Choosing the right food and preparing and cooking healthy meals is extremely important to your overall health. Just as important is the way that the body digests the food. Optimal health is not reached without optimal digestion.
Drinking too much water during meals can interfere with the natural and necessary levels of bile and stomach acid. This may slow the digestion process and reduce the bodies ability to produce enough digestive enzymes to digest food properly. However, it is essential for the body to be properly hydrated for optimal digestion. Drinking water approximately 30 minutes before a meal is a great way to ensure that you are adequately hydrated without having the liquid interfering with natural levels of acid and bile in the stomach.
If you feel that you really need a drink while eating, avoid drinking cold drinks at this time as the body uses energy to heat up the cold water to the temperature of the body. This diverts energy that should be used for digestion. Sip on something warm or at room temperature such as herbal tea or lemon or ginger water.
Hydrating the body with water is essential. It does not matter how much water you drink, it is how much water that is actually absorbed into the cells that counts. Water depends on electrolytes for proper absorption. Electrolytes are substances that ionise when dissolved in solvents such as water. Salts are a type of electrolyte. When salt is added to water it dissolves into its component ions. These are electrically conductive and help to facilitate cell hydration. If you are drinking a lot of water but not getting enough electrolytes to compensate, your body can not hold the water and you will actually be dehydrated.
A great way to ensure the cells in your body are hydrated is to add good quality sea/rock/himalayan salt to your water. The best way to do this is to first make a saturated solution of salt water. Fill a small glass jar with filtered water and add a heaped tablespoon of salt to it. Place the lid on and give it a good shake. The salt should all dissolve and you are left with a slightly cloudy looking liquid. Add one teaspoon of this solution to 1 litre of water. Keep the jar next to where you fill up your water and do this every time. Easy!
Lemon is also great to add to your water as it contains calcium and potassium whilst acting in an alkalising manner once digested. Potassium is essential for proper cell function and helps aid in increased water absorption in the cells. When lemon is combined with salt it provides a balance for pH and fluid levels in the body.