Drinking more water should make me less thirsty, right?
September 30, 2010 9:49 PM   Subscribe

Is there a reason that drinking more water during the day would make me feel more thirsty and cause chapped lips?

For the last few days I've been trying to stay really hydrated for an upcoming gig. (I'm a Trumpet player.) I've been drinking around 2-3+ liters of water daily, and trying to get a good amount of vitamin C and E in my diet. (To keep my lips nice and supple - or whatever.) Strange thing is, I'm noticing that I'm feeling more thirsty at times during the day doing this than on days where I have a more normal, however inadequate, intake of water: 1+ liters. Also, after the first day of doing this my bottom lip started feeling chapped on the edges. (Below and on the edge where the red ends.)

Is there any reasoning behind this? Am I just imagining feeling more thirsty? The chapped lips thing is not imagined, but could be explained by other things and just be coincidental. I've been putting A&D ointment on them at night to combat that.

Just curious if anyone has any insight on this.

FWIW: I haven't had much if any fast food for the last few months. I eat a few servings of fruit/veggies daily and don't spend any extended period of time outside, though I occasionally walk from home to a bus stop 10 minutes away.
posted by Kimothy to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Where do you live?
posted by parmanparman at 9:50 PM on September 30, 2010

I live in St. Louis.
posted by Kimothy at 9:52 PM on September 30, 2010

I don't know about the increased thirst, but the water might be removing your lips' natural oils, thus causing chapping? It seems unlikely given the location of the chapping (you're probably not submerging your entire bottom lip in water...), but I guess it's possible. Same reason why it's a bad idea to lick your lips when they're dry, it just makes the problem worse.
posted by miss_kitty_fantastico at 9:52 PM on September 30, 2010

When you don't drink a lot of water your body retains liquid because it knows it's not being hydrated. It will conserve and reabsorb liquid.

When you start drinking enough water to stay more than hydrated your body will start using the water and then dispensing of it as needed. Your acuity for thirst will be activated in a different way and in a sense work better.

It's usually better to drink slowly throughout the day than to chug all at once too. More water will be absorbed and that will help with your thirst.

Also, I don't know any gigging brass players that don't use copious amounts of chapstick. Use it throughout the day to prevent chapped lips instead of after they are already chapped.
posted by zephyr_words at 10:09 PM on September 30, 2010

I would say the chapped lips are unrelated to the water intake. Most likely caused by the recent change in weather. The humidity has definitely dropped here the last week or so, and my skin can definitely feel it.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 10:40 PM on September 30, 2010

zephyr_words has it with what's going on with your lips. i find myself thirstier now that that i'm well-hydrated than i was before, like my body recalibrated and i'm now more aware of my thirst. what's your potassium intake like? you might be drinking more water but your body might not actually be absorbing it well. i do bikram yoga (90 minutes of yoga in a 105 degree room) and have had to uptake my intake to about 2-4 liters a day, but didn't really get to proper hydration till i started taking two packets of emergen-c every day + eight ounces of coconut water before yoga class. eight ounces of coconut water has the potassium of two bananas! it's pretty amazing stuff.
posted by lia at 10:42 PM on September 30, 2010

For the chapped lips: are you wiping your mouth after you sip water? Perhaps dragging the back of your hand across your bottom lip? If yes, that's taking the oil off your skin. (my dermatologist showed me my own face wiping pattern, which helped me decrease my chapped face problems.)

With the thirst, when your body thinks you'll give it something, it's more inclined to ask for it. So, you start drinking a bit of extra water and your body likes that. So it tells you when it wants more. If you aren't drinking anywhere near enough your body stops asking or (more likely!) you've trained yourself to ignore the symptoms of thirst. In fact, I once heard that the sensation most American people experience as 'hunger' is often thirst, have a glass of water and wait 10 minutes before grabbing a snack.
posted by bilabial at 4:54 AM on October 1, 2010

You could use a straw to drink the water to see if that helps.
posted by JJ86 at 5:54 AM on October 1, 2010

For the copious amounts of chapstick zephyr mentioned, consider a non-petroleum based one - that is, spend the extra $1.50 and try Burt's Bees rather than Chapstick. Also, Burt's Bees is peppermint and a little delicious. =)
posted by maryr at 7:58 AM on October 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

Sometimes, there's this thing where the body is getting water but not absorbing it. If your stool is getting loose, or if you're peeing a ridiculous amount, basically, your body is just letting it pass through.

The two things to do would be make sure your getting electrolytes, as above (potassium, b-vitamins, a bit of salt), and try having soup on a regular basis- soup tricks your body into going, "Oh, this actually food, so we -should- absorb all the liquid" and you get hydrated better.
posted by yeloson at 8:07 AM on October 1, 2010

This is a shot in the dark, but it's allergy season in a lot of places--are you by any chance taking antihistamines? For years I found myself getting seasonal severely chapped lips despite copious amounts of lip balm and liquids. I finally made the connection between my chapped lips and taking various OTC and prescription antihistamines.
posted by bassomatic at 8:09 AM on October 1, 2010

Here's an article about water intoxication that explains how you can actually get dehydrated by drinking lots of water.
posted by wryly at 11:21 AM on October 1, 2010

Aha! I do occasionally have an issue with my potassium/electrolytes. Usually I don't notice until I start getting charlie horses in my leg. So I take a supplement and all is well. I didn't make a connection about water absorption - and by increasing my water, I'm likely flushing more of my electrolytes out. (I've added my supplement back in.)

As far as lip balm goes, I'm getting some Chop Saver. It is all natural, petroleum free, and specifically designed for brass and other wind players. Also, to deal with the chapping that is already here (since I won't see my Chop Saver dealer until Tues. or Thurs. - yes, dealer) I've taken vitamin E liquid gel capsules and spread the gel directly on the affected areas. After one night, things already feel better.

Thanks folks.
posted by Kimothy at 11:08 AM on October 2, 2010

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