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Drinking Water with Meals

By
Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS,

Q. I have friends who won't drink anything, not even water, with dinner.  I'm not sure why, but I've heard that some people think it dilutes stomach acid and hampers digestion.  I think this is ridiculous.  What's the real story?

A. There's no reason to avoid drinking liquids with meals. Drinking water will not dilute your stomach acid or otherwise prevent you from digesting your food.  After all, some fruits and vegetables are up to 97% water and we are able to digest them just fine!  Drinking water with (or before) a meal can make you feel fuller sooner, though. People who are trying to curtail their calorie intake often use this to their advantage. If you have trouble consuming enough calories to maintain a healthy weight, you might want to limit your intake of water and other liquids close to meal time.

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