What is thirst?
The definition of thirst is a feeling of needing or wanting to drink something.
Anatomically, thirst is linked to a complex system of feedback and control from our nervous system and our brain that will determine when to activate or not the feeling of thirst.
When we talk about thirst, it’s normal to think about dehydration, as they are related.
For our body, thirst is the natural way to alert us that dehydration is occurring.
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Automatically, our thirst drives us to drink until we quench it, thus resolving the starting dehydration.
But should we wait until we are thirsty to drink?
There has long been a controversy about thirst, with some claiming that by the time we are thirsty, it is already too late, we are dehydrated.
Following this logic, we should drink without waiting to be thirsty.
Indeed, thirst appears when we are dehydrated, so it is a sign of physiological stress that prompts us to drink in order to avoid a situation of injury to our body.
Thus, drinking only when we are thirsty would be a mistake, because we would be putting our body in a state of stress too often.
However, being occasionally thirsty is not a problem as it is still a mechanism to bring us back to a balance that makes no sense to avoid systematically.
In conclusion, we should drink regularly to avoid being thirsty all the time and be okay if sometimes we do get thirsty, at the condition that when we do, we listen to it and drink.
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