"By the time you feel thirsty, you're already dehydrated!" Ever hear that one? One of my top pet projects as a nutritionist is helping people understand what it feels like to be truly hungry, and then to have that hunger truly satiated. Satiated = satisfied; not "full" per se... a bit of semantics that, I believe, makes a pretty big difference. More on that in a future blog post, I guarantee. But in a nutshell: we have decided as a species that meals need to be eaten according to the clock. Whether you're a proponent of the good ol' fashioned "three meals a day," or more of the new-school "eat every three hours to keep your metabolic fires stoked" crowd (HEAVY EYEROLL - this will also be the topic of a future blog post, fo' sho'), we have forgotten that the body has a hunger mechanism for a reason. We have taught ourselves to ignore hunger. We eat lunch because it's lunchtime, not because we have sufficiently used up the nutrients from breakfast and have a biochemical need to refuel. I don't think you have to be an evolutionary biologist to make a leap between our cultural inability to distinguish true hunger, and our cultural inability to manage our weight. Similarly, the human body has a pretty tried-and-tested thirst mechanism. When you feel thirsty, it means that you are thirsty. And you should drink fluids until your thirst is satiated. That might be 8-10 glasses a day. Or it might be 11. Or 7. I don't really see the point in counting. That fluid intake should preferably be water but herbal teas are nice too. You get water from everything you drink, though. Even cola - although you'd be foolish to rely on cola as your hydration source, obviously. You get a good deal of water from your food, too - fruits and veg, most notably. You can die of dehydration, but I have yet to find record of anyone dying of being thirsty. Drink when you're thirsty. Stop when you're not. Just a bit more nutritional rocket science to blow your mind.