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January 2, 1915


JAMA. 1915;LXIV(1):59-60. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02570270061021

It is considered by many that water should be taken sparingly, if at all, during meal time. The recommendation to avoid the ingestion of an abundance of water along with the food is not without an underlying belief in its therapeutic propriety and helpfulness. A custom so well established must express some supposed efficiency of action. The basis for the widely circulated rule that water should never be drunk until long after a meal is eaten probably includes one or more of the following assumptions: 1. Drinking water while eating unduly dilutes or moistens the food, thereby obviating a desirable degree of mastication and insalivation. 2. The water dilutes the gastric and other juices to an abnormal and undesirable extent. 3. The food materials are caused, by the large volume of water, to leave the stomach at an unduly early period in the gastric cycle, before the digestive changes that

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