Every tissue in our bodies is made of a large percent of water, which means that we need to drink more of it in order to keep our bodies working well. Your muscles and kidneys are 73% water, the blood is 83% water. Our lungs are 90% water, and the brain is 76% water. Men should drink about 12 cups of water, and women should stick to 9.
If you do not drink enough water, you are likely to experience the following symptoms:
Urine in healthy individuals is light yellow. But, if your body lacks water, the kidneys will release more waste material in the urine (dead blood cells, toxins, and proteins), which is why the urine has dark color. The color of your urine may be affected by some medication, B vitamins, beets, blackberries, asparagus, and food coloring. If your urine color has changed, have dome water. If it does not become lighter, you may be dealing with a severe ailment like hepatitis or gallstones.
Reduced urine output
Healthy people urinate 6-7 times a day. If your body is dehydrated, it will not be able to replace the fluids it has excreted, and the kidneys will retain more fluids in order to prevent further dehydration. If you do not go to the bathroom this often, consider drinking more water.
Dehydration leads to constipation. The body draws water from every tissue, including the colon. When the large intestine lacks water, it fails to perform its normal function, and you get stuck with constipation. Drink more water to prevent this.
Constipation is sometimes caused by insufficient physical activity, hypothyroidism, inflammation of the intestines, dysbiosis, food sensitivities, and chronic stress.
Dry and wrinkled skin
Dr. Diana Howard explains that dehydration makes the skin irritated, inflamed, itchy and sensitive. If you are dealing with a more serious condition, you may end up with red skin, cracks and bleeds. Dehydration also contributes to the formation of wrinkles. Drink more water to make your skin look younger again.
Hunger and weight gain
Human body may be a miracle, but it is unable to make a difference between hunger and thirst. The hypothalamus controls these two, and it often misinterprets thirst for hunger. This means that if you have a snack every time you are thirsty, you will gain weight.
If you are hungry, drink a cup of water, and wait for 15 minutes. If you still like to munch that sandwich, go for it.
Thirst and dry mouth
People cannot believe that being thirsty means that the body is already dehydrated. Dry mouth is also a common sign, so you better give your body some water.
Remember how we said that the body draws water from every organ and tissue? Well, it gets water from your brain, too. This causes the brain to lose its moisture and shrink, or pull away from the skull. This activates the pain receptors, and you end up with a nasty headache. Insufficient water intake reduces the volume of your blood, and also reduces the amount of oxygen that gets to the brain. The blood vessels in your brain dilate, and the headache gets worse.
According to a 2011 study, mild dehydration leads to fatigue, tiredness, and lack of energy. The heart works harder to move the oxygen and nutrients throughout the system. When you feel tired, skip your cup of coffee, and drink a glass a glass of water. Remember, coffee and other caffeinated drinks will only dehydrate your body even more. Coffee, tea, soda, and sugary sports drinks should not be used instead of water.
Water lubricates the joints, and stops the rubbing between bones. If your body does not get enough water, your joints will lose their nutrients, which damages the cartilage. When the body lacks water for longer, the cartilage may be damaged to an irreversible extent.
Dehydration increases the amount of toxins in your blood, which affects the immune function in the body. Drink plenty of water to get rid of the toxins, and help your immune system to fight against infections.
Reduce your intake of coffee and sugary juices, because these dehydrate the tissues due to their high caffeine and sugar content.