Why We Wait 30 Minutes After Eating to Drink

This video is a visual of why bariatric patients should wait 30 minutes after eating to drink

Bariatric surgery is not just about losing weight. It also helps us to understand our bodies and make better food and life choices. Weight loss surgery requires us to keep a tab on everything we put into our mouths, whether it is food we eat or even liquids we drink. It is a well-known fact that we should not drink with our meals or even immediately after eating. A general rule of thumb is that weight loss surgery patients must wait for 30 minutes after a meal before drinking. But, why? What is the rationale behind this?

If you don’t wait 30 minutes after eating to drink it dilutes digestive Enzymes

One reason for having to wait 30 minutes to drink after eating is to prevent the diluting of digestive enzymes. These enzymes are vital to the process of digestion. Watering down these enzymes disrupts the process and can cause problems like acidity and heartburn. This improper digestion also makes us feel hungry even after eating enough food. This can make an already challenging weight loss journey even more difficult.

If you don’t wait 30 minutes after eating to drink it reduces absorption of nutrients

For the body to absorb food’s nutrients, the food must be broken down by the digestive enzymes. This takes time.  Drinking water shortly after eating a meal pushes the food faster through the digestive system before the food is completely broken down. This makes it difficult for our bodies to absorb the nutrients efficiently. When we aren’t correctly absorbing the limited food we eat, we run a real risk of nutrient deficiencies.

If you don’t wait 30 minutes after eating to drink it leaves feelings of hunger

After bariatric surgery, we have smaller stomach pouches and cannot eat as much as before. The food we eat needs to stay in the pouch until our nerves trigger us that we are full.  As liquid is added to the pouch, the food flows through the stomach quicker than our nerves can trigger us that we are full. It is understandable that as the stomach gets empty, we can start feeling hungry again. So, as our pouch empties out, there is more room and we eat more calories.

Drinking & Eating

Water is great for us, but we still need to wait 30 minutes after eating to drink.
Water is great for us, but we still need to wait 30 minutes after eating to drink.

Water works wonders for our bodies. But, it is not a good idea to fill up on fluids right around a meal. In fact, after a weight loss surgery, we should not drink water right before the meals either. It helps us absorb the food better and digest it slowly at its own pace. Do not put it under undue stress by drinking a lot of water around meals.

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