Drinking water 1/2 hour before a meal helps hydrate you so that you are less likely to overeat and your overall digestive process will work well. But you can drink too much. Too much during or after a meal can dilute your stomach acid and reduce digestion in the stomach. This slows the digestive process down.
Just read an article on line stating that you can drink water with meals but not an excessive amount as it dilutes stomach acid needed for digestion. They suggest drinking more in between meals. That is the first I ever heard that.
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