We should not drink water for half an hour before we start eating our food. We should not drink water in between while eating the food. We should not drink water immediately after we finish eating the food. And, we should not drink water for at least half an hour after we finish eating the food.
Some people drink one glass of water and then start eating their food. These people will not have their food digested properly. It is because of the following reason. We have seen that the hydrochloric acid that is secreted in the stomach is what digests the food. If we drink water just
before eating the food, this acid will be diluted. Once this acid is diluted, whatever good food that we may eat and however well we may eat it, it will not be digested properly.
Therefore, after you drink water if someone calls you for eating food, you should say, “I will not come now. Just now I drank water and diluted the acid. I will come for eating the food after about half an hour.” Every time when we sit for eating food, we have to think and check whether we drank water during the last half an hour. The food we eat will be digested in an excellent way if we avoid drinking water for half an hour before we start taking the food.
We should not drink water in between our eating the food. The digestion will be spoiled if we do so. Those who bite and chew the food well, make it a paste, mix it with saliva and then swallow it will not feel like drinking water while eating the food.
We should not drink water immediately after finishing the eating. Many of us drink one or two glasses of water immediately after finishing the eating. This also will spoil the digestion. We have to wait for about half an hour after we finish the eating and then only drink water.
Thus, half an hour before start of food, half an hour during eating, assuming that we take about half an hour for eating, and half an hour after finishing the food means that we should not drink water for one and a half hour in total. How can we totally avoid drinking water for one and a half hours? During this period, we may get hiccups, thirst, throat drying up, tongue drying up, food being hot and spicy, etc.
Why should we drink water when the food is hot, spicy and pungent? Our tongue tells us, “The food is hot and spicy.” That is all. Did it ask us to drink water? No. If the food is hot and spicy, then we have to find ways to reduce the hot taste and we should notdrink water.
So, when the food is hot and pungent, we have to mix some coconut oil, sesame oil, etc. with the food and reduce the hot and spicy taste. If some oil goes with the food, even then digestion will be done well. But, if water goes with the food, it will spoil the digestion. Therefore, if the food is spicy, find alternative ways to reduce the taste and avoid drinking water.
What can we do if we get hiccups while eating? First of all, let us see why we get hiccups while eating. A person who focuses his attention on the food while eating will not get hiccups. The Vagus nerve connects our brain and the other parts of the body.
While eating, if we have only the thought about the food in our mind, then this nerve will keep all the glands concerned with digestion working well. Suddenly, if our mind starts thinking about the family, business or any other person, this nerve will get confused. There will be dilemma whether the gland concerned with digestion should secrete or the gland concerned with the emotions we have should secrete. Hiccups occur only due to this confusion.
When people get hiccups, they say that someone is thinking about them at that time. In fact, no one is thinking about you when you have hiccups. On the other hand, you are thinking about someone and that is why you are getting the hiccups. So, as long as you keep thinking about the food while eating, you will not get hiccups.
What should we do if the tongue is dried up or if we feel thirsty? During the one and half hours, if our throat dries up or if we feel thirsty or if we get hiccups, we can drink water. But there is a limit to it. We should drink less quantity of water so that the water we drink does not reach our stomach. If our throat has dried up, then the water should just wet the throat and if our tongue is dried up, then the water we drink should just wet the tongue. That is, the water should be so less in quantity that it wets just our lips, mouth, tongue and gullet. The water should not reach the stomach.
Thus, we need to understand that air is the enemy for the digestion done in the mouth and water is the enemy for the digestion done in the stomach.
We can just wet our mouth before eating the food using one fourth glass of water so that it does not reach the stomach. While eating the food, if it is very essential that we have to drink water, then we can drink one fourth glass of water so that it does not reach the stomach.
Many of us drink nearly one glass or one vessel of water immediately after eating the food. Please do not do this. After finishing the eating, it is sufficient if we drink one fourth to half glass of water just for gargling the mouth. Then please wait for half an hour. After that, we can drink liberally two glasses of water or even more and it will not cause any harm to the digestion.
So, half an hour before starting the food, during the eating and half an hour after finishing the food, avoid drinking water as far as possible. If needed, please drink very limited quantity of water.
People in some communities follow the custom of drinking a little water before and after eating the food by bringing together the index finger and the thumb of the right hand, keeping the other three fingers stretched, pouring water in the palm and drinking the water by keeping the mouth on the wrist.
Our ancestors did not explicitly say that hydrochloric acid is secreted in the stomach and we should not drink water during eating food. Instead, they have taught us some good habits in the name of customs to take care of our body. So, in case it is needed to drink water during the food, by drinking water three times in the way explained above, we can save the acid in our stomach.
Just because we have mentioned one custom among the people of some community, please do not think that our treatment is related to any religion or community. Religions and diseases have no connections. Therefore, there is no connection between treatments and religions. Let us accept good habits, irrespective of whichever culture or religion it may be found in.
So, let us understand how water is a hindrance to digestion and improve the digestion by drinking less water.
Generally, when we go to a doctor, he prescribes a tablet and asks us to consume it after taking the food. While eating the food we have to concentrate on the food. But what do we actually do? While eating the food, we keep on thinking that we have to consume the tablet after eating the food and we eat the food focussing our attention on the tablet only. After eating the food, we run to drop the tablet in our mouth and drink one vessel of water. Thus, irrespective of whether the tablet cures our disease or not, the water we drink along with the tablet spoils the digestion and increases the diseases.
So, avoid taking tablets as far as possible. But sometimes we may be required to consume tablets. At those times, do not consume the tablet immediately after finishing the food. If you wait for half an hour, and then consume the tablet with water, then that water will not spoil the digestion.
Some people may say, “I have to consume the tablets immediately after eating the food. I cannot wait for half an hour. I may forget to consume the tablet. Is there any other way out?” In that case, you can mix the tablet with any dish and eat it. Then you may not need to drink water.