There are three fundamental reasons to drink any liquid:

Quenching thirst, filling the body's need for liquid.
Sweet, bitter, citrus - whatever. Often our body craves some effect and we go for the flavor.
Often coupled with flavor - the sweet flavor of glucose, the citrus flavor of vitamin C. Though other times its for the effect of some drug within the beverage - for example: caffeine and alcohol.

And what does this all mean?

When a cyclist is out cycling, the beverage of choice is that of water for its thirst quenching ability and lack of effect (you don't want a sugar rush that burns out). Over a good dinner, a glass of wine - for the complementary flavor and effect. Other times, its the pure and simple desire to get drunk as the effect (its the only explanation for some of the drinks people consume).

Whatever reason one is consciously drinking for - be aware of the other reasons. This becomes especially important when effect factors in:

  • Drinking for thirst - a caffeinated drink before trying to go to sleep.
  • Drinking for flavor/effect - a hot day, sitting in the pub and realizing that while mixed vodka drinks may have the flavor and effect that were sought after, being thirsty increases the rate and quantity drunk - far beyond the original intent.

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