Can You Lie Down Immediately After You Eat?

It is important to follow a healthy diet to stay fit, but you may not be getting maximum health benefits after all the efforts you're putting in. This could be due to things you do in your daily routine that affects your digestion. One such mistake is to lie down right after you eat. Some people simply lie down on the couch, while others take a quick nap after they've eaten their meals. No matter how healthy your diet is, you will end up gaining weight and getting certain digestive system problems if you don't stop lying down after meals. Why is that?

Is Lying Down After Eating Bad for Your Health?

Yes, it is. That's mainly because your body absorbs food properly only when you're in an upright position. Lying down after meals will lead to indigestion. You should wait for at least 2 hours after a meal before you go to your bed. If you've developed a habit of lying down soon after you eat your food, you may eventually develop gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) in which your lower esophagus fails to close off properly after you've eaten something. Lying down after meals makes it easier for your stomach acid to come up, which may cause many digestive issues. Staying upright after you eat will help prevent the symptoms of GERD. 

What Other Things to Avoid After Eating

Lying down after eating is bad for your health, but there are some other things you need to avoid after eating.

1.        Sleeping

After a heavy meal, it's natural to feel a bit sleepy. Beware! If you sleep after eating, you will end up slowing down your digestive system, which in turn will cause several health complications. As mentioned already, lying on your back or side after eating will make it easier for your stomach acid to move back up your esophagus. Moreover, if you sleep after a heavy meal, you will wake up bloated. Just be sure to give your body enough time to digest your food before slipping between the sheets.

2.        Strenuous Exercise

Even when you have taken a light meal, you should still avoid working out right after you've finished eating. Strenuous exercise makes it difficult for your body to digest your food because it uses some of the body's resources required for proper digestion. That's why you're more likely to experience issues like cramps, nausea, or even diarrhea when working out after eating.  Your stomach needs oxygenated blood to complete digestion, but your body will start sending blood and oxygen to your hard-working muscles when you start working out after eating. This slows down your digestion that can lead to all sorts of digestive problems. So, always give your body some time to digest food and then exercise. It's even better to exercise first and eat later.

3.        Eating Fruit

Yes, eating fruit is healthy, but not after your meal. This is mainly because fruit digests the fastest as compared to other types of food, so it is more likely to sit on top of your meal and even ferment there. This will create gas and even lead to weight gain. Eat fruit at least 3-4 hours after your last meal to ensure you get maximum benefits without having to worry about bloating, gas, and other discomfort.

4.        Drinking Too Much Water

You may not notice any issues if you sip a little water with your meals, but you should avoid gulping down a big glass after eating your meals. It dilutes the digestive juices and makes it difficult for your stomach to digest food. Similarly, drinking ice cold water after eating can slow down your stomach. Instead, drink hot herbal tea if you want to drink something after your meal – still, you need to avoid drinking too much of liquids after eating.

5.        Taking a Shower

You may have already developed a habit of taking a shower after eating. Change it because it will eventually lead to certain digestive system problems. The reason is that your body temperature increases when you take a shower. This makes your blood to move towards the surface of your skin, the feet, and the hands. It means it will no longer be available for digestion. Your digestive system will slow down considerably, causing gas, bloating, and several other issues.

6.        Loosening the Belt after Meals

If you have to loosen your belt after a meal, it usually means you have eaten a little too much to sit comfortably with your belt in its previous position. Once you have loosen it up, you may again feel comfortable enough to continue eating, which will lead to obesity. It is therefore a good idea to eat as much as you can without adjusting your belt.

7.        Walking Immediately After Meals

Just like lying down after eating,walking immediately after meals is bad. You may end up dealing with issues like indigestion and acid reflux. It is important to take some rest in an upright position and then walk to help stay fit. You can prevent acid reflux for walking about 10 minutes at least half an hour after your meal. This will also improve your metabolism and give your muscles a stretch that will prevent fat deposition in your body.

Tips for Better Digestion

You already know what you should not do after eating, but you can also add a few routines in your life to improve your digestion. For instance:

  • Have a well-balanced diet with food containing probiotics. These good bacteria live in your gut and help improve your digestive health. Try yogurts, such as Activa, that contain live active cultures of Lactobacillus acidophilus. You can also get your dose of probiotics through food such as buttermilk, kefir, and probiotic drinks, such as GoodBelly. The GoodBelly Probiotic Coconut Water is a great choice because this non-soy, non-dairy, and vegan probiotic juice tastes great and improves digestion as well.
  • Develop a habit of eating slowly. By eating quickly, you will end up swallowing excess air that will lead to gas and affect the digestive process in many ways.
  • Be sure to provide your digestive tract with enough fiber. Fiber will help improve your digestion, but you need to increase your fiber intake gradually to avoid constipation. Also, drink plenty of water when eating diet rich in fiber. 
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