Besides the various convictions made by many different people, one verity cannot be ignored that is ‘thirst’. The research suggests that we should drink water only when thirsty. That means water has to drink when you are longing for it and stop when you have quenched.
Water is one of the most essential needs to be alive. Our body consists 60% of water. And constantly, we lose it either via urine or sweat. It is recommended to drink at least 2 liters or 8 glass of water a day. But many people found it difficult to do.
Although there is little science behind this specific rule. What actually important is staying hydrated. Thirst is an essential mechanism involved in fluid balance in our body.
What makes us thirsty?
Thirst is the feeling of needing to drink something. It occurs whenever the body is dehydrated for any reason. Any condition that can result in a loss of body water can lead to thirst or excessive thirst.
It is an essential mechanism involved in fluid balance. It arises from a lack of fluids or an increase in the concentration of certain osmolytes, such as salt. If the water volume of the body falls below a certain threshold or the osmolyte concentration becomes too high, the brain signals thirst.
- If we don’t drink water for a long time, our body recalls us drinking water via dry mouth or a strong urge to consume liquid. But now, Stanford scientists have solved a mystery of What makes us thirsty.
- Neuroscientists started working on an experiment with mice and rats. They make a mouse really thirsty by restricting it to water. In such case, you can get the work done what you want by promising sips of water in exchange for the mouse. Moreover, if the mouse drinks enough water, it gets less thirsty. Hence, the lack of motivation was found in this situation to a single drop of water.
- In a further study, scientists used a genetically modified TRAP2 technique. The technique allows scientists to tag neurons actively firing in response to specific stimuli. Next, they introduced further genetic modifications to the tagged neurons.
- Scientists first used the technique in mice without water, then added an innovation of Deisseroth’s, optogenetics, or light-sensitive genes. This allowed them to turn tagged neurons off and on by using a fiber optic light.
- They identified the tagged neurons regulates or drive thirst. Not only could the researchers make satiated mice drink, but they could also finely control how often those mice went to drink.
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Via a few other experiments, they come to know that animals drink water in order to feel less bad. To conclude, activation of thirst neurons makes us feel thirsty.
Drink water only when thirsty
According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), women should drink the water of around 2.2 liters of total beverages daily (around 9 cups), while men should consume around 3 liters of total beverages daily (around 13 cups).
The new research suggests that we should drink water only when we are thirsty. Scientists conclude this after discovering a mechanism that makes drinking excess water challenging.
- Scientists enrolled a number of people and asked them to drink large amounts of water immediately after exercise when they were thirsty. Later on the next day, they asked participants to drink water, when they were not thirsty.
- After each condition, scientists asked them to rate how difficult it was to swallow water. Scientists used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) on each of the participants.
- They found that certain areas of the right prefrontal cortex of the brain showed significantly higher activity when participants had to make an effort to swallow the water. It suggests that this brain region disallow the swallowing inhibition allow excess water consumption.
- Michael Farrell said, “Here, for the first time, we found effort-full swallowing after drinking excess water which meant they were having to overcome some sort of resistance. This was compatible with our notion that the swallowing reflex becomes inhibited once enough water has been drunk.”
- He further added that there were cases when athletes in marathons told to load up with water and died. In certain circumstances, because they slavishly followed these recommendations and drank far in excess of need. So, just drink according to thirst rather than an elaborate schedule.
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In final words;
Scientists then worried about drinking too much water can cause significant harm. It may lead to hyponatremia. For instance, blood sodium level gets low. Hence, when it comes to water intake, we may fare better by listening to the body’s needs.