The science behind why you should drink food and chew water? Sounds weird?
All of us eat food and drink water to survive and to do our everyday activities. Personally, until recently I never realized that I have been eating food and drinking water the wrong way my whole life. But it is fine, I take inspiration from the adage “One is never too late to learn something new”. Hence, I changed my habits to ensure that eating food and drinking water is done in the right way as per the design of the body.
Why we should drink food?
To begin with, the most important understanding required is that digestion starts in the mouth. In fact, our mouth is the first stomach. During mastication of food with teeth a whole lot of enzymes are released through saliva and when it mixes with food, partial digestion and nutrients extraction already happens in the mouth. To achieve this, the food should be chewed as many times such that it is becomes liquified before it enters the stomach. Ideally as per nutritional experts, they say it takes around 30 chews to get food to this form. But one can personally try based on the type of food as it may take more than 30 chews for hard foods and less than 30 chews for soft foods.
What happens when food is liquified this way? The salivary enzymes spring into action. The two prominent ones for pre-digestion are
- Ptyalin: This breaks down complex carbohydrates into simple sugars. This is why rice tastes sweeter as it is chewed again and again. The starch in rice is getting converted to sugar due to this enzyme action.
- Lipase: This breaks down triglycerides into glycerides and fatty acid components. Thus the digestion of lipids happen. Fats and oils comes in the category of lipids.
Due to this pre-digestion of carbohydrates and fats in the mouth, later the digestion in the stomach will further smoothen out. Moreover, there are also other benefits to chewing more, as it signals the brain of feeling full and eating less, thus avoiding over eating. Thus drink the food!
Why we should chew water?
Chewing water means the water should be sipped slowly and mixed with saliva before swallowing to the stomach. It is well known that the saliva is alkaline and the stomach is acidic. By drinking water this way it helps to maintain the acid balance of the stomach. Apart from this, if water is gulped faster, it gushes into the lower belly without getting properly absorbed by other parts of the body, only later to be excreted by kidneys.
The kidneys when it excretes this water, also results in loss of sodium levels in body making one feel tired easily and thirsty again. That is why after physical training, it is advisable to wait a while before drinking water as otherwise if water is gulped immediately, the body which is already losing water through sweat, loses even more water and subsequently salts from the blood. Moreover, gulping water also results in swallowing air in the process causing bloating in the stomach. Thus it is advisable to chew water always!