Curejoy Expert Janardhana Hebbar Explains:
Drinking water before and after you eat actually aids the digestive process. The general consensus is drinking water about 30 minutes before you eat will help keep the body hydrated which results in optimal digestion. For the liver, this is also important as overall body hydration aids in optimal liver performance. Drinking water about 30 minutes after can also assist in hydrating the body through the latter parts of digestion and replenish the lost liquids from digestion. It is important to note that drinking water during a meal would be more beneficial than not drinking while eating if you have not properly hydrated yourself earlier. Eating while dehydrated can cause the body to have a very tough time digesting food.
Ayurveda recommends avoiding cold drinks as they compare it to putting cold water on the burning logs. Iced/Cold water extinguishes the digestive fire. Even juice or milk right out of the refrigerator is too cold for the digestion and warm water is generally considered better.
Instead Ayurveda suggests to drink a fresh yogurt drink called lassi either during or after the meal. This drink consists of 1/4 cup fresh homemade yogurt, 1 cup room-temperature water and sugar to taste. Blend it for one minute in the blender. Lassi is light and contains lactobacilli, necessary bacteria that lubricates the intestines to help digestion go smoothly. It also reduces gas and bloating while tasting delicious.