When you are asked to remain socially isolated, it is very common for an individual to fall prey to a laid-back lifestyle. People spend hours binge-watching their favorite shows, and it all comes down to eat, sleep, and repeat sort of an arrangement. Taking care of our health and paying particular attention to the signals our body sends is underrated. And one such frailty is drinking water, which is usually the last thing on our list.
Staying up to date with our hydration levels is very important but avoided a lot of times. People assume that juices, soft drinks, or other beverages are viable alternatives to drinking water. This is, however, a misconception that will be addressed in this section.
Why Is Water Essential?
The fact that water accounts for 60% of our body weight speak volumes about its importance. It has various functions within our body that contribute to our overall well-being.
- It flushes out waste and toxins from our body.
- It contributes to the healthy functioning of the brain.
- It regulates our body temperature.
- It aids in the production of saliva.
- Lubricates our joints and protects our tissues.
- Hydration keeps us alert and builds strength and stamina.
- Water enhances the circulation of oxygen in the body.
Signs That You Are Not Consuming Enough Water
Now that we have covered the potential benefits of water and how it impacts our normal functioning, it is important to understand the signs that you might be dehydrated. The sooner you recognize them, the earlier you can manage it.
Frequent Bad Breath
Bad breath or halitosis is a pertinent concern that many people face. As mentioned earlier, water is a crucial element of saliva production. Saliva flushes away bacteria from our mouth and keeps our oral hygiene intact. If there is insufficient water available, there will be impeded saliva formation. Hence, the bacteria will thrive inside your oral cavity on gums, teeth, and tongue. An important indication of this is that if you usually practice good oral hygiene and there is still a bad breath, there is deficient water consumption.
If you are otherwise healthy and halitosis does not subside after a few weeks of drinking increased water, it is advised to consult a health professional.
Fatigue has been linked to a state of dehydration as water tends to keep us alert. The next time you experience those afternoon blues where you feel extreme tiredness is because you lack sufficient water.
Less intake leads to a decline in blood volume, which then compels the heart to pump more to deliver oxygen to the tissues. Hence, the sluggish behavior you experience more often might indicate that your muscles and tissues lack water.
Issues with Digestion
Regular bowel movement is a vital component of our digestive health. Water keeps our stool soft, which then enables it to expel quickly from our body. When there is water deficiency, the bowel movement becomes painful.
Hence, it is imperative to increase your water intake to prevent bloating and constipation.
What’s worse than a dull mood? Dull skin. Water is considered an essential component to keep our skin looking youthful and fresh. If the hydration needs are not met, your skin appears dull, flaky, and sagged. Because water drains out all harmful waste from the body, it can even prevent acne and other skin-related concerns.
If you notice a change in your under-eye area appearance, it is mostly due to lack of water, which exaggerates any existing dark circles. A typical test to determine whether you are dehydrated or not is to pinch your cheek. If wrinkles appear with gentle pressure instead of remaining taut, it means you severely lack water.
Experts believe that if you crave a particular food and you drink some water and wait a few minutes, your craving will settle before you even get to your snack. Dehydration often presents itself as an increased appetite, especially for sugary foods. This is usually the case with people who exercise, as working out consumes your glycogen and carbohydrate reserves faster if there is not enough water present. People typically resort to sugary items to restore the levels, and hence the sugar intake increases exponentially.
Decline in Urination
As a natural coping mechanism, your kidneys tend to hold as much water as possible when it is in short supply in the body. This causes urine output to decrease as water forms the bulk of our urine. It will also appear darker, possibly with odor due to increased urine concentration of other waste materials.
A study concludes that dehydration increases the risk of developing urinary tract infections as toxins are not removed sufficiently from the body.
Do you have increased mood swings? Why not drink that glass of water. A study reported that people who were not consuming sufficient water experienced rapid mood changes, headaches, and loss of focus. Even mild levels of dehydration were seen to cause irritability in people.
As mentioned earlier, a decline in water reserves impedes the proper circulation of blood within our body, making our muscles sore and cramped. This is due to a lack of oxygen, which is essential for our muscles to function correctly. Most of the water is stored by the organs, which is very important, and hence less is made available for our muscular system.
Dehydration causes the body to decrease circulation from non-vital areas such as skin to more vital organs like the heart and lungs. And because water is also a thermoregulator, its deficiency can lead to feeling relatively cold even when the environment is not necessarily chilly.
When there is not enough water in our body, less of it reaches our brain in terms of oxygen, which impedes cognitive function. This can lead to problems like lightheadedness or confusion.
As explained, water is a non-interchangeable element of our lives that cannot be substituted with beverages. By prioritizing your water intake, you can prevent a multitude of issues that can complicate healthy well-being. Try carrying a water bottle with you wherever you go and keep track of your intake to ensure optimum health.