Are you really SURE that you are hungry?

Vixx By Vixx, 7th May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Diet & Nutrition

When you think you are hungry, it is possible you might just need a drink of water?

Water - your body might just thank you.

Hunger is a sensation that we are all familiar with – or think that we are familiar with? How often have you felt that sensation and done something about it (i.e. had something to eat), only to find that you still feel hungry?
What if I were to tell you that the sensation for hunger is very similar to the sensation of being thirsty?
When the body is dehydrated it cries out for fluids in a similar way to when the stomach wants us to feed ourselves. Whilst we may feel that we drink plenty of fluids on a daily basis, we may not be drinking the right amount of fluid to nourish the body, and to give it the liquid it needs to be able to perform various important functions within the body itself.
A lot of the fluids that we drink today are caffeinated. Coffee, cola, tea, energy drinks – they all have caffeine in, and caffeine is known as a diuretic. If you have a regular intake of any of these, then you could be dehydrating your body if you don’t drink any water in-between these types of beverage. A diuretic increases the rate at which fluid leaves the body – usually through urination. The more you need to urinate through drinking beverages such as these, the more potential for your body to become dehydrated.
Thus, if the body is dehydrated, you will experience more of the sensation of ‘feeling hungry’. Only this is not hunger. We are not experienced in working out that it is not food we need as we tend to think that we drink more than we actually do. However, we can develop this skill. By eating when we think we are hungry, we are more likely to gain weight and yet still feel hungry! If we persistently have this sensation, then the best thing to do would be to have a glass of water and wait 20 minutes or so. If the feeling is because we are thirsty, then this sensation will go away.
Many people tend to think that if they drink often, they will need to go to the toilet more often – and in many situations that can put them off drinking at all (which will just make the hunger/thirst sensation worse). This depends on how much you are drinking at once, as the body will always move to get rid of what it perceives as ‘excess’ even if it does need it. The best way to get around this is to take small sips of water regularly. This way the water will be absorbed gradually, rather than a large glass of water sloshing around in your stomach, which the body will rush through your liver and kidneys in order to get rid of the excess quickly (which is where you will find that you keep needing to go to the bathroom!)
The body is 2/3rds fluid, and so water is a very important component for us, in order to keep us functioning efficiently. Current research into sports hydration has shown that even a small drop in our body’s fluid levels can cause problems with mental focus and concentration (amongst other things) – and you don’t have to be involved in sport for this to happen if you don’t try to stay hydrated. We lose fluid all the time, through things such as breathing (water vapour in our breath), sweating, urinating, as well as fluid in our stools (to help us to pass them more easily), so it is important that we can keep our levels topped up. We also need fluids for various functions within the body such as keeping our blood at a certain consistency, for keeping our eyes moist, and for assisting in digestive functions.
So, next time you feel that you have eaten sufficient and are still feeling ‘hungry’, take some time to consider whether you have drunk enough water, and maybe have a sip of the clear stuff to ward off those pangs. Your body will thank you for it.

Tags

Dehydration, Drinking, Eating, Hunger, Thirst

Meet the author

author avatar Vixx
I like to write about fitness, nutrition, my running efforts and race reviews.

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Comments

author avatar Kingwell
7th May 2013 (#)

A good share. I will drink more water and less tea or coffee. Thanks.

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author avatar Vixx
7th May 2013 (#)

Thank you Kingwell. My rule of thumb is for every tea or coffee I have, I have the same size drink of water to make up for the caffeinated beverages.

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author avatar Eileen Ward Birch
7th May 2013 (#)

I have a friend who eats and drinks little, yet cannot lose weight. In fact, she was told by a leader of a diet group that she didn't eat enough or drink enough and to lose weight she would have to up her intake.
I start the day with water an only have a couple of coffees during the day and feel all the better since I started the regime.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
9th May 2013 (#)

I try to have meals at fixed timings even if I am not that hungry. I take more water than other drinks. I will take heed of your advice, thanks Vixx - siva

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author avatar Vixx
11th May 2013 (#)

I hope that it helps Siva.

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author avatar Eileen Ward Birch
9th May 2013 (#)

Unfortunately there are times in my life that I have to plan to eat, to ensure I will not suffer low sugar etc, because of the length I would have to go without. Not sure I'm making sense here.

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author avatar Vixx
11th May 2013 (#)

I understand where you are coming from Eileen.

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author avatar Eileen Ward Birch
11th May 2013 (#)

I'm glad somebody does.

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