is actually true but it’s easier said than done,” @izu_sylva commented.

ODINAKA (@SolomonOdinaka2), another Twitter user, shared the same claim.

The screenshot of the claim by @SolomonOdinaka

This Tweet by @SirWoley, who has more than 18,000 followers, attracted 28 retweets and 66 likes since the claim was shared while that of  @solomonOdinaka2 got no reactions.

Due to the virality of the claim and the controversies surrounding it, DUBAWA chose to verify this claim.

Verification

DUBAWA first conducted a keyword search which showed that USA Today fact-checked a similar claim in 2020, where it refuted the claim.

Healthline, a popular health blog, explained that there are three main arguments people make to claim that drinking liquids with meals is bad for your digestion.

The first argument is that drinking acidic or alcoholic beverages with meals causes the saliva to dry up, making it more difficult for the body to digest food. Saliva flow is reduced by 10–15 percent with each unit of alcohol consumed. However, this only applies to hard liquor, not the modest alcohol content of beer and wine, according to a study by PubMed Central.

The second argument is that drinking water with meals dilutes stomach acid and digestive enzymes, making digestion more difficult. According to a study by PubMed Central, liquids pass through your digestive system more quickly than solids, so they have no effect on the digestion speed of solid food.

The third common reason against drinking liquids with meals is that the combination speeds up the passage of solid foods through the stomach.

Similarly, a study refuted the claim that the human body’s digestive system is incapable of adapting its secretions to the consistency of a meal.

Meanwhile, an Indian blog, Entertainment Times, reported that water between meals is bad for the body.

Due to the differences in opinion, we sought the opinion of experts.

Experts’ Opinion

Adedeji Moses, a clinical nutritionist who is the  Lead Director of Adedamz Nutrition Consult, revealed that the human body is perfect for drinking water either during or after a meal.

“Whether you drink your water before, during or after a meal, it doesn’t matter. The time you drink your water when eating your food has nothing to do with an individual’s digestive process,” he said.

Emmanuel Oyebamiji, a dietitian-nutritionist at University College Hospital, Ibadan, also said that water can be taken while eating.

“Though we have a school of thought that says when you take water while eating, it occupies where food should stay, but it is false, you can have your water in-between your meal,” he explained.

Conclusion

Studies have shown that drinking water while eating is not bad for the body. Experts have also revealed that it doesn’t matter if water is taken before, during or after eating. Hence, the claim is false. 

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