How to Recognize When You're Thirsty - dummies

How to Recognize When You’re Thirsty

By Kellyann Petrucci, Patrick Flynn

Listening to your body when it comes to thirst is really important, especially when you’re fasting. Getting enough water helps minimize the sensation of hunger and keeps the toxins moving out of the body. Recognize that what you may think is hunger during a fast may very well be thirst.

Here’s how it works: Your brain recognizes low energy levels available for body functions, including hunger and thirst. Because brain signals are simultaneous, people sometimes confuse these signals and assume they need food when they actually need water.

One of the main problems with this confusion between thirst and hunger is not understanding how much water you really need and misinterpreting the signs of dehydration. The key is to be attuned with your body and know when to drink water.

You can do this by simply doing the urine test. Your urine should be fairly clear. If it’s very dark yellow, that’s a sign you may need to drink more water.

The biggest roadblock is waiting until you’re thirsty to drink. Your brain center doesn’t send a message until you’re almost 2 percent dehydrated. By then, you’ve likely already encountered some problems associated with dehydration. Your kidneys receive the low signal before you do, and they respond by decreasing urine output, a big sign that you need more water.

How do you know whether you’re dehydrated? You guessed it: the urine test. If you’re not urinating at least six to eight times a day and your urine is dark yellow, you need more water.

Here’s how some of the signs of dehydration play out in your system:

  • Excess body weight

  • Chronic hunger

  • High blood pressure

  • High blood cholesterol

  • Headaches

  • Depression

  • Intestinal pain

  • Arthritis pain

One of the best ways to prevent dehydration is to pre-hydrate in the morning! It gets your blood moving and transports all the good stuff to where your body needs it!

Dial into your body’s signal. When you’re not feeling well, having low energy, or feeling hungry, your first line of defense is always drink water. It’s easy in this fast-paced world to let your tank get too low.