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.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.
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
It is the first indicator to tell you that you do not drink enough water. Urine of healthy organism is light yellow. If you do not take your water seriously, your kidneys excrete a “higher concentration of waste products in the urine, including dead blood cells, toxins, proteins and other products that need to be removed from the body”, which is why your urine is dark.
Urine changes its color as a result of certain drugs, B vitamins, beets, blackberries, asparagus, food coloring and other the like. If the changes are temporary, you are likely to have consumed something that has altered your urine color. D
rink plenty of water to determine whether the color of your urine becomes lighter. It your urine color is still dark, you may be dealing with a severe health condition like hepatitis or even gallstones.
- Reduced urination
A healthy person urinates 6-7 times within 24 hours. But, if you do not drink proper amounts of water, the body cannot replace the fluids it has lost. Your kidneys try to keep as much water as possible to prevent the body from dehydrating.
If you go to the toilet less than 6 times a day, make sure you increase your water intake, and observe your overall health condition.
It is a common sign of dehydration, and usually an increased water intake solves the problem. When you do not drink enough water, the body will draw out water from every tissue, including the colon.
If your large intestine is well hydrated, your stool should be soft and easy-to-pass. Water deficiency results in harder stools.
Make sure you drink plenty of water, and eat more fiber-rich foods. Constipation is also caused by lack of physical activity, hypothyroidism, inflammation of the intestines and dysbiosis, food sensitivity and stress. If you drink enough water and still deal with constipation, check for any other causes.
- Dry and wrinkled skin
Most women spend a small fortune on good moisturizers that promise a soft and smooth skin. Some go for expensive treatments that are supposed to free them from fine lines and wrinkles.
Others drink plenty of water. Dr Diana Howard says that dehydration is a contributing factor to irritated, inflamed, itching or sensitive skin. Sometimes skin becomes flaky and scaly, and in more severe cases it is all red, bleeding and filled with cracks.
When the skin lacks moisture, its cells shrivel, which makes the wrinkles more defined and you look older. So, consider replenishing your skin with plenty of filtered water.
- Thirst and dry mouth
Thirst is a great indicator that your body already lacks water. Dry mouth is a common sign that you are thirsty, and your mucus membranes scream for water. So, sip some water throughout the entire day.
As we already explained, when you do not drink enough water, the body absorbs water from its tissues in an attempt to preserve as much water as it can.
It also draws the moisture from your brain tissue, making it shrink and pulling it away from the skull. This triggers the pain receptors, and you experience a severe headache.
Insufficient water intake affects your blood volume, and thus reduces the oxygen flow to the brain. Blood vessels in your brain start dilating and lead to swelling and inflammation, which makes the headache even more severe.
A 2011 study has shown that mild hydration causes fatigue, tiredness and energy drop. Blood volume decreases in a dehydrated body, and the heart uses more effort to move the oxygen and nutrients in the body.
If you feel tired, drink a glass of water instead of regular cup of coffee. Keep in mind that coffee dehydrates the body. You should never drink coffee, tea, soda and sports drinks instead of pure, filtered water.
9. Joint pain
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.
10. 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.
Do not confuse sickness with thirst
If you thought that every liquid can hydrate your body, you are definitely wrong. Not every fluid is healthy and hydrating. Coffee and sodas actually dehydrate your body, due to their high caffeine and sugar content.
Dr Batmanghelidi, a medical doctor and expert in the healing potential of water, says that most ailments considered as ‘diseases’ actually disappear as patients increases their water intake.
According to him, sufficient water intake can aid in the treatment of diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, cardiovascular problems, asthma, and joint pain.
Keep in mind that small changes always ring great goods. Consider drinking enough water. If you forget to drink your water, always have a glass water bottle near you. Set your alarm if necessary!