Interoception, Thirst, and Sensory Overwhelm

I was talking about interoception last week on Instagram (Post 1, Post 2). Interoception is your eighth sense that lets you know what's happening inside your body. So, your sense of interoception includes things like hunger, thirst, bowel movements, emotions, pain etc.

Anyway, I really struggle with interoception, and one of the things I struggle with most is remembering to drink water.

Water Doesn't Taste Good, Y'All

First of all, I don't really like still water at all. If it's very cold and you give it to me at a restaurant, I will drink it, but if I'm home, I won't put ice in my water because I can't handle the noise that the ice machine makes, and I won't touch ice because it feels terrible, so I cannot make myself ice water without using up way more energy than it's worth.

For a while, I was successful drinking sparkling water, but then I ran out of carbonation cartridges and have not been able to get more, and I hate putting four cans a day into recycling (that's not even really being recycled because the Earth is in a garbage crisis) just to stay hydrated.

But when I don't drink water, I get tired and sluggish and obviously grumpy, and I'm unhappy and unproductive and not great to be around, and obviously you need to drink water to be a person, so it's not a good choice to just not drink liquids.

So Make It Taste Like Not-Water

Anyway, that whole run up is just a way for me to say that if you are like me and have trouble drinking still water, but carbonated water doesn't work either, one thing that really works well for me is to put about an eighth or a quarter of a cup of orange juice into a glass, and dump eight or ten ounces of cold water from the faucet on top.

The syrupy nature of the orange juice somehow masks the texture of the water, which is the part I don't like, and there's just enough flavor from the orange that I can't really taste just plain still water, so I will drink a lot of it. This also works okay with other juice, but you'll have to see what works for you. I don't like it with apple juice, for example, because apple juice is so thin it doesn't work to obscure the texture for me.

And, I know water doesn't *have* a texture. I don't know what to tell you. It feels very thin and I don't love it and I like it better when it's thicker, okay?

Is Hatred of Water Genetic?

I actually learned this trick from my father, who used to bring a huge mason jar of water cut with orange juice to work. I do not know what his rationale was for doing this. He does have some things that look like sensory differences, but he also doesn't like to spend money and may just have not wanted to have to buy more orange juice. But it works really well, and I encourage you to try it if you're like me and you have trouble drinking water and talk yourself out of it.

Sometimes Your Mind Wants Water, But It Tells You to Eat Chocolate.

Also, if you are craving sweets and you haven't had water today, try drinking water first. I'm not a nutritionist and I don't know why, but if I want something sweet, about 50% of the time that I am actually thirsty.

And then 50% of the time I really just want sweets, but then at least I had some water before I ate my chocolate, and that's not a bad thing.

Thanks for reading this tongue-in-cheek interoception post. I hope it helped you!

Do you have trouble with interoception? If so, what tricks would you share with others? Let me know in the comments!

Leave a Comment