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The Cost of Dehydration: How Too Little Water Can Impact Your Health

in Overall Health by

From skin and digestive issues to problems with kidney and bladder function, dehydration can take a huge toll on the body’s systems. In addition to getting your daily recommended dose of eight glasses of water a day, it is crucial that you supplement your intake when starting your day, engaging in strenuous exercise, or during periods of high heat.

Getting Your Morning Dose

While most people know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, many individuals do not realize how essential it is to replenish your body’s water supply each morning. In addition boosting your blood pressure, drinking a couple of glasses just after waking can help to ready your digestive system and speed your metabolism. But be sure the water you’re drinking is free of contaminants. A water softener system that filters out chlorine and the negative effects of hard water will also be better for your hair, skin, and nails.

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Avoiding Water Substitutes

Many people turn to tea, coffee, sodas, or fruit juices as an alternate hydration source. However, while these substitutes have a lot to offer in terms of flavor, they are actually quite poor when it comes to hydrating the body. Sugars, salts, and other additives can create an extra burden on your body, since extra water is needed simply to filter out these substances. If you do indulge, it is a good idea to try to drink an extra glass of water for every cup of tea, soda, or coffee, in order to counterbalance any ill effects.

Health Issues Associated With Dehydration

Those who take in too little water on a daily basis often experience a variety of health issues that may not seem related to dehydration:

 

  • Fatigue: Numerous enzymatic processes in the body require water, including basic muscle and brain function. Too little water can easily cause excessive tiredness and chronic fatigue.
  • High Blood Pressure: Healthy human blood contains about 92% water. However, dehydration can cause blood to become thicker, negatively affecting blood flow and elevating blood pressure levels. Low levels of body water can also cause extra production of cholesterol.
  • Skin Disorders: The human body uses water to eliminate a variety of toxins through the skin. Chronic dehydration can lead to disorders such as psoriasis, premature wrinkling, dermatitis, and discoloration.
  • Digestive Issues: Acid reflux, gastritis, and ulcers can all be caused by a lack of water and essential minerals like calcium and magnesium. Additionally, since water is essential to the elimination of acid waste and toxin accumulation, too little water can impair bladder and kidney function and increase the risk of inflammation, infection, and pain.
  • Joint Pain and Stiffness: The cartilage padding in human joints is largely composed of water, which means that dehydration can weaken cartilage and slow the repair of minor tears, sprains, and strains.
  • Weight Gain: Consuming water throughout the day can help dieters to maintain a feeling of fullness and speed the internal processes that turn food into energy, rather than fat.

Maintaining Your Internal Water Cycle

The average human body contains about 75% water, making it vital that individuals replenish their daily supply. This is particularly true for athletes, those living in hot, humid environments, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and older and ill individuals. However, even healthy adults lost about 10 cups a day on average through basic bodily processes like breathing, urinating, and sweating–so drink up!