‘So, what plans after work?’
‘The usual.’ And you force a laugh to hide the sorrows of your routined life.
This is how it is for most of us sloggers. After a hard day’s work, we go home, have dinner, shower, relax for a bit, and hit the sack. The (not so) perfect weekday. But delve deeper. Is there anything wrong with this schedule?
Is bathing after eating a good idea?
According to the old wives’ tale we’ve all grown up with, you should wait at least thirty minutes after a meal before you bathe. If you questioned the old wives, they probably wouldn’t be able to tell you why.
The truth is there isn’t any scientific evidence to support this claim.
The gossiping mouth and the Internet (not including science journals) propose one theory in support of this age-old myth.
When you bathe, your surface temperature changes according to the temperature of the water you use. When the water makes contact with your skin, your brain processes this change in body temperature as an immediate need to direct blood to your skin and bring your temperature back to normal. If you use cold water, your blood vessels dilate. As large volumes of blood flow to your skin, your body temperature increases and normalizes. If you take a hot shower instead, the blood vessels in your skin dilate to dissipate the excess heat. This in turn causes more blood to flow to your skin.
What your body should be doing after a meal is directing maximum blood flow to your digestive system so that the food you just ate is digested properly. However, if you take a shower immediately after eating, the blood is diverted to your skin instead of your gut–like re-routing on your GPS.
Again (emphatically), this is an unresearched theory that needs to be scientifically validated.
Let’s play the devil’s advocate.
Giving your grandmothers the benefit of the doubt, there may be interrupted or impaired digestion if you spend hours in the shower after a proper meal. If you’re a regular Joe who has a list of tasks waiting to be done after you bathe, you probably won’t be spending that much time in the rain closet. And so you have nothing to worry about!
Your body is intricately designed to prioritize internal processes like digestion over mild fluctuations in body temperature.