It is widely believed that standing and drinking water may lead to several health issues. We received a mail asking if the same was true, and a basic internet search revealed numerous articles that had reiterated the claim.
Arthritis, indigestion, kidney and liver damage are some of the health problems that are believed to be triggered in a person who regularly drinks water while standing.
It is assumed that in this position, water travels faster through the body, accumulates in the joints, and is not filtered properly by the kidneys.
What Do Experts Say
While such claims have been floating around the internet, there is no study to substantiate them.
FIT spoke with Dr Ashwini Setya, Gastroenterologist and Programme Director in Delhi’s Max Super Speciality Hospital, who said that there is ‘zero percent’ truth in this.
Anything you eat or drink travels through the food pipe to the stomach, and then the intestine where it gets absorbed. Nothing can go to the kidneys or joints directly. The water flows with blood and reaches all parts of the body.Dr Ashwini Setya
Rupali Datta, a clinical nutritionist, also had a similar opinion.
Drink water anyway. Avoid gulping it fast — or you might choke. Naturopathy prefers that you have water sitting down. But I haven’t come across any cases of harmful effects associated with drinking water while standing.Rupali Datta
However, posture does matter when it comes to food.
Writing for FIT, Dr Setya had said, “Science explains that while walking or standing, the blood circulation in our bodies is automatically diverted towards the arms and the limbs, so the amount of blood reaching our digestive system is not enough to digest the food.”
While water also travels through the digestive tract, it is mainly absorbed by the body. It doesn’t have to be broken down and digested like solid food.
Dr Setya does agree that the speed at which the water is gulped down may matter. Drinking a lot of water very fast could lead to water accumulation or bloating in the stomach. But even here, there is no modern study to back it up.
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