Water & Digestion: What You Need to Know
Hydration is good for your digestion.
Water is essential for human survival, but do you know why it’s important for digestion? Make sure you stay hydrated, so your digestion—as well as the rest of your body—runs smoothly.
Your Body's Thirst for Water
About two-thirds of our body weight is water, and every cell needs water to survive. You may have heard that people should drink eight glasses of water per day; in fact, people should be getting between 91 to 125 fluid ounces of water per day consumed through food and beverages.1 Even though there are no official recommendations on how much water you should drink per day, drinking water at meals and whenever you're thirsty should help keep you on track.
Water and Healthy Digestion
Along with other liquids, gastric juices, and enzymes, water helps the digestive process so the body can absorb the nutrients. Drinking water doesn't interfere with digestion or dilute stomach juices—and water also softens stools, which helps prevent constipation.2 Hydration is good for digestion, so be liberal about drinking water during meals or any other time you're thirsty.
How Water and Fiber Work in Digestion
Drinking water and ingesting fiber should go hand in hand. Fiber from the food you eat absorbs water, which makes stools bulkier so they move faster and are easier to eliminate. This process happens in the small intestine. After passing through the small intestine, the remaining material goes to the large intestine—also known as the colon. The colon pulls water from stools to conserve water for the body. If you're dehydrated, then you may have a problem with constipation.
Balancing Your Fiber and Water Intake
Drinking water boosts your overall health, and combining that with a good dose of fiber can help you maintain a healthy digestive system. Make your water work harder by adding Benefiber®, a fiber supplement that dissolves completely in water.
- Zieve, David. "Water in Diet." MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Ed. Emily Wax. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 14 July 2015. Web. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002471.htm.
- Picco, Michael F. "Does Drinking Water during or after a Meal Disturb Digestion?" Mayo Clinic. N.p., 25 Mar. 2015. Web. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/digestion/faq-20058348.