You’ve just eat a big, delicious meal, and now it’s time to unwind for the night. What could be more appealing before you crawl into your sheets than a long, relaxing bath or a nice, hot shower?
Except there’s one problem: Maybe you’ve been telling that taking a bath or shower right after you eat is actually not recommend.
The way your body works to digest food, an after-meal soak or shower can give you stomach cramps and indigestion. Let’s compare the pros and cons of bathing after eating.
Why it may be bad to shower after eating
Is it bad to bathe right after eating? The answer isn’t as straightforward as a simple yes or no.
When you take a warm bath or shower, a process call hyperthermic action is stimulate in your body. This process increases your internal body temperature by a degree or two.
In a more general sense, hyperthermic action is good for you. It can:
- stimulate immune system
- relax your nervous system
- stimulate your sweat glands to flush out toxins
- After you eat, your body is already at a slightly increase body temperature.
- That gentle warm feel in your body after a satisfying meal is actually your body directing increase in blood flow to your digestive organs.
A bath can increase your heart rate, which feels uncomfortable on a full stomach.
Anecdotally, people think that taking a bath or shower confuses your body because instead of that increase blood flow to digestive tract, your body is experiencing hyperthermic action causes by the water.
Theoretically, this will slow down or interrupt your digestion, leading to sluggishness. There’s no conclusive medical evidence that proves or disproves this idea.
If you subscribe to this theory, you may want to consider what it is that you have eaten before you completely rule out a bath afterward.
A meal with dense protein, high fiber content, loads of fat, or refined carbohydrates may cause bloating as your body digests, creating a situation that puts pressure on your chest and makes cramps and heartburn becomes more likely.
If the theory holds right, then taking a shower after some fruit, broth, or a salad probably wouldn’t be as bad.
Can You Take a Cold Shower After Eating?
It can’t be conclusively shown that taking a hot shower is bad for you after eating, but one way to play it on the safe side is to take a cold or lukewarm shower instead of a hot one.
Taking a cold shower doesn’t elevateTrusted Source your core temperature, and won’t divert blood flow from your digestive organs.
As a bonus, cold bath may jumpstart your metabolism and may help you burn more fat from that meal you just ate.
How Long Should You Wait to Take a Bath After Eating?
If you’re concerned about interrupting your body’s natural digestive timeline, you can simply wait awhile before you hop in the tub after eating.
Typically advises 20 mins after eating before any water immersion, but there aren’t any studies available to suggest an exact timeline.
What Else Should Avoid Around Meal Time?
Of course, showering and bathing after a meal aren’t the only things that are anecdotally not so good for digestion. Few of them are more research-backed than others.
1. Brushing Teeth
This holds some weight. Brushing teeth after you eat can cover your teeth with particles of highly acidic foods.
Instead of protecting teeth with fluoride, you end up harming your enamel when you brush your teeth right after eating.
It’s best to wait atleast 30 minutes, or brush your teeth right when you wake up and right before going to sleep.
There’s simply not a lot of evidence to suggest that you need to wait to go swimming after eating, especially if it’s a casual swim.
When you swim in a cold water, you are typically not elevating your heart rate, and core temperature is being bring down, not up.
Your body has some of blood volume to support a dip in the pool and digestive activity at the same time.
This one is hotly debate. Working out after you eat may, in some cases, improve your workout performance. But you probably don’t want to hit the gym immediately after you’ve eaten a significant amount of calories.
Waiting for atleast 45 minutes to start your workout after a heavy meal is recommend, both for your workout and for your digestion.
This one is also up for debate. Reclining right after eating may not be good for the lining of your stomach.
You should wait till your body has a chance to begin digestion and move the food into the intestines before you lie down in bed.
This will also help you to prevent reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus.