Drinking water: is it better before or after a meal?

Verified on 07/12/2022 by PasseportSanté
Boire de l'eau : c'est mieux avant ou après le repas ?

Drinking water is essential for the body to function properly. It is recommended to drink at least 1.5 liters of water a day, and up to 2.5 liters a day.

But what are the best times of day to drink water, and is it better to drink before, during or after meals? We answer!

Drinking before, during and after meals: what do the experts have to say?

The question of whether to drink before, during and after a meal is highly controversial among specialists.

Some experts recommend avoiding drinking with meals. According to Jessie Inchauspé, biochemist and author of Faites votre glucose révolution, drinking water with meals should be avoided, especially if the meal is rich in starch or carbohydrates, as this can increase peak glucose levels by up to 33%.

For other specialists, drinking during meals can, on the other hand, be beneficial, since liquids allow better fluidification and de’glutition of dry foods.

So what should you do? Most specialists recommend avoiding drinking 30 minutes before a meal, right through to the end. And for those who feel the need to drink during meals, it’s best to drink small quantities.

The best times of day to drink water

In general, you should drink water whenever you feel the need. However, here are the best times of day to drink water:

  • Waking up: as the body has not received water for several hours, it is important to drink water to rehydrate the organs. Drinking water in the morning also wakes up the body, eliminates toxins and stimulates the digestive system.
  • Before meals: as we said, this can aid digestion, but only if the water is consumed 30 minutes before the meal.
  • Before showering/bathing: drinking water before showering or bathing can lower blood pressure.
  • Before bed: drinking water before bed helps prevent dehydration caused by long hours of sleep.