By Theresa Harding Updated June 13, 2019.
When I began my research on the benefits of drinking water and how drinking enough water can influence our health, it amazed me to learn the many ways in which water and the human body work together to solve many of our health challenges.
In fact, when I increased my water consumption, the dehydration symptoms I experienced disappeared almost instantly! I had lower back pains without ever injuring my back, so I couldn’t understand where the pain came from!
I learned later that the back pain was one of the dehydration symptoms. Then I continued my research because I love to research many topics when I need answers.
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In my search to find answers, I read the book “You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty“, by Dr. F. Batmanghelidj I couldn’t believe what I was reading from this doctor!
I thought that any health problems we experience only comes from heredity or just by chance. Little did I know that long-term dehydration is one of the main reasons for some of our common diseases.
If you want to learn what those 7 Top Reasons are, then keep reading.
Did you know that the effects of chronic dehydration can wreak havoc on your health? Water and dehydration are two topics that are often ignored when it comes to our health.
It is important to understand the effects of water and the human body and how your health could be majorly influenced when your body suffers from dehydration continually over time.
I learned more than I expected about the importance of water and the human body and not ignoring my body’s cries for water. My experience with the unnecessary ailments in my body was due to my consistent lack of drinking water.
Keep reading below, because you too will be amazed at the benefits you’re missing if your body is experiencing the effects of chronic dehydration.
I do hope that after reading this article on water and dehydration, you will change the way you look at the most needed substance available to us on this earth today. Water! We need to understand and embrace the benefits of water.
The human body can survive for five weeks without food, but only five days without water! This elixir of life is involved in every aspect of body function, from digestion to excretion.
Water also helps maintain normal body temperature and aid in the absorption of vital nutrients.
Without water, we experience chronic mild to moderate dehydration. Dehydration is the root cause of several health conditions, including faulty digestion, fatigue, and inability to lose weight, achy joints, and dry skin.
In his book, “You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty“, Dr. F. Batmanghelidj explains more in-depth the list of diseases that can stem from the continued dehydration. He says “It’s no miracle, just common sense backed by my years of research and investigation on why water works the way that it does to keep us healthy and pain-free”.
If you want to learn more before reading his book, visit his website.
Here is a list of dehydration symptoms that will help you in recognizing the symptoms you might be misdiagnosing for something more serious you’re your health. Aside from the common symptoms like intense thirst or sweating too much, here are some of the mild and severe dehydration symptoms:
Dry, sticky mouth
Sleepiness or tiredness
Irritability and confusion
Dry skin that doesn’t bounce back when you pinch it
Low blood pressure
Dizziness or light-headedness
Few or no tears when crying
No tears when crying
Sunken soft spot (fontanel) on their head
Few or no tears when they cry
Few wet diapers
The effects of chronic dehydration may affect your organs and lead to kidney stones, cholesterol problems, constipation, and liver, joint, and muscle damage. One way to tell if you are in need of more water in your body is to look at the color of your urine.
If it’s a dark yellow to almost orange in color, (and you’re not taking any medications or vitamin supplements that would make it this color), then you might need to increase your water intake. Your urine should be a pale yellow or lighter in color if your water intake is adequate.
Another way to check for dehydration is to pinch the back of your hand. If your skin bounces back you may be well dehydrated. If your skin slowly returns in place, you may be dehydrated.
Whether it is mild, moderate, or severe dehydration, the lost liquids in your body must be immediately replaced. If you start to develop severe diarrhea with or without vomiting, fever, moderate diarrhea for 24 hours, bloody stool, or you can’t drink any liquids, you must get professional treatment as soon as possible.
Water plays a good role in getting rid of your ailment. The major roles water plays in your health are listed below.
There are many benefits of water including drinking water before meals which may reduce your appetite by decreasing calorie intake which leads to weight loss. Several other studies have monitored overweight people who drank 1-1.5 liters (34–50 oz) of water daily for a few weeks.
They found a significant reduction in weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and body fat.
This is because water can increase satiety and boost your metabolic rate. In two studies, drinking half a liter of water was proven to increase metabolism by 24-30% for up to 1.5 hours.
The timing is also important. It was found that drinking water half an hour before meal times was the most effective. It could make you feel full so that you, in turn, consume fewer calories.
In one study, it was found that dieters who drank half a liter of water before meals lost as much as 44% more weight, over a period of 12 weeks. Now that’s progress at its best!
Cutting out sugary drinks and juice eliminates about 400 calories a day from the average American diet. That allows you to either eat more healthy food or eliminates a lot of calories if you are trying to shed pounds.
Water is the primary source of energy in the body and it generates electrical and magnetic energy in every cell of the body. We can think of our cells as little hydro-electric plants, which will not produce adequate energy without water.
Fatigue is one of the first signs of dehydration. Research has shown that you could actually experience mild dehydration by losing just 1-2 percent of your body weight as water. That is enough to impair your thinking!
I can say for sure that this was my experience in the past. My work would get me so engaged that when I finished my glass of water and needed more, I would ignore my thirst just to keep working. Dehydration was causing me to lose concentration and become fatigued.
Since I was thirsty, I also experienced irritation, but didn’t want to stop working. Don’t do this to yourself! It’s not a healthy practice. Plus, the water would give me a boost in energy so it helped to make me more productive in my workflow.
The more dehydrated your body becomes, it redirects blood to the working muscles and away from the skin, impairing your body’s ability to diffuse heat. The increase in internal heat can then result in muscle cramps, light-headedness, and fatigue.
This is exactly what I experienced too. If you lose as little as 3 percent or more of your body weight from dehydration, you could actually experience a 10 percent drop in your performance level.
Water improves the efficiency of the immune system and helps to combat infections and mutant cells (such as cancer cells). When the body is dehydrated, the body becomes much more acidic, an environment that is conducive to all types of infections. Adding water to the mix can dilute the effects of the acidity.
According to Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, drinking water may also help prevent heart disease and stroke. On average, our blood is over 80 percent water. Daily water intake is essential for circulation and helps prevent clogging of arteries in the heart and brain.
Water naturally helps the body replenish its supply of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Dehydration can also decrease the level of energy generation in the brain.
When we experience dehydration can start to feel lethargic, grumpy, and get headaches.
Researchers now believe that even mild dehydration can have an effect on your mood. Two studies from the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Connecticut proved that if you become dehydrated in as little as only 1.5 percent loss if normal water volume in your body, this can alter your energy level, mood, and your ability to think clearly, as mentioned above.
Did you know that when your body is deprived of water or dehydrated, it immediately reacts by taking water from essential organs and other parts of the body such as the brain, bones, and muscles? True, but quite genius for your body! It’s always in survival mode, trying to find ways to sustain itself.
It’s how God designed us, as survivors. Your brain will begin to slow down on creating and dispensing energy, your mood, anxiety or depression are a result of this process.
Alcohol, of course, can cause depression in many people, and once again this is closely linked to dehydration. For those who drink alcohol, consider increasing your water consumption.
You need more water to flush out alcohol from your body. If you drink on a regular basis without allowing their bodies to flush out toxins, you may experience moodiness and anxiety. This then leads to depression over a period of time.
Water is needed for the production of all hormones made by the brain, including melatonin, a critical factor in sleep regulation. Water also helps to restore normal sleep rhythms.
Many are aware of the effect dehydration may have while awake. Did you know it can also pose a negative effect on your sleeping hours too? To explain, chronic dehydration reduces the number of essential amino acids needed by your body to produce a natural chemical called melatonin.
Melatonin is created in the pineal glands and its creation is linked to a natural circadian rhythm which is a normal sleeping and waking schedule. Dehydration can block your body’s production of melatonin in a powerful way.
This process can make it challenging to both drifting off to sleep and sleeping deeply. In summary, drinking an adequate amount of water literally affects the quality of every hour of your day. Unbelievable!
Water can help to help restore balance in the body, provide better nutrient utilization and help to eliminate addictions to alcohol, caffeine, and some drugs. Unfortunately, the drinks that contain caffeine like, soda pop, for example, are loaded with artificial sweeteners like Aspartame, High Fructose Corn Syrup, and Sucralose. These drinks can cause you to feel constantly thirsty.
When I used to drink soda pop regularly, I remember always feeling thirsty and I would keep drinking more pop, thinking that I was quenching my thirst. I wasn’t turning to the water which was what my body was asking for.
I thought I needed more of the sweet drink and that’s what I was drinking. So I know first-hand that those artificial drinks can cause addictions to sugar and even food!
As noted by additude.com “Your brain is 80 percent water. Anything that dehydrates it, such as too much caffeine or alcohol, impairs your cognition and judgment. Drink plenty of water every day.”
Water provides more energy to the brain to help provide greater focus, attention, and memory needed for the learning process. A well-hydrated body is more likely going to provide the brain with the ability to stay engaged on a single topic.
Now, of course, it would seem obvious that water may help hydrate your skin and minimize lines and wrinkles. However, drinking a bunch of water today doesn’t mean your skin will look better for years to come. “Although clinically, when skin is hydrated, it looks plumper, and the signs of aging are minimized, explains Rachel Nazarian, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at the Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City.
Since water helps with the elimination of waste from your body, not drinking enough water may cause waste to sit in your elimination channels clogging up your system, which can cause constipation and congestion in your intestines.
When your system is eliminating waste properly, your body functions are not slowed down. A sluggish elimination slows down healing and can cause a dull, dry appearance on your skin. Don’t we all want plump, glowing skin? Heck yeah! Then hydrate!
Since approximately 60% of joint cartilage is made from water, It’s important to remain hydrated when you are suffering from joint damage. If not, your production of synovial fluid will be reduced and you could possibly increase your risk of friction pain and cartilage deterioration.
I’m not saying that simply drinking more fluids will eliminate all your symptoms, but it will almost certainly help to improve the health of your joints. It may even work to lessen some of the pain you are feeling.
Even some of the medicines prescribed by doctors can inhibit water from reaching the joints or, like aspirin, can even confuse your ability to perceive thirst.
That’s why it’s critical that we continue to drink water as it can stimulate our production of synovial fluid, reduce inflammation around the joint and encourage the growth of new cells in the cartilage tissues. Water can also alleviate other unpleasant rheumatoid symptoms such as constipation or dizziness.
The Infographic below shows you 9 benefits you experience from water consumption.
Finally, the importance of water in the human body should be a major priority in your life. If you are under commitment to a healthy lifestyle, make drinking enough natural water a habit in your life.
Drinking water and dehydration should not be ignored. It won’t take long for you to feel the benefits.
Have you experienced dehydration, but after increasing your water intake you noticed a change in how you felt?
If you want to increase your water intake and reap the benefits of better health, I have a “Water Drinking Challenge” to help you get started, so you can learn fun, effortless ways to increase your water intake! Click Here if you’re ready to experience better health and hydration.
Sources and References
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Healthy Living isn't difficult. It requires an ongoing lifestyle change with patience and an open mind. I teach this mindset all the time. After 11 years of transitioning from an unhealthy lifestyle to a pain-free one, I think it's important to share my knowledge and research with those who are ready to make that shift in their health and wellness.