I’ve noticed that when I’ve eaten with friends & families from different cultures (Chinese comes to mind) that they often don’t drink anything with their meals. In some cases it was a minor, but official, taboo akin to putting your elbows on the table, and in others it was not stated but just not done. It turns out that there is a physiological reason to do this.
The “plug” in the bottom of your stomach is a stoma not a valve. It can be pushed open, so when you drink during a meal the liquid can push the food out of your stomach pouch and down into your intestines. There are two reasons you should care:
- This frees up extra room in your stomach pouch so you’ll eat more during that meal.
- You’ll feel hungry again sooner.
A recommendation that I’ve stumbled across is the 15/30 rule. Don’t drink anything from 15 minutes before a meal until 30 minutes after a meal. This isn’t a license to under-hydrate, just a guideline on when to drink.