Drink Water Before or During Meals?

Experts agree, drinking water throughout the day is the way to go.

By: Kate Kyle

There are several claims regarding water and weight loss out there. Some will tell you to chug water right before you eat, others claim that drinking during meals interferes with digestion. It turns out there are a few tips you can employ, to make drinking water an effective part of your weight loss strategy.

Drink Water Throughout The Day


Key to healthier new year is drinking water not just at meals, but throughout the day

Doctors and dietitians alike recommend replenishing fluids throughout the day. Drinking water only with meals is not likely to get you the recommended 9-12 cups per day. However, taking in a good amount of fluids before a meal has been shown to help curb mealtime calorie consumption.

A study conducted by Virginia Tech in 2010 showed that drinking 16 oz of water before meals can help dieters avoid additional calories at the table. In 2015, a study published by University of Birmingham students in Obesity reported similar results when participants drank 2 cups of water 30 minutes prior to eating. The Wall Street Journal even reported that drinking water before meals could help “counteract the sudden drop in blood pressure that often occurs after eating in older people.”

Some dieticians claim that drinking water during meals can inhibit proper digestion, but most MD’s disagree. According to the Mayo Clinic “There’s no concern that water will dilute the digestive juices or interfere with digestion. In fact, drinking water during or after a meal actually aids digestion.”

It’s worth noting however, that what dieticians seem most concerned with when it comes to drinking water with meals, is the tendency to use water to “wash things down” and skip out on the other important parts of the digestive process. In an interview with Prevention.com, Ali Miller, RD, CDE integrative dietitian and owner of Naturally Nourished suggested that being relaxed while eating, chewing more, and incorporating bitter foods were all important to proper digestion.

One of the more subtle benefits of drinking water at mealtimes is the effect on your wallet. Opting for those two glasses of water as an appetizer, and sipping on a third during your meal can save you a bundle on both appetizers and beverages.

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