Did you know that the human body is made of 65 percent water? This liquid is needed for countless biochemical and physiological processes, from waste removal and detoxification to regulation of blood temperature.
Interestingly, thirst comes when you lose a percent or two of the overall water content, but at this point, the body has already entered the early stage of dehydration.
Signs of Dehydration
- Muscle cramps
- Bad breath
- Mood swings
- Sugar cravings
- Dull, dry skin and/or pronounced wrinkles
- Infrequent urination; dark concentrated urine
- Back or joint ache
- Fatigue and/or dizziness
- Foggy thinking and poor concentration
The effects of mild dehydration range from headaches to impaired cognition, but the ones of severe dehydration can be life-threatening. Chronic dehydration causes damage to the organs and creates the perfect condition for sickness to thrive. Here are some of its effects:
Constipation: In the case of insufficient water intake, the body draws water from the colon. Consequently, waste starts to move slowly through the large intestines, leading to constipation.
Digestive Disorders: Lack of water and alkaline minerals like calcium and magnesium in body can lead to various digestive disorders, such as gastritis, acid reflux, and ulcers.
Bladder or Kidney Problems: Accumulation of acids and toxins creates a thriving environment for bacteria, leading to inflammation, infections, pain, and formation of stones.
Skin Disorders: Dehydration impairs the removal of toxins through the skin, leading to skin disorders like discoloration, dermatitis, wrinkles, and psoriasis.
Headaches and Migraines: Dehydration deprives fluid sacks around the brain cells to undergo pressure, causing headaches and migraines.
Joint Pain or Stiffness: All joints have cartilage padding composed mainly of water, so dehydration weakens he cartilages, leading to pain and discomfort in the joints.
Asthma and Allergies: To preserve water, body restricts the airways, increasing histamine levels.
High Blood Pressure: When properly hydrated, the blood is normally about 92 percent water. When dehydrated, it becomes thicker, leading to high blood pressure.
High Cholesterol: The body creates more cholesterol in order to prevent water loss from the cells.
Weight Gain, Constant Hunger: When dehydrated, the body cells are stripped of energy to burn fuel, causing fatigue. And, we tend to eat more.
Generally, adults should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, but these numbers can vary, depending on factors like weight, age, weather conditions, physical activity, and more.
As reported by CNN,
“Since often people purposely avoid drinking prior to a long road trip to prevent bathroom stops, dehydration could increase the risk of traffic accidents.”
One study looked at the effects of dehydration by providing 200ml of water every hour to drivers, and 25ml to dehydrated drivers.
Daily Mail reported:
“During the normal hydration test, there were 47 driving errors. That number rose to 101 when the men were dehydrated – the same mistake rate as that when drivers were either sleep deprived or at the drink-drive limit.
The researchers…think dehydration leads to reduced brain activity as well as a drop in alertness and short-term memory…The researchers wrote…’Body water losses have been shown to impair performance in a variety of tests of both physical and mental performance… ‘
The level of dehydration-induced in the present study was mild and could easily be reproduced by individuals with limited access to fluid over the course of a busy working day.’”
The body loses water throughout the day, and drinks like soda, fruit juices, sports drinks, and energy drinks are poor replacement for water. Most of them are high in caffeine, which acts as diuretic and dehydrating.
Many people opt for sports drinks after a workout in order to replace the lost electrolytes. But, they contain large quantities of sugar, typically in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. What you should do instead is choose coconut water or add pink Himalayan salt to pure water.
Dr. Joseph Mercola advices people to avoid bottled and distilled water as well. As he explains,
“Not only is bottled water a major strain on the environment, but a lot of bottled water is no cleaner than tap water. In fact, about 40 percent of bottled water IS regular tap water, which may or may not have received any additional treatment.
The metal antimony (a silvery white metal of medium hardness) has been found in many commercially bottled water brands, for example.
It’s also been found that the longer a bottle of water sits on a shelf — in a grocery store or your refrigerator – the greater the dose of antimony present. The biggest offenders were packaged in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) containers. It is believed that the amount of antimony leaching from these PET bottles differs based on exposure to sunlight, higher temperatures, and varying pH levels.
Most municipal tap water — though generally far from pure — must actually adhere to stricter purity standards than the bottled water industry. In one study, a third of more than 100 bottled water brands tested for contaminants were found to contain chemicals like arsenic and carcinogenic compounds, at levels exceeding state or industry standards.
Additionally, fluoride (a highly toxic bone poison that should be avoided at all costs) is usually present in both tap water AND filtered bottled water.”
As for distilled water, he notes,
“Distillation is the process in which water is boiled, evaporated, and the vapor condensed back to liquid water. Although it’s a controversial stance, I am firmly convinced that regular and consistent use of distilled water is harmful to your health.
Distilled water has the wrong ionization, pH, polarization and oxidation potentials, and if you drink it for too long it can drain your body of necessary minerals. This happens because distilled water is like a vacuum without any minerals, so it will actually leach beneficial minerals from your body to balance it out.
While this might be beneficial for a short period during some sort of detoxification regimen, it’s usually highly counter-productive in the long run. Distilled water is also highly acidic. Most of us are far too acidic already and the last thing we need to be drinking is a fluid that will make us even more acidic.
Distilled water is usually touted as beneficial because of its lack of contaminants. However, many of the devices that distill water are made of metal, which will actually add certain toxic metals like nickel back to the water and worsen your health.”