Weekly Ways to Replenish Yourself

The kitchen is my meditation room. There I make the food that will allow me to thrive, nourish my family's health, delight friends, and hopefully inspire you to try the same. The Archives section of Replenish PDX houses the newsletters where I write about recipes, nutrition information and the wellspring of reflections that come from those kitchen meditations. With these words, my hope is to bring you deeper into the connection with food your body and your understanding of how you feel and function. This is where you get to take it all home.

water with meals… good or bad?

Posted on: May 28th 2015

It’s no secret. The message is clear. . .

Drink more water.

The facts are there to support the dictate:

  • up to 70% of your body is water (depending on your age, gender and health status)
  • nearly half your brain is water
  • hunger is often a mis-signaling for thirst
  • with age, water content decreases (meaning drinking more water can actually slow the aging process!).

But do I drink enough?

How much is enough?

Is quality a concern?

And when should I drink it?

Water is one of the most significant factors affecting health.

It’s one of those topics I find best to think about incrementally.

If I consider the safety of our drinking water, the water I used to shower this morning, the container from which I drink my water when I workout, and how much water I’m drinking through the day all at the same time, it’s daunting.

So I’ve approached my relationship to water over time, addressing the how, the why and the what as I am ready.

Today, I’m ready to consider the when.

When should you drink water and how does the timing affect your digestion?

Truth be told, I naturally have no desire to drink when I eat.

So much so that I often forget to serve my family water with meals.

I’m only reminded that others want water with their food by their intermittent leaps up from the table to visit the filter in the kitchen.

I had always assumed that my distaste for drinking and eating at the same time came from an instinct that the two were misaligned. And while this may be true for my digestive system, it holds no credence.

Legend is that drinking water with a meal will dilute stomach acidity.

The dilution of stomach acidity then inhibits our ability to breakdown foods, particularly proteins (and a whole host of issues can ensue from there). But it turns out that water won’t significantly affect the digestive juices and therefore will not interfere with digestion.

In fact, the opposite may be true!

Water consumed before meals stimulates the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis, the involuntary contraction and relaxation of muscles that moves food through the GI tract.

Some research shows that drinking water boosts metabolism for up to an hour after being consumed. And consider this: drinking water will help balance weight!

Your body’s signals for satiety are based on many factors. One of the most simple anatomical factors is the expansion of the stomach. That can be achieved with both food and water.

You may be surprised how many other health conditions can virtually disappear with the introduction of more water into the diet.

These include heartburn, arthritis, chronic pain (back and otherwise), irritable bowel issues, high blood pressure and more. Its surprising, but ultimately it makes perfect sense! Look at the importance of water in your body:

  • water moistens the tissues throughout the body
  • water helps to regulate body temperature
  • water assists in the protection of our body organs
  • water prevents constipation
  • water lessens the burden on the kidneys and liver, flushing toxins out of the body
  • water lubricates your joints
  • water dissolves minerals and other nutrients, making them more accessible to the cells
  • water carries nutrients and oxygen to the cells

Water, water, water!

But usually the tricky part is not the knowing that you should drink more (I think we all know that), but instead the action of doing it.

To inspire, I’m sharing some of my favorite tips to help you include more water in your daily routine (ten tips plus one bonus to be exact).

Click here to grab your copy of my Top 10 Tips to Drink More Water

   Print it and pin it so you’re reminded through the day. (hey, on your water cooler or next to your kitchen sink would be a good place!)
Winning with Water Action Step!
Pick one tip that’s new to you and give it a whirl for a few days and watch your water intake increase.

What’s your secret to foster drinking water through the day?

I’d love to hear it (I’m always looking for ways to help clients heighten their hydration).

Share your tip with me at the ReplenishPDX Facebook Page or let me know which tip you plan to try.

Let’s clink glasses on it (of water that is!).



P.S. There’s a heck of a lot going on this week (I know, I know!) but there’s one more thing that I really don’t want you to miss.

The Future of Healing Online Conference begins on June 22nd. It’s one of the largest online gatherings of health and wellness experts. Seriously, it’s BIG and I’m truly honored to be part of it.

Join me for my conversation with Marc David of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating on the Future of Healing and the role of functional nutrition in that mission.

Click here to register now so you don’t miss it!