I remember the first time I read the phrase “thirst is not always an indication of hydration”. I had to stop and think about the meaning because I always thought if my body needed water it would indicate this by inducing thirst and it could easily be quenched with other liquids like tea, shakes, and smoothies. Considering that adult human bodies are around over 60% water; this thirst signal is very, very important and telling. Despite the fact that we know how important it is to quench our thirst, we do not have to be dehydrated to actually be thirsty. There are many reasons that your body can be dehydrated yet not thirsty including medical conditions such as diabetes. There are guidelines for how much water to consume and when which can be hard to follow. For example, you should drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. Imagine not drinking any liquids for 6-10 hours. That is what your body goes through when you sleep! Drinking water first thing in the morning not only re-hydrates your body but also kick starts your metabolism (helps you lose weight), makes you feel not as hungry (still do not skip breakfast!!), energizes your brain as it need water as fuel, and flushes out toxins. When you work out, you should constantly drink water: from your warm ups to post workout especially if you sweat a lot. Many scientist and nutritionists suggest that an average person should drink about half a gallon of water a day; you tend to drink more if you exercise more or live in a hot climate and vice versa if you are more sedentary or live in colder climates. However, like all things in life, do it in moderation. Do not drink too much water as that can make you feel ill. If it is hot outside or if you ever feel the need to guzzle water, stop and drink slowly. Secondly, while tea, smoothies, fitness shakes, and even coffee can be beneficial and feel as though you are quenching your thirst, nothing beats water and they should not replace it in your daily liquid intake. All in all, I think the bottom line is to know your body (and of course listen to your body) and remember that drinking water is not just necessary for survival but can help us be healthier as stated above.
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