We all know that we need to drink plenty of water every day. Did you know that water makes up about 75% of your body weight? A person cannot survive without water for more than a few days. Every cell, organ and tissue in the body depends on water.
Water lubricates our joints, eyes, it aids digestion, it eliminates all harmful toxins from the body, keeps the skin healthy, etc.
Without water, your body would stop functioning properly. Hence, it is important to keep your body hydrated. To stay hydrated, drink fluids and eat foods rich in water content. You should know that sometimes your body may lose water more than usual. This can be caused by some physical activities, excessive sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, diabetes and frequent urination. This causes an electrolyte imbalance in your body, leading to dehydration and making it difficult for your body to function at its best.
Some people are unaware when their body lacks adequate water. Understanding the signs of dehydration will help you know when you need to boost your water intake. These are the most common symptoms and warning signs of dehydration that you should pay attention to:
- Heart Palpitations
First, you should know that when the normal water content in your body is reduced, it will disturb the balance of minerals – salts and sugar, in your body. This will affect the way they function. These symptoms usually occur when the levels of potassium and sugar in the blood are low. This can cause from premature contractions of the heart’s upper chambers (atria) or the lower chambers (ventricles). You should also know that low magnesium levels, which can be caused by excessive sweating or diarrhea, may also lead to abnormal heart rhythm.
- Bad Breath
Did you know that the saliva protects your teeth from decay, disease and cavities by forming a protective barrier around them and helping clear food particles on and between your teeth? Well yes, and when you become dehydrated – you don’t produce enough saliva. This means that the reduced amount of saliva allows bacteria to grow, and to cause bad breath. You should also know that dry mouth will make you more likely to develop rapid tooth decay and gum disease.
- Food Cravings
Professor Dr. John Higgins, associate professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Texas in Houston, and chief of cardiology at Lyndon B. Johnson, says that when you are dehydrated, it can be difficult for some nutrients and organs like the liver – which use water to release some glycogens and other components of your energy store. This means that you will get cravings for foods. He also says that you can crave for anything – from chocolate to a salty snack. But, cravings for sweets are more common because your body may be experiencing difficulty with glycogen production. So, you should avoid junk and processed foods, and eat more water-dense foods. You should eat more fruits, like watermelon, kiwi, peaches, etc. You should also consume vegetables like cucumber and tomatoes. You will notice that these vegetables will satisfy your cravings.
- Painful Joints and Muscles
Did you know that the cartilage in your joints is made up of 65% to 80% water? Well yes, and when the joints aren’t properly hydrated – it can cause the bones (in which they connect) to grind. This process will cause joint pain and inflammation. You should also know that low magnesium, caused by dehydration, can also cause muscle cramps and pain in the leg muscles. This is why you should eat more dark leafy greens and avocado. These foods will help you replenish both your water and your minerals levels.
The human brain is located in the skull, and it sits inside a fluid “sack”, which keeps is from bumping against the skull. This protective fluid sack ensures that your brain isn’t damaged every time you walk or run. But, you should know that if the fluid sack is reduced, then your brain might begin to push against your skull. And this is one of the most common causes of headaches. You should also know that the dehydration process decreases the blood supply to the brain, which means – less oxygen and glycose. This can also cause a terrible headache.
- Constipation and Poor Digestion
We all know that water helps our body to break down the food, so that our bodies can absorb the nutrients much better. This actually means that it boosts the absorption of water-soluble vitamins, like Vitamin C. The large intestine soaks water from your food waste to be processed by your kidneys. So, your intestines soak the right amount of water to make your stool in the right consistency. This means that when you are dehydrated, it will soak up more water to prevent fluid loos. This will make your stool hard and it will make it difficult to push it through your digestive tract.
- Fatigue and Lethargy
You should also know that fluid loss causes your blood volume to drop and your blood pressure to rise. This actually means that your heart has to use more energy to “feed” your brain, skin, and muscles with oxygen and nutrients. This will make you tired and sleepy. A recent study has found that women who didn’t drink enough water after exercising, had bad results on questionnaires assessing mood. This study also found that it’s harder to work and people who are dehydrated will experience more fatigue and confusion. Men had similar results.
- Dark Urine
We all know that our kidneys work to maintain fluid balance in your organism. So, when you drink plenty of water, your urine color should be light to clear yellow. This means that your kidneys have enough water to expel toxins from your body. But, when the color of your urine is dark, this means that your kidneys redirected the water back into your body to maintain blood pressure and mineral balance. This actually mans that dark urine has a large concentration of toxins and should be taken as a warning sign to drink more water – immediately. And you should also know that chronic dehydration can leave your kidneys overloaded with toxins, even causing kidney stones.
- Dry Skin and Lips
First, you need to know that your skin is made up of about 30% water, which means that water contributes to is plumpness, elasticity and resiliency. And the oil, which is produced by your skin, prevents the water from evaporating. But, some factors like: showering, dry air, heat, skin infection, etc. can lead to high rates of water evaporation. These habits will make your skin dry and itchy. The skin cells are the first to lose their fluid content during internal dehydration. This is actually done to favor fluid retention in the internal body organs. So, you should drink plenty of water every day to prevent this phenomenon and skin thickness and density.
- Brain Fog
You should also know that lack of water can cause some changes in your mood and the cognitive functioning. A mild dehydration can cause a short-term memory, perceptual discrimination, arithmetic ability, vasomotor tracking, and psychomotor skill in people of all ages. Dehydration can also cause mood swings between exhaustion, confusion, anger and high energy.
As you can see, lack of water can cause many different health problems for you and your health in general. This is why you should drink plenty of water every day and eat more water-dense foods.