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The Sulchan Aruch in Orach Chayim 204:7 rules:

השותה מים לצמאו מברך שהכל ולאחריו בנ"ר אבל אם חנקתיה אומצא ושותה מים להעביר האומצא אינו מברך לא לפניו ולא לאחריו:

Whomever drinks water to quench one's thirst blesses through Whose word everything was created and Creator of many souls following its consumption. But if a thick piece of meat is pressing on one's throat and one drinks water to remove that piece of meat, one blesses neither before drinking the water nor following drinking the water.

Based on this ruling it is clear that one would not make shehakol on water if one is not drinking out of thirst.

What would the halacha be if one drinks so to not become thirsty. For example, if one goes on a trip and drinks water beforehand in order to not become thirsty on the trip, is that considered drinking out of thirst and requires a bracha, or do we say that because in the current situation no thirst is at hand, no bracha is required?

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  • The same question arises as regards drinking water before a fast in order to stay hydrated during the fast. I've always heard that one ought not say a berakhah. The Yalqut Yosef 104:10 rules this way as well. Jun 20 at 23:55

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R' Nissim Karelitz in חוט שני mentions this case and says that you would not make a Bracha. However if there is any small amount of enjoyment, like if it is hot outside, then you would have to make a bracha. R' Elyashiv in Ashrei Ish 1:36:18 concurs.

However, R' Wosner in Shevet Halevi 9:42 and 10:42;12 brings the Eishel Avraham and the Gr"a on that discuss the matter, and he concludes that in this exact case, since the point is not to be thirsty later, you would make a Bracha. In Shaare Bracha 18;77 he concludes definitively that one would make a bracha and says that is the minhag haolam.

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  • So who do we follow!?
    – ezra
    Jun 22 at 3:54
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    @ezra that’s a practical question to ask your LOR.
    – Chatzkel
    Jun 22 at 11:03

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