Human body is about 70% water, which means it needs sufficient amount of water to carry out its functions properly. Both muscle and kidney tissues are mostly water as well. Your blood is 83% water, your lungs are astonishing 90% water, and your brain is 76% water.
- The body loses water through breathing, sweating and urinating, so providing sufficient amounts of water is of essential importance. Experts suggest that we drink 6-8 glasses of water on a daily basis, but most people usually stick to 2 cups in average.
Men should drink up to 3 liters of water, or 12 cups, and women are advised to drink 2.2 liters of water, or 9 cups. These amounts are essential for optimal hydration. Insufficient water intake causes mild dehydration which manifests through various symptoms.
– Dark urine
The first thing dehydration does is change the color of your urine, which is an important indicator of how well hydrated you are. When your body is well-hydrated, the color of your urine is clear or light, whereas dark yellow or amber-colored urine is a clear sign of dehydration.
It doesn’t necessarily means that you’re dehydrated if your urine is darker in color. It could be a result of certain medications, vitamin B, or if you’ve recently eaten beets, blackberries, asparagus and similar food. If the change in color is temporary it’s probably a result of something you’ve eaten but if it’s consisted you need to start drinking more water. If your urine is still dark after you’ve started drinking more water you should consult a doctor, it may be a sign of a more serious condition like hepatitis.
– Reduced urination
If you don’t have the need to urinate every few hours, your body may be experiencing dehydration. When you are getting enough water, you should be going to the toilet about 4-7 times a day. If, however, you don’t, the toxin levels in your body increase and may lead to serious consequences. If you don’t go so often to the toilet you need to increase your water intake immediately.
This condition is caused when there isn’t enough water in the body and in that case the body absorbs the water from every part of the body, including from the colon. If there is no sufficient amount of water in the large intestines it leads to harder stools. If you want to prevent and treat constipation then drink a lot of water. It can be also caused by stress, food sensitivities, intestinal inflammation and dysbiosis, hypothyroidism and physical inactivity.
– Dry skin and more defined wrinkles
Dr. D. Howard states that dehydration may lead to sensitive, itching, inflamed and irritated skin. In some cases the skin bleeds and becomes red with cracks. Also the lack of water leads to appearance of wrinkles. Revitalize your skin by drinking a lot of water.
– Weight gain and hunger
The body is so intrinsically smart but has a glitch – it does not know the difference between hunger and thirst. The hypothalamus, the part of the brain responsible for regulating hunger and thirst, often gets confused, causing hunger pangs in response to thirst. Reaching for a snack instead of a glass of water leads to excess caloric intake and weight gain.
If you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight, make sure you are consuming adequate amounts of water. If you feel hungry, grab a glass of water before going for a snack and wait 10-15 minutes to see if the hunger has passed or if it’s still present. If you are still feeling hungry then it is true hunger and time for you to eat.
– Thirst and Dry Mouth
Believe it or not, feeling thirsty for water is a sign that you are already slightly dehydrated. A dry mouth often occurs with thirst and signifies that the mucus membranes in the body need hydration. The only way to resolve thirst and a dry mouth is to drink water throughout the day.
When you don’t drink enough water, your body will attempt to preserve and reabsorb water from all of your tissues to compensate for the lack of fluid intake. Subsequently, your brain tissue loses some of its moisture and shrinks, pulling away from the skull. Pain receptors are triggered resulting in a headache. Simultaneously, when you don’t drink enough water, blood volume drops, reducing the amount of oxygen being carried to the brain. Blood vessels in the brain dilate in response leading to swelling and inflammation, intensifying the headache.
A mild dehydration can lower the energy and cause tiredness and fatigue, according to a study in 2011. When the body needs water, our heart needs to work harder in order to push the oxygen and the nutrients through the body. When you feel tired, you should skip the coffee because it is dehydrating and instead of that drink water. Do not substitute water with sport drinks, soda, tea and coffee.
– Pain in the joints
Water lubricates the joints, and the bones have no difficulty sliding over each other. Water deficiency makes the joints nutrient deficient, which damages the cartilage. Chronic dehydration causes irreversible damage. Increase your water intake, especially if you are dealing with joint pain.
– Poor immunity
Being dehydrated means having more toxins in the blood. This affects the immune system, and your response towards diseases. Keep your body hydrated to ease the elimination of waste material, and fight against infections.