top of page

Is coffee consumed with meals?

Many of us have come across the phrase over and over that it is a bad idea to consume food with any liquid. Water, tea, coffee or soda. "It is forbidden!" Nutritionists and the media tell us absolutely constantly, justifying their prohibition by diluting gastric juice.

As we wrote above, the theory underlying this common statement is that drinking liquids with meals is bad for the concentration of digestive juices, resulting in impaired proper breakdown of food and absorption of nutrients.

To make such explanations you need to have a very good understanding of the principles of how our bodies work (not just in theory, but in practice). Unfortunately, often malicious ideas are based on a skewed understanding of these mechanisms and a lack of knowledge.

According to American nutritionist Tamara Duiker Freiman, who authored the best-selling digestive book The Bloated Belly Whisperer, neither water, tea nor coffee can actually significantly reduce the acidity of gastric juice. Yes, everything we consume (food or drink) makes the stomach environment a little less acidic for a short time, but after a few seconds in response to this, the stomach produces as much acid as is necessary for the digestion of food, because that's its job. This fact was scientifically confirmed by Canadian researchers in 2004.

Thus, contrary to popular myth, modern scientists have proven that drinking water, tea or coffee with food does not harm our digestion.

Also, the liquid in the stomach allows you to make the food particles less dense and therefore more accessible to the enzymes involved in the breakdown process. It's important to note that all of these facts work equally well for most of the beverages we include in our diet – water, tea, coffee, juices, and even soda. Another thing is that some of them are "loaded" with extra calories and do not always fully quench their thirst.

All of the above applies to people who do not have existing problems with digestion. But there are exceptions to any rule, and it's very important to know your body well here.

There are times when you need to be careful about drinking fluids with meals.

If you have a diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Fluid in the stomach is not dangerous in itself, but it can increase the volume of stomach contents, and this can cause increased pressure on the sphincters and, as a result, reflux. Here it is important not to "overload" the stomach.

If it is important for you not to "kill" your appetite;

Even if your stomach is completely healthy, the fact that it increases in volume when drinking liquid should not be ignored: in this case, after 15-20 minutes the liquid is absorbed into the walls of the stomach, and then the feeling of hunger can return. But if you're trying to lose weight, this method is for you: people tend to eat less if they drink 1.5-2 glasses of fluid with meals.

If you do not like the feeling of heaviness in the stomach;

For some people, drinking a glass of liquid causes abdominal discomfort: there is a feeling of excessive bloating. As soon as tea or coffee is absorbed into the walls of the stomach, it passes without a trace, but before that you can wait a few unpleasant minutes. Here it is important to remember: so that there is no desire to drink a liter of tea at lunch, it is best to regularly saturate the body with water throughout the day.


bottom of page