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Mar 24, 2009 05:12 PM

Pordon my French, WTF? [Moved from SF Board]

While researching for an upcoming dining tour of the Bay Area I came upon this from the appetizer menu of La Provence , "While water is great when you exercise, it’s actually bad for a good digestion. We will pour it on request only."

This was news to me. A short investigation led to this from the Mayo Clinic website,
"There's no concern that water will dilute the digestive juices or interfere with digestion. In fact, drinking water during or after a meal can actually improve digestion."

Eating and drinking is just not that complicated.

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  1. The French have their own theory. Water's bad for digestion, an open window is bad for your liver.

    Restaurants often try to come up with creative explanations for the drought-inspired SF law that mandates water only on request.

    1. and there is a group of people who believe that american obesity is because we drink chilled beverages. apparently the credo is that drinking warm beverages (especially tea) raises the body temperature. since cattle have a higher body temperature (101.5), raising our temperature closer to theirs makes it easier for our bodies to metabolize beef fat. i don't know how they explain obese coffee drinkers.

      4 Replies
      1. re: KaimukiMan

        I do think a great deal of American obesity is caused by chilled beverages - not because of the temperature, but because most of them are loaded with such incredible amounts of sugar. After years of sticking to seltzer or unsweetened iced tea when I want a soft drink, I find that regular soda and bottled sweetened tea are cloyingly sweet and nearly undrinkable.

        1. re: BobB

          A chilled drink uses up calories because the body has to heat the material up to body temperature. Not a ton of calories but if it's water and not a soft drink you are net using calories.

          1. re: lergnom

            16 calories, I believe. I once briefly tried an ice water diet. It made me very cold, so I stopped.

            1. re: Glencora

              i imagine the biggest effect of a "water diet" is:

              1. you are not drinking beverages with calories
              2. if you drink a lot of water you are probably going to eat
              less food.

              the energy to heat the water is trivial ... considering a "pound
              of flesh" is something like +3000 Kcal, if memory serves.

      2. Then again, my little, tiny sister once told me "Don't drink water, you'll just retain it"

        And my grandmother won't drink iced beverages, including water, because it interferes with digestion, according to her.

        1. Well, by 'digestion', they mean 'the bill'...

          It essentially--by putting it on the menu and pointing it out--makes people feel cheap (and uncultured, ignorant, unwanted, etc) to ask for it. lame.

          1 Reply
          1. re: xanadude

            Oh, that would make me want to ask for it. A lot. In lieu of wine.

          2. As a child eating at grandmother's house we were always scolded for drinking water at the table. As I recall it was going to ruin our appetites? She was German from the "old country".

            1 Reply
            1. re: torty

              I think there's something to the appetite thing - some things I've noticed in my own household:
              - Lots of diet plans insist that you make sure you consume 8 glasses of water a day (not sure I 100% agree...) but I find when you do drink water(not necessarily all 8 glasses) you're less likely to overeat.
              - If the kids have a drink before/with their meal they're less likely to finish.
              - Also, if my dear daughter (4) is sent with anything other than water to go with her snack at JrK she'll leave the snack and polish off the juice.