Why Water is Crucial to Vitality
You're entire life, you've been told about the importance of drinking water. But do you know why it's so essential? Water isn't just critical at fueling your body's systems. Drinking enough water helps have more energy, have more vitality, and feel better overall. Every cell and organ in your body uses water to regulate itself.
There are a lot of different opinions about how much water you should drink every day. Many health professionals recommend drinking eight 8-ounce glasses per day. We call this the 8x8 rule, and it's one of the most straightforward metrics to remember about drinking water. It will also guarantee that you're getting enough water to fuel your body systems adequately.
In this article, we'll give you insight into what happens to your body when you don't drink enough water. We'll also go over some practical tips to implement in your day-to-day to help you stay hydrated and healthy.
What Happens to Your Body When You Don't Drink Water?
Your body loses water every time you breathe, sweat, and digest food. It's essential to drink enough water to rehydrate your body from all of the fluid it loses just by maintaining its basic functions.
Here are ten things that happen when you don't drink enough water throughout the day.
Increased heart rate
How much water you drink impacts your heart's performance. When you don't drink enough water, your body produces more viscous blood, and your plasma levels decrease. This leads to lower circulation and blood flow, as well as an accelerated heart rate. In extreme cases, your heart may start to palpitate from increased stress due to dehydration. Heart palpitations can also cause heightened anxiety and symptoms of panic attacks.
Drinking enough water will help you feel more energetic, alert, and elevate your mood. This only means that not drinking enough water will leave you feeling tired, lethargic and can cause feelings of exhaustion and sometimes depression. If you're feeling tired and are unsure why ask yourself when was the last time you drank water.
Early signs of dehydration can present themselves as constipation or gastrointestinal distress. This happens when your stool hardens due to lack of fluids within your body. Constipation and indigestion are uncomfortable symptoms to deal with and can take a few days to regulate if you don't regularly hydrate your body.
Since water helps your skin maintain its elasticity, a lack of water can cause your skin to dry up quickly. Without enough water to hydrate your skin and body, you can experience dry skin and chapped lips. In more severe cases, you might notice more intense reactions like psoriasis, eczema, and acne.
Muscle and joint pain
When you're body doesn't receive enough water, it creates increased friction between your bones. Since our joints and cartilage contain about 80% water, this friction causes creates intense joint pain and stiffness. Your body might also experience muscle spasms and cramping when you don't drink enough water to fuel your internal organs.
Your brain is surrounded by a significant amount of liquid which protects it when you hit your head. Water also helps circulate oxygen throughout your body and to your mind. When you don't drink enough water, you're more likely to receive headaches and migraines. Not to mention, hitting your head may cause more severe injuries if you are dehydrated.
A lack of water to your brain can also decrease your brain's performance when it comes to memory, focus, and decision making. Dehydration notoriously cases brain fog and can make it more difficult to concentrate, think, or communicate. Drinking water throughout your day will improve your concentration and your ability to retain information because it helps produce more oxygen to your brain.
A lot of times, what we think is hunger is actually thirst and early stages of dehydration. If you've recently eaten and still feel hungry or need to eat more, try drinking a glass of water first. It's not uncommon for our bodies to react to hunger and dehydration in similar ways. Drinking water when you feel hunger pains or cravings is a healthy way to see if what you're feeling is actually hunger, or if you're just thirsty. You can also satiate these cravings by eating fruit that is rich in water like watermelon and berries.
Dry mouth and bad breath
When you don't drink enough water, your mouth produces less saliva. Saliva is necessary to clear your mouth of bacteria that accumulates throughout the day. Without saliva, your mouth can fill with bacteria which cause bad breath and dry mouth.
Finally, your body will get dehydrated. You'll know you're dehydrated when you don't have to use the bathroom for long periods, or your urine appears darker. You should be urinating about 4-7 times per day. Anything less than that can indicate you are dehydrated or on the path towards dehydration. When you do urinate, you might notice your urine appears darker in color. Darker urine means that your body contains toxins from not being able to regulate itself with enough water.
Tips for Drinking More Water Throughout the Day
We know it can be challenging to drink enough water throughout the day, especially if you're not used to incorporating it into your routine.
Here are a few ideas for small ways to add more water into your day-to-day
Drink a glass every time you use the bathroom
Drink water with every meal
Use an app like Hydro Coach or WaterMinder to track your water intake
Add flavor drops or frozen fruit to your water to make it more fun
Add water to your juice or sugary drinks to dilute the sugar and get more H2O
Invest in a water bottle that you love
Choose sparkling or soda water and add in some fruit
Set an alarm to remind you to drink a glass of water every few hours
Drink a glass of water after you finish your morning coffee
Gulp down a glass an hour before you go to bed
Drinking enough water is one of the easiest ways to maintain your vitality and keep your body feeling great. Water is an essential part of life, and incorporating a habit of drinking enough water throughout your day will continue to serve your body throughout your life.