The Body Never Lies: Are You Truly Thirsty?

The human body is made up of about 70% water, the same percentage that covers Earth. We are a part of Nature, just a microcosm of what is visible to the human eye. Yet, we don’t always acknowledge the connection.

Looking at our make-up, it is only natural that we drink water to replenish our bodies. The general recommendation is that healthy adults drink about six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Many people carry water bottles with them with the intention of keeping their bodies hydrated, and therefore healthy. However, TCM has a different perspective, and it starts with listening to what the body is asking for.

Your body has a built in alarm to let you know when it’s running low on fluids—the feeling of thirst. Trust the wisdom of your body. Begin to recognize the way your body responds to this feeling. Are you thirsty? If the answer is yes, go ahead, have a glass of water. Be sure it’s not ice water, though. The body is naturally warm—98.6 degrees. So drinking something cold requires the body to expend extra Qi, or vital energy, to warm it up and then process it. This same concept applies to drinking excess water. Processing water and passing it out of the body as urine or sweat uses up a lot of Qi. If you drink more water than the body actually needs, it will require additional Qi to push it out. Instead of using Qi to process water, allow the body to use it for healing!

Stay warm this winter, and enjoy that cup of tea only when you feel thirsty!