Are you confusing Hunger for Thirst?

Most of us don’t drink enough water during our waking hours.

While we will happily sip at a cup of tea or coffee, soda or fruit juice, so many of us avoid what we really need to drink. Water.

Water is our life-line. Water is an essential component of our being and quite simply, without it, we die. We can last, on average, 3 days without water. That’s not long.

So why, when water is such an important factor in our health and survival, do we neglect drinking it? Why do we always make sure that we have eaten enough food, yet neglect our daily water intake?

Could it be that you are misreading your body’s signals and confusing thirst for hunger?

You are More Thirsty than You Know

Take a moment to think back to the last time you felt thirsty, what signals was your body giving you? 

You will probably think of one main signal. The signal we all recognise and react to.

A dry mouth.

Did you know, however, that having a dry mouth is actually the last signal that your body gives you when you need water?

By the time you have a dry mouth, your body is already extremely dehydrated.

Keeping this elemental thought of only needing to drink once your mouth feels dry can lead to chronic illnesses caused or exacerbated through a permanent state of dehydration.

What is even more concerning is, that as we age, we start to lose our sensation of thirst, this can easily make dehydration our normal bodily state.

The result of chronic dehydration may be exhibited in many illnesses and conditions, according to Dr Batmanghelidj, author of ‘Your Body’s Many Cries for Water’.
These conditions include; digestive ailments such as ulcers, joint problems and pain, headaches, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, allergies, stress and depression. His list goes on. 

When you examine the reasoning behind why dehydration is a major factor in these conditions, it becomes more obvious and self-explanatory. 

The fact is, that every organ and every function that happens within your body requires the presence of water. Without enough water, the body then rations it, giving priority to the brain, the distributing what is left to other areas. 

Depriving areas of our body of water, means that they can no longer function in the way they are meant to. This leads to deterioration and long-term degeneration. It seems so obvious that, by not keeping up our water intake on a regular basis, we are causing significant damage to our body.

How Can We Improve Our Health When We Can’t Recognise Our Thirst?

Our lack of drinking fluids is encouraged by our persistent fascination with eating food. Sure, we need to keep our energy up, and we need food to help with this, but have you ever considered that one of the reasons you gain weight over the years is because you are mistaking the signal for thirst with the signal for hunger?

Do you think that you could be eating more food to abate the hunger pangs, when in fact, you need to drink a glass of water to support your body’s functions? 

By drinking a glass of water a while before you eat should help you determine whether you are thirsty or hungry. 

The chance is, however, that this one glass of water will not cure your inner thirst. 

From this comment, I am not suggesting that you keep drinking and drinking water until you really can’t drink it anymore, but it’s time to start looking at your water drinking routine throughout the day, and if you don’t have one, then it’s time to start!

By drinking regular amounts of water, you are allowing your system to be drip-fed water, so that it can use it up as it needs to. This means you are less likely to have periods throughout your day where you are dehydrated.

By drinking more water, more regularly, you will find, over a period of time, that you will start to begin to notice your thirst signals once more. Not the dry mouth, but a feeling that you haven’t had water for a while, and you will start to crave it, as you would food.

This is a great sign, as you are eventually tuning in to your body’s real needs and you can answer them with the correct action.

‘I drink tea and coffee during the day. Surely this is enough fluids?’

Unfortunately, drinks, other than water, tend to contain chemicals that dehydrate us. While these drinks help with some fluid intake, what our body desperately needs is just simple water.

This is often challenging for people, as so many do not like the taste of straight water. As our tastes and preferences are influenced during our younger years, the aversion to plain water may have arisen due to not being taught to drink it as a child, and given fruit juices, sodas or squashes instead.

If you do not like the taste of straight water, why not try infusing it with fresh fruit?

Start Drinking More Water Today

So, now’s the best time to start to think of water as your daily vitamin/nutrient supplement to help you prevent illness, aid your body’s ability to heal and to ensure that stay fit and healthy.

Originally published on Clarity Junction


  • Gillian Duncan

    Author & Editor

    Clarity Junction

    Gillian is author and editor at Clarity Junction, a website that focuses on finding a clearer path forward for women when they come to a natural cross-road in life. Gillian is also author of the book, 'Sleep: Cure Your Insomnia, Improve Your Health & Feel Better Now', which is a holistic approach to improving the quality of your sleep. She is a BSc graduate in Biomedical Sciences, with a career background in Neuroscience and Psychology. Gillian is also a qualified NLP Life Coach, Yoga and Meditation teacher and brings all this knowledge, along with a wealth of life-experience, to her clients. When she is not writing or coaching, Gillian can be found playing her violin or piano, and studying for her next music exam along with her 2 teenage sons. Gillian also loves dogs, guinea pigs, Dr Who and the Avengers movies. Visit to find out more about her podcast, courses and membership for women.