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How long after eating do you need to wait to drink water?

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I don't know if this is a "food" question, but I am curious.

How long (30 minutes? an hour?) is best to wait after you're done eating to drink water...also if anyone knows why you need to wait a certain amount of time, that'd be great too.

As you can see I am pregnant but I think it is probably the same for pregnant ladies as for everyone else. Smile

Edited Aug 01 2008 01:37 by coach_k
Reason: moved to a more appropriate forum
22 Replies (last)

I have never ever heard this before lol

I usually drink water before, during, and after meals.  I've never heard of holding off for any reason

I have heard several times that if you drink water during or immediately after eating it interferes with digestion.

I believe that may be an old wive's tale.  I've been drinking water with my meals for my entire life and don't seem to have any digestion problems.  Not that I would down a 16oz bottle immediately after -- but that would lead to an uncomfortably distended stomach -- shouldn't affect digestion.

I found this link from the Mayo Clinic stating that there is no problem with drinking water during and after meals. 

Btw, I'm pregnant too. :)  I drink water constantly before, during, and after meals.  I really don't think it makes a difference.  Congrats on your pregnancy! 
Original Post by jazzygal:

I have heard several times that if you drink water during or immediately after eating it interferes with digestion.

 I remember something about that too.  Perhaps it was about watering down the digestive juices that break down our food.... IDK, but I can back you up on hearing something about it. 

Hmmm, well I guess that's better if you don't need to wait! I find it annoying to wait after meals when I'm thirsty. I have been doing that for a while because I've heard it a few times.

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I've heard, too, about not drinking while you're eating.  Seems it had something to do with digesting food.  But I don't adhere to it - I drink whatever I want while eating.

Just remember that your body needs more water when you're pregnant.  If you're thirsty, please don't wait to drink-it might mean you're dehydrated. 

Here's a link as to how much water you should consume during pregnancy.  Water helps your baby get the nutrients he or she needs and helps prevent bladder infections and constipation.  I wouldn't worry about whether it inhibits digestion right now, just make sure your baby is getting what he/she needs. Smile

The food you eat has a high percentage of water already present. Foods like soups are a combination of liquids and solids.   Dishes are often served with liquid sauces.  Drinking water (or wine or other liquids) and eating at the same time does nothing adverse to your digestion and may even aid it.....

If you're pregnant you'll probably need to drink rather more water than other people.  Producing amniotic fluids and providing your baby with a good blood supply requires good hydration. 

Enjoy a few glasses of water with dinner.
I've heard the more water you drink after eating, the faster you digest your food.  The more weight/volume in your stomach = the faster your body pushes it on through.  Don't know how true it is, but my A&P teacher told us that.

if i drink a glass or 2 of water before i have a meal then i get full a lot faster. ill eat until im pretty full, and i might feel uncomfortable. but usually by the end of the meal, i have to pee, and i feel really good again!


According to "Eat This And Live" by Don Colbert, MD, in his book it states not to drink cold drinks with food. It dampens and dilutes hydrochloric acid, digestive juices and enzymes. It goes on to say that it is similar to starting a campfire and then pouring water on it. However, a cup of hot organic tea may benefit digestion. (not hot enough to scald mind you!) It does not tell how long to wait before having something to drink! I hope this helps! Laughing

as with everything else in life, let common sense apply. dilute your stomach acid enough during or after eating and it cannot do it's job. not to forget that stomach acid is your defense against pathogens entering our gut and causing major problems...  kind or relates to how prolonged stress decreases stomach acid production, which eventually leads to things like IBD/IBS from pathogens from poor food entering the intestines.

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Hi Jazzygal,

You should wait 1 1/2hrs to 2hrs before drinking anything after you eat.  You are right drinking directly after you eat will interrupt the proper digestion process.  Liquids coat the stomach when we consume them which would prevent the natural digestive fluid from doing what its suppose to. I'm not a doctor or anything but I try to stay healthy and my nutritionist gave me tons fo advice. Also you should drink 15-30 minutes before you eat. This may satisfy your thirst ahead of time. I would say definately stay away for salty food it only makes the time to drink seem further and further away.

Brenda, my doc said 1 -1 1/2 hours also, but he said I could drink up to 5 minutes before I eat!  I have the same problem at night though, after I eat I often forget to drink, because it gets so late.  Some people have told me that they only have to wait 30 minutes.  I asked my doc and he said that the longer you go without drinking the longer the food stays in your pouch and the you stay fuller longer.


I intentionally drink water  before during and after meals. It helps me to feel full faster and longer, thus helping me to eat less. I never heard you should not.

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Ayurvedic healthcare recommends half an hour to 45 minutes before and after eating a meal. Ayurveda is world renowned for it's powerful implications and rejuvenative properties. It is the best and most holistic resource of healthcare knowledge out there in my opinion and is available to each and every individual at a very affordable price from many different sources. 

I've heard this too!  YOu can drink 15 min before and 45 min after meals.  It's not that water interfere's with digestion, it actually can speed up digestion, leaving you feel hungry ealier.  So if you have a protein packed meal and drink water right before or after then the water can actually dilute proteins somehow?  I can't quite remember.  

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