March 31, 2017 11:10 AM NPT
It’s common knowledge that drinking eight glasses of water day is deemed essential for the body to function properly. However, do you know when the right time to drink water is? Likewise, when we talk about food, many may be well versed on the various nutrients found in our daily diet but did you know, certain activities may negate their benefits? Various scientific researches and, even, studies based on Ayurveda agree that there are certain factors to keep in mind while eating and drinking. If you pay attention to how and when you consume food and water, it can aid your digestion. The Week brings a list of bad eating and drinking habits that are surprisingly common among people.
You take naps immediately after meals
Sleeping or even lying down immediately after taking your meals affects you badly in more than one way. When you lie down immediately after eating food, the acid present in the stomach enter into your food pipes due to the gravitational force and burn them. That’s the reason people have a burning sensation when they immediately take a nap post lunch or dinner. Also, taking a nap immediately after meals is directly related to obesity. So, if you must have a siesta, wait for at least two hours post a hearty meal and then only pull the covers.
You rush off immediately after your meals
While taking a walk for 10 minutes after half an hour of taking meals is considered good as it helps to burn calorie in a good way, taking a walk right after meals can actually cause acid reflux and indigestion. Students and adults alike at times have the habit of rushing out of the door after a couple bites but this habit can cause health hazards overtime. You want to time your meal times better if you have been heading out to college or work immediately after eating.
You take warm showers after meals
Some may consider this an urban myth but there is an actual scientific explanation behind this. It is not recommended to shower after meals because the heat, which is required to digest food, is used to maintain body temperature, as when we take a hot shower/bath the body gets hot. The blood flows to the skin to release the heat so as to maintain the body temperature. So the energy is not available to digest the food thereby causing discomfort. It is recommended to take a shower after 30 minutes of having your last meal.
You eat while standing up
Studies show that people who skip sit-down meals in the interest of saving time may be costing themselves unwanted calories. Researchers found that the “standers” downed about 30 percent more calories than the “sitters.” It’s believed that eating on your feet doesn’t register psychologically as a “real meal”, and as a result people may subconsciously grant themselves permission to eat more later on during the day.
Since people also tend to eat more quickly while standing up, the risk of indigestion has also been linked with this habit. So pull up a chair. You are more like to pace your eating when you pause to sit down and enjoy your food. A 2007 study of adults published in the ‘Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ also found that the total calorie consumption was lower when food was consumed this way.
You eat in front of a screen
We have all at one point discovered that it is incredibly easy to finish a whole bag of chips or entire row of cookies when you are mindlessly snacking while watching television or typing away on your laptop. Your electronics keep you distracted, so you’re less likely to listen to your body’s fullness cues and keep portions in check. So make a conscious effort to only eat meals without a computer or a TV playing in the background. When your meal is your only focus, you are far less likely to eat past the point of fullness.
You tend to drink a lot of water immediately after exercising
During strenuous exercise, the body demands water but too much of it at once can have the opposite effect. If you drink large amount of water immediately after working out, there tends to be fluid accumulation in the gastrointestinal area obstructing diaphragmatic activity and then affecting your breathing. It tends to be worse when the water is cold. So the best thing to do is to take it slow with two or three gulps.
Best time to drink water
After waking up
Why: While you sleep your body repairs itself, replenishes energy, and balances hormones. The result is toxins and other waste materials being released and waiting to be flushed out. Thus it’s highly recommended that you drink, at least, one glass of water after waking up to help flush unwanted toxins out of your body. After clearing your body of these toxins, you will feel great and be able to absorb more nutrients from a well-balanced breakfast. Thus, this habit is also known to help maintain healthier skin.
Further, experts think of drinking water after waking up as an alarm clock for our metabolism as well. This morning water kick starts your metabolism and has been proven to increase calorie burning potential throughout the day.
Before a meal
Why: Drinking water is a crucial tactic when it comes to weight loss. But drinking water before meals is believed to be the best way to do it. Thus drink one glass of water an hour before a meal. This apparently helps digestion but also fills you up and curbs your appetite, allowing you to shun the temptations to over indulge.
Remember that the timing is important. Many Nepalis actually have a habit of drinking water along with their meals as well. They believe in washing down the food while eating but people have no idea how difficult this can be for their digestion. Drink water an hour after the meal to allow the body to absorb the nutrients.