Habio Blog

Excessive Thirst: Why are You Thirsty All the Time?

Staying always thirsty is not a natural human condition. However, sometimes people are thirsty all the time which might be a signal of some health issues. Find out more about increased thirst and how to manage it.
Lots of people have asked themselves "Why am I so thirsty?" at some point or another. Excessive thirst isn't just annoying — it can be an important signal that shouldn't be ignored. Learn more about some of the reasons why you might be thirsty all the time.

a girl with excessive thirst holding a huge water bottle

What is excessive thirst?

First of all, what is normal and what is considered excessive thirst?

Thirst levels vary greatly depending on the weather and the kind of physical activity you've been engaging in. Excessive thirst, however, means that you're thirsty all the time even if you drink water regularly.

How much water do you need daily?

A common recommendation is to drink eight glasses of water every day, which amounts to around 2 liters or about 68 ounces.

However, everyone's needs are different, and you may need more or less than eight glasses. A good way to figure out if you're drinking enough water is taking a look at your urine. Ideally, it should be light in color. The darker it is, the more dehydrated you might be.

6 common reasons you feel constantly thirsty

Here are some reasons why you might feel thirsty all the time despite seemingly drinking enough water.
5 glasses of water on a white table to help with excessive thirst

Dehydration

Dehydration is the most obvious reason. Your body needs more water, so it asks you to drink some fluids.

You may feel dehydrated after exercising or sweating a lot. This is normal. Just grab your water bottle and quench your thirst. It's important to drink at the very first signs of dehydration; otherwise, you risk experiencing more severe symptoms such as weakness and headaches.

If you drink a lot of water and still feel dehydrated, you may need to drink an electrolyte solution instead. This is a mix of salt and glucose that helps restore the chemical balance of your blood. You can buy these solutions at any pharmacy, and they're safe as long as you don't overuse them.

Anemia

Anemia means that there aren't enough red blood cells in your body. It can be caused by an iron deficiency in your diet, heavy bleeding, and some other factors.

Anemia can also cause thirst, as well as some of these other signs:
  • Unusually pale skin
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating a lot

In most cases, your doctor will suggest changing your eating habits and/or taking supplements. These changes may take some effort, but an app like Habio will make sticking to your new habits much easier.

Period

The hormonal changes and the blood loss you experience during your period can make you feel unusually thirsty. This is absolutely normal. Simply make sure you don't forget your water bottle when it's that time of the month.

Of course, don't hesitate to talk to your gynecologist if you feel your periods are very heavy or you experience any worrying symptoms.

Stress

Chronic stress can have devastating long-term effects on your physical health. Among other things, it can cause your blood pressure to drop. To compensate for this, your body wants to add more water to your blood, making you feel thirsty.

Here's another reason why stress makes you thirsty: When you're stressed, you're likely to crave salty or sweet snacks, both of which increase thirst.

To prevent stress from influencing your thirst levels, learn how to manage it and cope with difficult situations.

Low-carbohydrate diet

Low-carb diets are known for their diuretic effects. This means they make your kidneys eliminate more water out of your body.

Of course, this leads to quick weight loss (it's possible to lose a few kilograms of water this way). But on the other hand, eating too few carbs can make you thirsty all the time. It's best to ask a doctor or a nutritionist before making big changes to your diet. They can tell you exactly how many grams of carbs you should eat based on your sex, age, health conditions, and lifestyle.
a girl with excessive thirst drinking from a pink water bottle

Proven tips to stop asking yourself,
"Why am I so thirsty?"

Unless your extreme thirst is caused by a disease, you can easily control it by adopting a few lifestyle habits.

1. Limit salt intake

Every day, your body needs at least 185 milligrams of sodium (a component of salt) to survive. Salt is an important component of your blood, and it's also necessary for the functioning of your nerves and muscles.

However, many people eat too much salt. This can lead to heart disease in the long term, but the most obvious short-term effect is thirst.

Fortunately, limiting your salt intake isn't difficult. First, avoid processed foods because they often contain high amounts of salt. Second, experiment with different herbs and spices to make your food taste interesting without using too much salt.

2. Set a drinking schedule

If you notice that you're forgetting to drink water, set a schedule. You can set a simple timer on your phone to remind you to hydrate, or you can use a habit-tracking app like Habio. In fact, healthy hydration is one of the habits included in our app.

To help you cultivate healthy habits, we've developed a Core Course that you can find in the app. This course consists of learning materials and practical exercises that will guide you through the process of building habits.

3. Eat fruits and veggies

Fruits and vegetables largely consist of water (for example, a cucumber is 95% water). This means they quench both your hunger and your thirst while providing you with fiber and vitamins.

Scientists recommend eating five portions of veggies and fruit every day. If this sounds overwhelming, start slow. Eat one extra vegetable or fruit every day until this becomes a habit. Then, eat another one. And another one. In a few months, you'll eat your five portions without even noticing.
a man with excessive thirst drinking a glass of water in front of the mirror

4. Reduce caffeine consumption

While a cup of coffee is a great way to start your day, caffeine can have undesirable effects. Among other things, it can lead to dehydration and thirst.

How your body responds to caffeine depends on a lot of factors, so experiment with your intake until you find the perfect amount of caffeine for your body. In general, most people can drink a moderate amount of coffee without getting dehydrated.

5. Keep glucose levels in control

For your body to function properly, your blood sugar levels need to stay within specific limits and shouldn't rise or fall too quickly.

When your blood glucose level rises too quickly (after eating a sugary snack, for example), your cells release water. This makes you unusually thirsty.

This is one of the reasons why sugary drinks don't really quench your thirst but instead make you want another glass.

It's very important to note that uncontrollable, unquenchable thirst can mean that your body can't cope with regulating its blood sugar levels on its own. If this sounds like you, make sure to see your doctor and get yourself checked for diabetes. It's a simple, inexpensive test.

6. Minimize stress factors

As we've already mentioned, stress can make you feel thirsty. While you can't eliminate all sources of stress, you can learn to manage it.

Habits that can help you manage stress include meditating, working out, journaling, and spending more time outside. Start slow. Choose one habit and use Habio to track it until it becomes automatic.

If you feel that your stress and anxiety are getting out of control, talk to a mental health professional.

Summary

Thirst may simply mean that you're dehydrated. If that's the case, try increasing your water intake, managing your stress levels, and building healthy hydration habits with Habio. If this doesn't help, talk to your doctor to find the underlying cause of your thirst.

References

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-water-should-you-drink-per-day
  2. https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/dehydration-in-adults-treatment
  3. https://habio.app/blog/5-habits-for-a-stronger-body
  4. https://www.prevention.com/health/a20488867/why-youre-always-thirsty/
  5. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2006/0601/p1942.html
  6. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sodium-per-day
  7. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/5-a-day-what-counts/
  8. https://www.nhs.uk/news/food-and-diet/a-small-amount-of-coffee-will-not-dehydrate-you/
  9. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/diabetic-thirst
  10. https://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-management#1
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