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Why You Should Avoid Drinking With Meals

It's the exact opposite of what we have been taught. In fact, your waiter or waitress may even give you a funny look as if to say... "no, really... what would you like to drink."

Depending on your background, your family heritage may be what is also ingraining this daily practice. I'll never forget when Eric and I first started dating. Family dinners were always interesting as his Italian father could not understand why on earth I was skipping a drink with my meal and all the cheese (the cheese conversations are for another day!)

Don't get me wrong, I grew up drinking with my meals and maybe you have been taught to do the same. What you may want to consider is how it is affecting your gut and how it may just be contributing to the gas and bloating you are experiencing.

Have you ever diluted the gas in your gas tank?

You would never dream of watering down your gas for your gas tank (at least I hope not!) and we sure don't want to do that with our digestive enzymes, responsible for breaking down your foods during digestion.

Believe it or not, the first step in digestion begins with smell (think bacon first thing in the morning). The smell of food signals your body that food is coming and it is time to kick digestion into gear.

Salivary amylase, an enzyme released in the mouth at the start of digestion, begins the breakdown of foods. As food travels through the digestive tract, other enzymes such as bile (breaks down fat), pancreatin enzymes and hydrochloric acid (digests protein) join the digestive party to maximize your nutrient absorption.

Think of adding a big ole splash of water down into the mix with your food and enzymes and we begin to water down our digestive enzymes, hindering digestion.

While this may seem like a minor detail, when it comes to gut health all details matter. Making this very small change can make a big difference in not only your gas and bloating, but also your bowel movements and energy.

Aim to stop drinking 30 minutes before a meal and resume 30 minutes after. I always say to my clients, if you have a dry piece of chicken, not to worry! Small sips of water to help get food down is not going to be earth shattering, but gone are the days of glasses of milk, juice, water or other beverages with meals.

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