The human body is made of 2/3 of water, so it cannot survive more than 72 hours without this amazing liquid. Namely, every single part of our body, every tissue, cell, and body organ significantly depends on water. These are the benefits of drinking water:
It balances the body fluids.
It regulates and maintains body temperature.
It promotes the elimination of waste products and toxins.
It promotes digestion.
It controls calorie intake.
It keeps your skin hydrated and youthful.
It offers protection for your tissues, spinal cord and joints.
It lubricates your joints and eyes.
Therefore, due to the fact that the functions of our organs depend on water, proper hydration is extremely important for our health. So, you need to consume lots of fluids and eat foods rich in water in order to keep your body hydrated. Yet, your body can lose more water in some situations, including diarrhoea, vomiting, frequent urination, hard physical activity, excessive sweating and diabetes.
Dehydration impedes your body function as it causes electrolyte imbalance. Yet, numerous people do not know the most important symptoms of dehydration and may not notice it. These signs may help you act on time and prevent further complications.
These are the 10 most prominent dehydration symptoms that you must know:
Accelerated heartbeat - The proper body hydration affects your heart rate and performance. Namely, the lack of water in the body leads to more viscous blood and decreases the volume of the plasma, which leads to a circulation of the blood and accelerated heart rate.
A study published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research in 2014 confirmed this, as the researchers discovered that due to dehydration, there is an average change of the heartbeat of three beats per minute for every 1% change in body weight. Despite hypotension, the lack of water in the body can lead to alterations in the electrolytes levels in your body. This accelerates heart palpitations as a result of the extra stress on your body. Moreover, this situation can be the reason for fear, panic and anxiety.
If you experience these symptoms, you need to sip some water slowly, in order to check if your condition improves. If not, you need to consult your doctor.
Bad breath and dry mouth - In the case of a deficiency of water in the body, it stimulates the production of saliva, which has antibacterial properties. Due to the fact that bacteria proliferate in the oral cavity, you may experience bad breath. Furthermore, you will also have a dry mouth, as water has the function of a lubricator, that is, to hydrate the mucus membranes in the throat.
Abrupt food cravings - In numerous cases, we can mistake our thirst with hunger. Namely, we crave for food when our body needs water. Hence, if you suddenly feel the need to eat something, you should first drink a glass of water before you get something to eat. Furthermore, in the case of water loss and loss of electrolytes, the body has a great need for a salty food. In these cases, you should consume a sports drink which has sodium, or you can drink the mixture of some fresh lemon juice, a teaspoon of salt and a glass of water. Moreover, you can also experience food cravings when the production of glycogen is difficult, so you need to eat some sweet, but also rich in water, fruits, like papaya, berries and watermelon.
Pain in the joints and muscles - Lack of water in the body increases the friction between the bones, which causes painful joints. This is due to the fact that our joints and cartilage are made of 80% water. Conversely, in the case of proper hydration of the body, our joints can easily handle movements and physical activities, including jumping, running and falling in a painless way. Also, you may also experience cramps and muscle spasm if your body lacks water.
Headaches and dizziness - Due to the decreased amount of liquid which surrounds your brain, and it is needed for the protection from mild knocks, you may experience dizziness and migraines. Moreover, you may also have headaches, which are caused by the reduced flow of oxygen and blood to the brain, due to dehydration.
The report published in the Handbook of Clinical Neurology in 2010 also proved that dehydration may lead to severe headaches and migraines. In the case of a headache due to dehydration, a glass of water can be as effective as pills.
Constipation and digestive issue - The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a story in 2003 which proved that proper hydration is essential in the prevention of constipation and the key to proper body function. The hydrating function of water in all tissues and cells in the body is also needed by the digestive system. Namely, it is responsible for a clean and supple gastro- intestinal tract, prevents constipation and triggers your bowel movements.
In the case of dehydration, you may experience constipation, as the loss of fluid leads to a hardened stool. Furthermore, dehydration can also be caused by vomiting and diarrhoea, which can furthermore lead to indigestion and acid reflux.
Fatigue and lethargy - Proper body hydration will keep you alert and energetic. Dehydration also causes lethargy and fatigue, as the lack of water in the brain leads to low blood pressure and insufficient supply of oxygen throughout your body. Therefore, you may experience lethargic feelings, exhaustion and sleepiness.
The lack of water in the body also has disadvantageous effects in the transport of important nutrients to cells. Due to all this, the body needs to invest extra efforts to sustain it, and spends additional energy, which leads to fatigue.
Decreased need for urination and changed urine colour - Your body may be dehydrated if you do not feel the need to urinate every few hours. In the case of properly hydrated body, the need to urinate appears around 4-7 times a day. If you do not urinate this frequently, your body will have increased levels of toxins.
Moreover, the colour of the urine changes in the case of dehydration. Namely, if your body is well hydrated, your urine will be clear and light. Yet, if it lacks water, your urine will dark yellow or amber-coloured.
Dry skin and lips - Water provides skin elasticity, so if your body is dehydrated, your skin will be dry. Also, you will sweat less if your body lacks water, which will inhibit the elimination of oil built up excess dirt on your skin.
Furthermore, water discards toxins from the body, so if you lack it, it will lead to the appearance of psoriasis, acne and eczema. Another common signs of dehydration are dry and chapped lips.
Brain fog or poor concentration - Apart from causing headaches, dehydration may also impede the function of the brain, so it will negatively affect your mood, memory and decision- making skills. A study published in 2013 in Clinical Autonomic Research showed that the lack of water in the body is one of the major reasons for brain fog along with a lack of sleep, fatigue, and prolonged standing. Another research published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2011 proved that it can also cause mood swings.
In most cases, when the body is water deficient, it causes signs of brain fog, which include difficulties in communicating, thinking and focusing, as well as forgetfulness.
Your overall health, the climate and your physical activity are factors which determine the amount of water you need. Yet, you should regularly drink plenty of water. Always drink a glass of water at room temperature at the beginning of your day, and a glass of water before each meal. It is useful to carry a bottle of water with you, in order to have it whenever you need. Also, it would be very beneficial to consume fruits and vegetables rich in water every day. Reduce your alcohol, energy and caffeinated drinks intake.
In order to prevent dehydration, you should drink increased amounts of water in the case of diarrhoea, fever, and vomiting.
Therefore, what is most important is to note that if you experience rapid or weak pulse, extreme thirst, dizziness or no need to urinate often, you should immediately consult your doctor.