The less water you drink, the more you have to eat!
Do not wait for the sensation of thirst to come up!

If you are thirsty, you should drink. Sounds logical, right? Unfortunately, many thirsty people do not reach for a glass of water, but for some food, because they misinterpret the sensation of thirst for hunger. According to the health and wellness writer, Dr Batmanghelidj: "You eat too much when you're thirsty". In his book, ‘Obesity, Cancer, Depression: Their Common Cause & Natural Cure’, he continues: "The less you drink, the more you have to eat." Many people confuse their desire for water with a need for food and act accordingly.

We sense dehydration in our mouths very late, this is because the body tries to keep the salivary glands supplied with blood, so food can be eaten at any time. Consequently, the body can be dehydrated before we even notice a problem. If you are craving a snack, make it a priority to drink something first! It’s also important to drink before every meal, to ensure your appetite is not, in fact, thirst.

Many Handle Their Sensation of Thirst in The Wrong Way

Some people only drink something when their body is craving water, typically this is when the mouth gets completely dry. Surprisingly, even some doctors advise you to only drink when you are thirsty. This is concerning as the body also needs water when it is in a non-thirsty state, because it is active 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Even at night, the heart keeps pumping, the brain continues to function, and the digestive system is at work. No one would suggest you get up at night to have a drink, but during periods of wakefulness, it is important to replenish your body's reserves. Thirst is a clear sign that the body urgently needs liquids, but you should not delay drinking until you feel thirsty. Thirst should be considered a warning signal, rather than a simple call to drink.

Unfortunately, some groups of people, like the elderly, lose this warning signal and forget to drink because they are not thirsty. In a study, elderly people were kept from drinking for 24- hours, but surprisingly, they did not even feel thirsty. Therefore, in nursing homes, staff try to encourage the residents to drink as often as possible, especially during hot summer days. As our bodies age, the water that is present in our cell's interior decreases and our cells slowly begin to dry up. However, cells still try to absorb nutrients and water, so long as there is a fresh supply. This is why elderly people in particular need to drink, drink, drink throughout the day - even if they do not feel thirsty.

Infographic of how water lubricates the joints. Human body and bubbles.

How Much Should You Drink Every Day?

As a general rule, you should aim to drink at least 30 to 40 ml of water per kg of body weight daily. That means a person who weighs in at 80kg should be drinking about 2.4 to 3.2 litres between waking up and going to bed. Bear in mind that only pure H2O can be included in the daily amount mentioned, so lemonade and other soft drinks won’t count. This is because lemonade, cola and even juices contain excessive amounts of sugar, as well as being acidic and having added substances like dyes, flavours, preservatives, and sweeteners, etc. These extra ingredients mean the body first has to break down sugars and artificial additives, even though it only needs pure water.

Besides Thirst, Another Sign of Dehydration Is Dark Urine.

If your body is adequately supplied, your urine should be bright, clear and almost colourless with a slight odour of straw. There are foods which can colour the urine, like certain vitamins, beetroot, asparagus and turmeric. But, if you constantly have dark urine, it makes sense to adjust your drinking habits and talk to your doctor.

To avoid having dark urine and a host of other related problems, it is always best to drink pure, still and alkaline ionized water. Getting used to the taste is really just a matter of time, so keep up the good work during the initial transition phase!

If you absolutely have to have a tastier drink, here are a few tricks to help you avoid choosing sugary, acidic alternatives to water:

1. Drink it cool - Many people prefer chilled drinks to room-temperature beverages. The pH value of these is lower, so it becomes somewhat sour, but drinking more makes this worthwhile.

2. Add flavour - Another trick is adding a few splashes of lemon juice. If you prefer the sweetness of lemonade, you should mix it with lemon juice and a drop of maple syrup, then cool it down. However, this treatment should be the exception, rather than the rule.

3. Let it infuse - Frozen fruits, lemon slices and cucumber slices can be added or you could freeze crushed fruits in ice cubes, and then add them. This method provides a great kick of natural flavour, without any whole sugar or artificial additives. Remember that juices are also not classed as water, because a glass of orange juice contains almost as much sugar as a glass of cola! If you absolutely must have an orange juice, then make yourself a smoothie from oranges or juice it yourself. This way, you get alkaline juice, whilst the processed juice in bottles is mostly made from orange juice concentrate and will be digested as an acidic fluid.

Start Drinking Right Now, Whether You Have an Ionizer or Not!

Try to flood your body with H2O for a week and watch as the changes take place. A 100kg person will need to drink 3.5 litres to see the effect. To get started you can put a gallon of water on the table each morning, and make sure it is emptied by the evening. Before you eat or go to a restaurant, stop and drink two refreshing glasses. Water has no calories, no side effects and tastes great, so what are you waiting for?

Is it Possible to Drink Too Much?

Yes, like everything else, it is possible to overdo it and end up drinking more than you should. If you tried to drink a whole gallon in a short space of time, your stomach would not be able to hold on for long, and you would soon bring it up. Also, if you drink throughout the day in extreme amounts, the mineral content of your body can become diluted, as the excess fluid simply washes out these vital nutrients. To combat this problem, Dr Batmanghelidj recommends you try to control the colour of your urine. It should remain at a point between bright yellow and being colourless. If you have any concerns about your urine, make an appointment to see your doctor and ask for their opinion.

Overhydration is to be avoided, but the main problem for most people is not drinking too much, but too little. Remember, 70% of the body is made entirely from this liquid, so keep yourself topped up!

These information were not written by the American Food and Drug Administration, or any other official authority. This site and its products do not promise to diagnose and cure diseases, or protect you from them. Always consult your doctor when you are sick.