We are meant to thrive. Our bodies are able to access huge stores of energy so that every bodily function can operate at the highest level. When it does this, our bodies enter what I call “Thrive Mode.”

In Thrive Mode, our bodies:

  • Utilize all resources
  • Speed up metabolism
  • Burn fat

But today a giant portion of our population is stuck in Survival Mode, and there’s no reason for this. In Survival Mode, our bodies:

  • Conserve resources
  • Slow metabolism
  • Store fat

Why are we in Survival Mode?

In our earliest days as a species, survival mode was a great thing because resources were scarce. Nomadic tribes were frequently forced to go days between full meals, and fresh water wasn’t always easy to come by. Thankfully, the human body could adapt by lowering its performance to conserve resources.

But today, those resources don’t need to be conserved, and we don’t need to lower performance. We can burn all the fuel we need to access our full potential, and our bodies are hardwired to tell us how to do this.

The problem? We’ve learned to ignore our body’s natural signals, our instincts. We have instincts to drink water, to eat and to breathe. But some of these instincts can be ignored and suppressed.

One clear example of this can be seen in the lack of emphasis we put on hydration. Water is one of the most vital resources to human life. It lubricates the joints, filters out toxins in the body, fuels brain cells and hydrates muscles. In fact, 55–75% of the body is made of water and yet we still don’t drink enough.

Why aren’t people drinking enough water?

It’s simple. We are suppressing our body’s Natural Thirst signal (our brain’s signal for the body to drink). The process of thirst suppression begins early in the morning when, after hours of sleep, our bodies are naturally dehydrated. Instead of starting our day with a big glass of water, most of us head out the door with a small coffee or nothing at all. This causes us to begin our days with a water deficiency.

When we suppress our thirst instinct, it tells our bodies that there aren’t adequate water resources available. So what do our bodies do? Our brain stops sending the thirst signal in order to save energy. So we stop craving water, which leads to chronic dehydration. This is a widespread issue. One study estimates that 75% of Americans may suffer from chronic dehydration.

Many people think of dehydration only in its worst form (vomiting, loss of consciousness or stroke), or don’t consider dehydration at all. The truth is, minor dehydration can have a negative impact on the way our bodies function. One study from the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine in Dallas showed that even mild dehydration was detrimental to working memory and caused increased feelings of anxiety and fatigue.

This is scientific proof that drinking more water can improve memory, decrease anxiety and increase energy.

So, why wait? You can start making proper hydration a habit right now. That means consciously focusing on your daily water consumption. Once the body has remembered its Natural Thirst, you’ll drink more water than you ever thought you could — without having to remind yourself to do it.

It’s possible to reawaken your Natural Thirst Instinct in as little as 10 days through a simple three-step process:

  • Stop drinking beverages other than water.
  • Start to hyperhydrate every morning (20–40 oz when you wake up).
  • Go Forward and keep your Natural Thirst Instinct permanently activated by keeping water with you at all times (when you think, drink).

Join the Natural Thirst Challenge to understand these three steps in detail. Once you recover your Natural Thirst, you’ll allow your body to function at the highest level, and you’ll know what it means to thrive.

So start drinking more water today. I promise you don’t even realize how thirsty you are.

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Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com.

Originally published at medium.com