Should you drink water during meals or not?

“You shouldn't drink so much water at the table”, or “you haven't even touched your glass, drink a little water” here are two opposing types of advice and yet we sometimes hear them equally frequently. In reality, if no one agrees with the idea of ​​drinking water during meals, it is because the answer is much more complex than it seems, and the advantages and disadvantages are both numerous.

Also read: Still or sparkling water, which water to drink according to your needs?

Water promotes glucose absorption

According to doctor Violette Petroj, dietician nutritionist, no study really demonstrates the harmful effects that drinking water during meals could cause. “We often hear that drinking while eating dilutes digestive secretions and that digestion tends to be difficult,” she explains. But it's a common misconception: the production of digestive juices adapts depending on what you eat. »

A positive point which could end the controversy. However, water would increase the glycemic index of foods and promote the storage of fats in cells, explains the doctor. “In fact, when you ingest sweet products like dessert for example, water promotes the absorption of glucose by the body, which leads to a significant insulin peak,” explains Violette. This process would also explain the strong negative impact of sugary drinks on weight gain. Water during meals yes, but for dessert, we avoid it!

Easier digestion

Contrary to popular belief, drinking during meals helps with the digestion of dry foods and facilitates the action of digestive juices. Consumption which must be done in moderation of course: “around two small 20 cl glasses per meal”, recommends the dietician. Water, always in small doses, would also help fight constipation by making stools softer.

According to numerous studies, this consumption during digestion would also have a positive impact on the feeling of satiety, explains our expert: “water fills the stomach and you will have the feeling of being full quite quickly. » A result which can be useful in the event of a diet for example, but which has its limits: “in the same vein, the stomach also empties more quickly, and you risk being hungry only 2 hours after the meal . »

Listen to your body

Conclusion, the answer to this famous question would therefore be that everything depends on the body and the feelings of each person, provided of course that consumption is moderate and guided by common sense.

As with many things in life, Violette has only one piece of advice: “Listen to your body.” By observing your body's reaction to your water consumption, it will be easier to understand how it works and make an appropriate choice.

However, certain typical profiles have slightly more specific needs, such as people of an ectomorphic nature for example: “an individual of thin build, or one prone to frequent constipation, will be advised to drink water during meals, while on the contrary, a person lacking appetite should rather abstain and drink during the rest of the day.

Thanks to Violette Petroj, dietitian nutritionist

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