25 Jun Got Water? Why Dehydration Matters
Do you know someone who doesn’t drink enough water? This is worth their while to read!
Not drinking enough water can have some very serious effects on your body, from affecting your cholesterol level to changing how you age. The following are some ways dehydration can affect your body…
Fatigue: Water is the most vital source of energy in the body. Dehydration causes enzymatic activity in the body to slow down, which can contribute to fatigue and tiredness.
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. Minimum 5 cups of water per day is purported to reduce blood viscosity and lower heart attack risk.
Asthma and allergies: The rate of histamine produced by the body increases as the body loses more and more water. Dehydration can result in restricted airways in your body’s attempt to conserve water.
Skin disorders: Dehydration impairs the elimination of metabolic wastes through the skin and makes it more vulnerable to all types of skin conditions including dermatitis and psoriasis as well as premature wrinkling and discoloration.
High cholesterol: When the body is dehydrated, it produces more cholesterol to prevent water loss from the cells.
Constipation: 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 materials such as calcium and magnesium can also lead to a number of other digestive disorders including gastritis and acid reflux.
Bladder or kidney problems: When dehydrated, the accumulation of metabolic waste becomes concentrated which can result in an altered microbiota and increased susceptibility to bladder and kidney inflammation. During pregnancy, water intake is critical for optimizing amniotic fluid levels.
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.
Weight gain: Dehydration makes your body less efficient at eliminating metabolic wastes. Lack of sufficient water intake also contributes to fatigue directly affecting motivation for exercise. Dehydration also increases hunger signals to the brain.
Premature aging: Chronic dehydration will be reflected in the cells of our largest organ of elimination, the skin. This then can increase to premature wrinkling.
Did you know…
The average human body is 75% water.
The human brain is 75% water, blood is 92% water, bones 22% water, and muscles are 75% water.
On average you should aim to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water and add 8 oz to every hour of activity. On average aim to drink 8 8-ounce glasses of water daily.
Room temperature water is best.
Factors that require increased water consumption include: exercise, pollution, illness, pregnancy, breastfeeding.
The average adult loses a pint of water daily just exhaling. About 10 cups of water is lost daily simply by breathing, sweating, urinating, and eliminating waste.
When you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
Drinking water can speed your metabolism and the effects begin about 10 mins after consuming water and peak at 30 mins after consumption.
Try to sip your water throughout the day versus gulping huge volumes to help strengthen your bladder muscles and prevent urgent bathroom runs.
Drink water only. The number one cause of excessive calories in a person’s diet is sugar-based beverages including fruit juices and coconut water.
Getting in touch
If you or someone you know can benefit from Naturopathic care, feel free to drop me a line on the “contact us” page on this site. I treat patients locally at my Naturopathic practice in Vancouver, B.C. and worldwide via phone or Skype.
To your best health!
Dr Tasnim Adatya
Naturopathic Physician, Menopause Clinician, Acupuncturist, and Health Educator