What Happens If You Don’t Drink Enough Water?
Despite what many people may think, dehydration doesn't only strike during life-threatening situations.
According to a recent study, a whopping 4 out of 5 Americans are chronically dehydrated. And seeing as the human body relies on water to function properly, and our main organs — including the heart, lungs, kidneys, and even our skin — are made up of water, we'd say that this statistic is pretty concerning.
Water is essential for life. After all, with a body that's 75 percent water and living on a planet that's also 75 percent water, H2O is probably the most important thing out there. Without it, literally, every single thing on the planet wouldn't survive. And when you don't keep yourself adequately hydrated, you could be doing some severe damage to your body in more ways than one.
In this post, we're exploring the importance of hydration to uncover what happens if you don't drink enough water. So pour yourself an ice-cold glass of H2O and get comfortable because we're about to dive in!
Dehydration 101: Everything You Need To Know
Water works hard for your body. It removes waste products, keeps joints lubricated, maintains body temperature, and more. So, what happens when your body lacks H20?
Commonly caused by sweating, illnesses, and a lack of body water, dehydration happens when the body loses more water and electrolytes than it takes in. You see, your body is a finely tuned machine. Water makes it run as it should, from the skin to organs and everything in between.
At just one percent dehydration, or when you've lost one percent of your body's water, physical coordination and mental performance start to become impaired —and that's without even feeling thirsty yet.
Thirst starts to set in when we lose around two percent of the water in our body, but you're already dehydrated by this time. As you lose body water, your blood becomes more concentrated, and, at a point, this triggers your kidneys to retain water. The result? Fewer trips to the restroom.
The more concentrated your blood becomes, the harder it is for your cardiovascular system to pump blood and nutrients throughout the body efficiently. Less water in your system also impedes your body's ability to regulate temperature, which can quickly lead to hypothermia. And because fluid levels in the brain are lower, they affect memory, coordination, and mood.
Simply put, drinking plenty of water throughout the day to keep yourself properly hydrated is of the utmost importance!
Think you might be dehydrated? Here are a few of the telltale signs that you could be facing dehydration:
Sign #1: Very Dark Urine or Not Urinating
A simple way to test and see if you're not drinking enough water is to check the color of your urine. The color of normal urine should be light yellow, almost like lemonade. If your urine happens to be a darker color, similar to apple juice, this could be a sign of dehydration. And if you're not urinating at all, chances are you're severely dehydrated and could benefit significantly from a bit of rehydration.
Sign #2: Hunger Pangs
If you feel like you need a snack even after enjoying a nutritious meal, you might be dehydrated. When dehydration is mild, it's often misinterpreted as hunger, leading you to indulge in another cookie from the cookie jar when all you really need is a tall glass of H2O.
Sign #3: Persistent Headaches
Did you know that your brain is made up of approximately 80 percent water? Yup, it's true— your hydration status strongly influences your brain. With this in mind, it makes perfect sense that a throbbing headache is often associated with dehydration.
According to experts, the pain is caused by a temporary shrinkage of the brain due to fluid loss. This causes it to slightly pull away from the skull, which is just as uncomfortable as it sounds, resulting in a pounding headache, dizziness, and sometimes even confusion.
The good news? If dehydration is the culprit behind your headache, it should subside shortly after you drink water.
Additional Signs To Look Out For
Some other signs of dehydration to keep an eye out for include the following:
- Weight gain
- Increased heart rate
- Water retention
- Muscle cramps
- Stomach discomfort
- Increased blood pressure
The Importance of Drinking Water
It's recommended that men drink 3.7 liters of water a day and women drink 2.7 liters. These amounts include the water that we eat in our food, so it doesn't necessarily mean that you have to drink that many liters of water — plain water in food also counts.
Everyone is different, and some individuals may require more water than others.
Here are a few factors to take into consideration when determining your water needs in efforts to keep your hydration levels in order:
- Metabolism: If you have a pretty fast metabolism, chances are you need a little more water to keep your body running efficiently.
- Activity Level: if you are physically active throughout the day, drink more water.
- Location: if you live in a warmer climate or spend a lot of time in the sun, it's a good idea to increase your water intake.
If you don't drink enough H2O to keep your body properly hydrated, there are many things that can happen, such as:
Your Energy Levels Drop
Are you feeling sluggish? Skip the caffeinated drinks and sip on a glass of water instead. Water helps to keep your mind alert and body balanced. If you're not drinking enough throughout the day, that afternoon slump will hit even harder, and you might feel too tired to do anything but take a quick cat-nap.
What To Avoid
If you find yourself experiencing symptoms of dehydration, there are a few beverages you should probably avoid.
- Sports drinks
- Fruit Juice
Your Skin Problems Worsen
While you might not be able to blame all of your skin woes on dehydration, it does definitely play a part. Water helps to keep the skin plump, soft, and smooth. It hydrates skin cells for a brighter, vibrant, and more youthful complexion. Simply put, water is your skin's best friend!
However, when you don't keep yourself adequately hydrated, your skin can quickly lose elasticity, leading to dryness, flakiness, sagging, fine lines, and wrinkles. Water even helps reduce skin blemishes by flushing harmful toxins from the body through urine and sweat.
If your beautiful skin suddenly becomes dry, flaky, and lifeless, try drinking more water to see if your skin problems improve. You can also try our delicious Pasture-Fed Hydrolyzed Collagen — designed to help reverse the aging process from the inside out. Simply mix one to two scoops with eight ounces of water and shine!
You Experience Bathroom Troubles
Are you experiencing some constipation? Your bathroom schedule is well maintained when your colon absorbs up to five liters of water per day, making it much easier to have a bowel movement. You see, when your body realizes that it lacks H2O, it will start to absorb more— which makes it harder to expel waste.
If you're having trouble in the restroom and cannot go as you should, try drinking more water to loosen your stools and relieve constipation and bloating. We also recommend adding our Phyto Fuel Supergreens to your daily routine.
Why? Because it's jam-packed with body-nourishing nutrients, fiber, and probiotics to keep your digestive system healthy, happy, and regular.
A Final Word
So, what happens if you don't drink enough water, you ask?
When you don't keep your body properly hydrated with plenty of H2O, dehydration can quickly set in, causing many uncomfortable symptoms ranging from throbbing headaches to hunger pangs.
Drinking plenty of water is one of the easiest ways to be kind to your body and keep all systems working in tip-top shape. If you're struggling to drink the recommended amount of water per day, try these easy tips to increase your intake.
It's crucial that you get enough fluids daily, so be sure to grab a water bottle and drink a lot of water throughout the day. Your body will thank you later.
Here at BioHealth, we understand the importance of proper hydration and having good nutrition. That's why we've taken the time to create the cleanest products on the market. We combine premium-quality ingredients with high-performance formulas to support you on your wellness journey to achieve optimum health.
Whether you're looking for the best superfood supplements on the market or a delicious protein powder, many things can help build lean muscle, you can count on us to provide you with clean products that are second to none.
Adult Dehydration - StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf | NCBI
Read "Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate" | NAP.EDU
The Hydration Equation: Update on Water Balance and Cognitive Performance | NCBI
Hunger vs. thirst: tips to tell the difference | PKD Cure