Nutritionists have different opinions on this issue. Most often, we drink food out of a banal habit. According to custom, after a meal, people drink tea with sweets. The eminent American nutritionist Herbert Shelton believed that drinking water during or after a meal weakens the effect of saliva on food. Human saliva begins the process of digesting food in the mouth, and if we drink food, saliva is diluted with water, and this stage of digestion is skipped.
Further, water dilutes digestive juices, carries away useful substances intended for digestion, reduces the concentration of digestive enzymes in the stomach, which, in turn, slows down and makes digestion difficult. As a result, food not processed by gastric juices does not go through the necessary stages of digestion in the stomach, enters the lower parts of the digestive system, where it undergoes decay, fermentation and bacterial decomposition, followed by absorption of these products into the blood and, as a result, poisoning of the body and the development of diseases.
An exception may be very dry food — it can be washed down with small sips, a small amount of water. In no case, do not drink milk with food, as it interferes with digestion and causes fermentation in the intestines! When you wash down food with cold drinks (tap water, ice drinks), you stimulate peristalsis, as a result of which the time the food stays in the stomach is significantly reduced, and you will very soon want to eat again, and undigested food enters the intestines, where putrefactive processes occur that cause gas formation, constipation and disease.
In no case should you drink fatty foods with cold drinks. After all, when the temperature drops, the fat freezes, in our case, it will freeze in the digestive system.
The same can be said about ice cream and a cold cocktail: if it is consumed immediately after a meal, then the food will also enter the intestines undigested.
But if you drink before meals, you can lose weight! This is an added bonus besides the health benefits. Drinking water before a meal removes weakened digestive juices from the stomach, activates digestion and satisfies the first bout of hunger, which leads to satiety with less food. It is recommended to drink 10-15 minutes before meals. If you drink juice, then it is better in 25-30 minutes.
As for how much you can drink after eating, everything directly depends on the composition of the food you eat, since the duration of the food in the stomach depends on the speed of its digestion. For example, fruits are digested rapidly, and if desired, you can drink after 20 minutes. After «slow» carbohydrates (bread, cereals, rice, pasta, etc.), it is recommended to drink after 2-3 hours. After heavy protein foods that take a long time to digest (meat, fish) — after 4-5 hours. But, you see, these rules are difficult to follow. The main thing is not to drink food immediately.
If you have a desire to quench your thirst, then you can be advised to rinse your mouth and take 2-3 small sips.
If you have decided to get rid of the habit of drinking food, then first you need to stop drinking AFTER eating. Drinking DURING meals during the transitional phase can be left. But you need to learn, or rather accustom yourself, to properly «chew» the liquid in your mouth (as if mixing it with saliva) and only after that — swallow. As the Chinese teach, food must be drunk (chewed to a liquid state), and liquid must be eaten.
By the way, all wild animals first drink and only after a while eat. Well, their instincts certainly do not deceive! If you really can’t eat without drinking, try to limit yourself to a small amount of plain water or green herbal tea without sugar.