Hydrate! Many times our bodies confuse thirst with hunger, the key reason it can be so difficult for us to decipher exactly what food item will satisfy the craving. “The same area of your brain that controls hunger also controls thirst, so sometimes signals get crossed when you haven’t had enough to drink during the day to confuse you into feeling the sensations of ‘hunger,’” explains Blatner. As it turns out, when your body is in need of water, it doesn’t particularly care if you get it from an actual glass of H2O or your favorite pint of Ben and Jerry’s. Your best bet is to drink a quick glass of water when cravings strike and then wait 15 minutes to see if you’re still craving something to eat.

Getty Images

There's a massive market for functional waters. But are these products worth the hype? 

Roshini Rajapaksa, MD
March 10, 2017

Functional waters are any brand of H2O "enhanced" with special ingredients, like herbs or antioxidants, that supposedly bring health benefits. Some types make sense to drink: Water with added electrolytes may be useful if you exercise a lot and sweat heavily and need to replenish sodium and other electrolytes quickly, or if you have a diarrheal illness and are potentially losing electrolytes that way. And waters with added vitamins can give you a nutritional boost (though you absorb vitamins better when you get them through food).

RELATED: 15 Big Benefits of Water

Be more skeptical of any brands that claim to alter the body’s pH, as well as ones that have added hydrogen to purportedly load you up with extra antioxidant power. There’s no credible science to back these claims. One 2012 lab study found that alkaline water with a pH of 8.8 neutralized pepsin, a stomach enzyme involved in breaking down food proteins and producing stomach acid, which suggests it might help soothe acid reflux—but it hasn’t been studied in people yet. For the most part, your body is designed to maintain its own pH balance naturally, and what you eat or drink doesn’t change that.

 

Health’s medical editor, Roshini Rajapaksa, MD, is assistant professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine.