We all know that the human body is mostly composed of water and that we need to consume a certain amount in order to survive. Your muscles and kidneys are made up of 73% water; your blood is composed of 83% water; your lungs are 90% water and your brain is made up of 76% water. The recommended amounts for water consumption are 3 liters (12 cups) for men and 2.2 liters (9 cups) for women.
Everyone who is not drinking enough water will experience some of the following symptoms:
- Your Urine is Dark Yellow
Usually, the urine should have a light yellow-amber color. But, if you don’t drink enough water, the kidneys will excrete “more waste products in the urine, such as dead blood cells, toxins, or proteins, which results in darker urine. You can also have darker urine after consuming certain medications, B-Vitamins, beets, blackberries, asparagus or food coloring. If you notice a change in urine color, increase the consumption of water immediately and observe if your urine color becomes lighter. If your urine stays dark for a longer period, it could be a sign of more serious health issues such as hepatitis or gallstones.
- Your Urine Output is Reduced
Commonly, people urinate between 6-7 times every day. But if you don’t drink enough water, there will be less fluid available to replace the fluids that are excreted from the body, so the kidneys will keep as much fluid as possible in order to prevent dehydration. If you urinate less than 6 times per day, you must increase the water intake immediately.
Lack of water in the body causes constipation. If you don’t drink enough water, your body will absorb water from wherever it can, including the colon. An insufficient amount of water in the large intestine will lead to harder stools. So, consuming a lot of water is important if you want to prevent or treat constipation. Constipation can also be caused by physical inactivity, hypothyroidism, intestinal inflammation and dysbiosis, food sensitivities and stress.
- Your skin is dry and wrinkles are more defined
According to Dr. Diana Howard, dehydration can lead to an irritated, inflamed, itching and sensitive skin. In severe cases, the skin can even become red with cracks and bleeds. The lack of water also causes the appearance of wrinkles. So, you should drink more water to revitalize your skin.
- Hunger and Weight Gain
The body has a small defect – it does not know the difference between hunger and thirst. The hypothalamus, the part of the brain which is responsible for the regulation of hunger and thirst, often gets confused because it causes hunger when your organism needs water. So, eating a snack instead of drinking a water will result in an excess caloric intake and weight gain. When you feel hungry, you should drink a cup of water and then wait for 15 minutes. If you still feel hungry after that, it’s a sign that you should eat something.
- Thirst and Dry Mouth
Most people find it hard to believe that feeling thirsty for water is a sign that the body is slightly dehydrated. A dry mouth usually occurs with thirst and is another sign that the body needs hydration.
If you don’t drink enough water, your body will absorb water from all of your tissues to compensate for the lack of fluids. Because of that, your brain tissue loses some of its moisture and shrinks, pulling away from the skull. This triggers the pain receptors and results in a headache. At the same time, when you don’t consume enough water, the blood volume drops, reducing the amount of oxygen being carried to the brain. In response to this, the blood vessels in the brain will dilate and the headache will intensify.
According to a study conducted in 2011, mild dehydration can cause fatigue, tiredness and lowers the energy. When your body lacks water, the heart has to work harder to push oxygen and nutrients through the body. So, when you start to feel tired, skip the coffee (which is dehydrating!) and drink water instead. Coffee, tea, soda and sports drinks are not substitutes for water.
- Joint Pain
Water is a lubricant to the joints because it allows two bones to slide over each other as the joint moves. If you don’t drink enough water, the joint will become nutrient deficient, which leads to damage of the cartilage cells. If your organism is lacking water for an extended period of time, your cartilage will degenerate beyond repair.
- Weak Immune System
Dehydration increases the concentration of toxins in the blood, which weakens the immune system. Drinking enough water is very important for the elimination of toxins and helps the immune system to defend from infections.
Reduce the intake of some beverages such as coffee and juice, because they can actually dehydrate the body due to their caffeine and sugar content.