Ever eat some pizza and within an hour or so you get thirsty? What’s happening there? Well, I know this all too well, let’s chat about why pizza makes you thirsty!
It’s how the big companies and pizza restaurants make money, I’m sure. Not only are you parting with your cash for a delicious slice of the good stuff, but you also need to pay a few extra dollars for a soda to wash it down with.
That’s because every time you eat a slice of pizza, you end up feeling dehydrated and in need of a cool drink of water. But have you ever stopped and wondered why that is?
If so, you’re in the right place, because I’ve wondered the exact same thing, and now I have an answer for us all!
Short Answer: Pizza is high in sodium (salt) and low in hydration, this makes you get dehydrated, thus thirsty. Follow the tips below to find out how to prevent yourself from getting thirsty when you eat pizza.
There’s Very Little Water In Pizza
Seems odd when you say it, but compared to other foods, pizza just doesn’t have a very high water content.
That means you aren’t replenishing any water as you eat as you would normally do with other food.
Plenty of food is full of water, some vegetables in particular, for example, have enough water in them to really make you feel hydrated after eating them. But the same just can’t be said for pizza.
The pizza base does typically have some water added in the production process, but this mostly evaporates during baking.
Depending on your toppings, you might have a little water, especially if you’re somebody who prefers a veggie pizza.
But the key ingredient – the cheese – has very little water in it too, so if you aren’t having many veggies, you’ll probably feel even thirstier than most when you eat your pizza.
There’s A Lot Of Sodium In Pizza
Cheese doesn’t just stop there. Not only does it contain very little water, but it also has one of the highest sodium contents of all the usual ingredients on a pizza.
Some cheese blends are higher in sodium than others, but if you’re wondering why you’re so thirsty, then the cheese is likely the prime culprit.
Sodium is salt, and salt makes you thirsty. It dehydrates you, and so your body lets you know that you’re thirsty so you will replenish your water levels.
That’s why after eating pizza, your mouth feels dry and all you can think about is a tall drink of water. It’s your body’s way of telling you that you’re missing something.
But don’t let your pizza fool you. Even if you’re somebody who likes your pizza without cheese, the sauce and meats you put on top are also high in sodium. So no matter which way you look at it, pizza is high in sodium, and sodium is making you thirsty.
Why Do We Need Sodium?
You might think that maybe it’s a good idea to cut sodium out of your diet – because if it makes you thirsty, it can’t be good for you, right? Well, actually it has more to do with the amount of sodium you’re consuming, rather than the fact that you’re consuming it at all.
Small amounts of sodium are good for you. It’s necessary for your body to perform in the way that it needs to. It helps build healthy muscles and has a role when it comes to nerve function too.
But it’s a delicate balancing act. When you start to take too much sodium into your body, your body recognizes that there is a sudden excess, and so wants to restore the balance between water and sodium.
That’s why you’re also more likely to want to urinate after pizza too, because your body wants to expel the excess sodium, and encourage you to replenish it with the water it needs to keep you hydrated and feeling well.
Is Pizza Bad For Me?
Listen, I run a pizza blog, of course I don’t think it’s bad for you, but I’d be lying if I said it was good for you if you have it all the time. Like most things we enjoy in life, we need to enjoy it in moderation.
Eating too much food that’s high in sodium can negatively affect your health over time. It can lead to rising blood pressure, which can go on to more serious conditions such as heart attacks and strokes.
A pizza now and then isn’t going to harm you. You can still enjoy good pizza without any worry.
But you just need to live a balanced life and eat a balanced diet. Besides, there’s a way you can enjoy pizza without worrying about sodium levels or it making you feel dehydrated.
How To Stop Feeling Thirsty When Eating Pizza
The first, and most obvious suggestion, is to make sure you drink plenty of water whilst you eat pizza.
Try to avoid reaching for the soda we spoke about at the start of this article too. It might feel like it’s helping you in the short term, but you’ll be thirstier much sooner than you would be if you opted for water instead.
The next suggestion is one I’m really passionate about, and that’s to control the sodium levels in your pizza.
And to do that, you’ll need to do one thing: make your own! It’s fun, it’s healthier, and you get to choose exactly what you want on it.
Not only that, but if you’re worried about sodium levels, you can go a little lighter on the cheese, make your own sauce with fresh vegetables, and step away from the salt grinder.
The point is, when you make pizza yourself at home, you can control how healthy or unhealthy it is, whilst still enjoying delicious pizza. Rather than letting this post make you want to step away from pizza for good, I hope it’ll actually inspire you to eat more homemade pizza instead of takeout.
That way you’re in control, and you don’t miss out on the dish that everybody on this blog loves so much!
So remember, drink plenty of water, make your own pizza wherever you can, and be mindful of the sodium that you’re putting into your body, and you won’t notice feeling thirsty the next time you come to eat a slice of your favorite pizza!