Drinking pure water every day is a key component of optimal health. Unfortunately, many people are unaware that dehydration causes sickness and damages in your body. They make the mistake of forgoing water for other types of fluids, most of which have added ingredients that will not do your health any favors.
YOUR BODY NEEDS WATER
Your body is comprised of about 65 percent water, which is needed for a number of physiological processes and biochemical reactions, including but not limited to:
- Blood circulation
- Regulation of body temperature
- Waste removal and detoxification
Once your body has lost between one to two percent of its total water content, it will signal its needs by making you feel thirsty. Using thirst as a guide to how much water you need to drink is one obvious way to ensure your individual needs are met, day-by-day.
However, by the time your thirst mechanism actually kicks in, you’re already in the early stages of dehydration, so you don’t want to ignore the initial sensations of thirst.
Hunger—sugar cravings in particular—can also be a sign that your body is crying for water, so as noted in the featured video, when you feel hungry, drink a glass of water first.
So, in addition to thirst, which is an obvious signal, other signals indicating you need to drink more water include:
- Fatigue and/or dizziness
- Foggy thinking and poor concentration
- Muscle cramps
- Dull, dry skin and/or pronounced wrinkles
- Infrequent urination; dark concentrated urine
- Bad breath
- Mood swings
- Back or joint ache
- Sugar cravings
Severe dehydration can be life threatening, but even mild dehydration can cause problems ranging from headaches and irritability to impaired cognition. It can also affect your sports performance, as noted in a recent CNN report.
CHRONIC DEHYDRATION CAUSES SICKNESS AND DAMAGES TO YOUR ORGANS
Over a long-term period of daily drinking insufficient water, chronic diseases may develop:
Asthma and Allergies: When dehydrated, your body will restrict airways as a means to conserve water. In fact, the rate of histamine produced by your body increases exponentially as the body loses more and more water.
Bladder or Kidney Problems: With a dehydrated body, the accumulation of toxins and acid waste creates an environment where bacteria thrive, resulting in the bladder and kidney to be more prone to infection, stones formation, inflammation and pain.
Constipation: When short of water, the colon is one of the primary regions the body draws water from, in order to provide fluids for other critical body functions. Without adequate water, wastes move through the large intestines much more slowly or sometimes not at all, resulting in constipation.
Digestive Disorders: A shortage of water and alkaline minerals such as calcium and magnesium, can lead to a number of digestive disorders, including ulcers, gastritis and acid reflux.
Headaches and Migraines: Headaches and migraines could be a sign of dehydration. Being dehydrated deprives fluid sacks around your brain cells to undergo pressure. Here’s an almost instant remedy solution you can do.
High Blood Pressure: The blood is normally about 92% water when the body is fully hydrated. When dehydrated, the blood becomes thicker causing resistance to blood flow and resulting in elevated blood pressure.
High Cholesterol: When the body is dehydrated, it will produce more cholesterol to prevent water loss from the cells.
Joint Pain or Stiffness: All joints have cartilage padding which is composed mainly of water. When the body is dehydrated, cartilage is weakened and joint repair is slow resulting in pain and discomfort.
Skin Disorders: Dehydration impairs the elimination of toxins through the skin and makes it more vulnerable to all types of skin disorders, including dermatitis and psoriasis, as well as premature wrinkling and discoloration.
Sweet-tooth Cravings: Your body needs water to help process nutrients, including glycogen. When you are dehydrated, your body may be signaling to you that you need sugar, which often presents itself as sugar cravings for cakes and other unhealthy goodies. Drink water or a freshly-extracted juice instead.
Weight Gain, Constantly Feeling Hungry: When dehydrated, cells are depleted of energy to burn fuel. As a result, people feel tired and hungry, leading them to eat more when in reality, the body is just dehydrated.
THE COLOR OF YOUR URINE A HYDRATION MARKER
The oft-repeated guideline is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, but considering the fact that your water needs can vary significantly from day to day depending on factors such as your activity level and weather conditions, this suggestion may be inadequate.
In reality, it’s virtually impossible to determine a general guideline that will apply to everyone, all the time. As noted in the video above, the Institute of Medicine recommends a much higher average water intake, suggesting women drink 2.7 liters or 91 ounces of water per day, and men 3.7 liters, or 125 ounces.
The featured study9 used urine concentration to evaluate hydration status, and looking at the color of your urine is perhaps one of the best ways to track your individual hydration status from day to day.
Concentrated, dark-colored urine is a sign that your kidneys are retaining fluids to maintain your bodily functions, and is a good indication that you need more water. Ideally, you’ll want to drink enough water to turn your urine a light-colored yellow.
Also please realize that riboflavin (vitamin B2; also found in most multi-vitamins) will turn your urine a bright, almost fluorescent yellow. So if you’re taking supplements containing B2, it may be more difficult to judge your water needs by the color of your urine.
Frequency of urination can also be used to judge your water intake. A healthy person urinates on average about seven or eight times a day. If your urine is scant or if you haven’t urinated in several hours, that too is an indication that you’re not drinking enough.
DRINK PURE WATER EVERY DAY
There’s no doubt that you need pure water for optimal health. Simply swapping out all the sweetened, bottled beverages for pure water can go a long way toward improving your health, as virtually all of the biochemical processes in your body need water. Read this guide for how much water you need to drink every day.
Remember to listen to your body. Thirst is an obvious signal that it’s time to replenish your fluids. Fatigue and moodiness can also indicate you need to drink more water. Probably the best way to gauge your water needs, however, is to observe the color of your urine, and how frequently you urinate. On average, a healthy number of bathroom visits is around seven or eight per day, and you want the color of your urine to be a light, pale yellow.