Needless to say, our body needs water more than anything else. Water accounts for 75% of our body weight, and most internal and external bodily functions are performed by water. Our body does not want any deficiency, especially in water. It can lead to dehydration, illness and, in severe cases, death.
Dehydration is a condition that occurs when a person has lost so much fluid that the body can no longer function normally and develops signs and symptoms due to fluid loss. Whenever our body is dehydrated, it starts feeling thirsty. Some scientists believe that our body becomes dehydrated even before we feel thirsty. Due to thirst, we feel tired and headache starts in the brain. Finally, due to dehydration, we get sick. It can cause diarrhea, diabetes, kidney failure, coma, shock, heart attack, electrolyte abnormalities, and more.
what does Water do to Our Body
As is being said time and again, water is required for many bodily functions.
- regulates body temperature
- lubricates the joints of our body
- protect the organs
- remove waste from our body
- It carries all the nutrients and oxygen
- It dissolves minerals and nutrients.
Dehydration effect on the body
Even if we don’t start talking about what happens internally, we see that this can lead to mood swings, fatigue, and headaches. Dehydration as low as one percent can have a negative impact on your overall physical function.
Effect on Brain
As with most body functions, dehydration is also related to our cognitive health, which includes our memory and attention. Dehydration alters the level of sodium and electrolyte levels which affects many cognitive changes.
While there isn’t a lot of articles or literature available on how dehydration can affect the brain, it can impair short-term memory and attention, said Dr. Laura Defina, MD, president.
Effect on Kidney
Water is responsible for removing waste in the form of urine from our blood. This ensures that the blood vessels are wide enough to carry essential nutrients throughout the body. When our body becomes dehydrated, the transportation system doesn’t work properly, and it will make you feel tired.
Dehydration is severe enough to permanently damage the kidneys. Our kidneys can block muscle protein (myoglobin) and this damages the kidney. If the body is regularly dehydrated, it can lead to urinary tract infections and kidney stones.
Water prevents the crystals from sticking together inside the kidney and flushes it out, but this requires enough water.
Water helps to make more urine which usually flushes out germs and dissolves the antibiotics. It prevents urinary tract infection in the kidney.
Dark yellow and strong-smelling urine indicates that your body needs more water. If you see very dark even after drinking enough water, you should see a doctor to take care of it.
Note: If you are undergoing kidney related treatment or kidney failure then you may be restricted to drink a lot of water. It is strongly recommended that the doctor’s suggestion should be taken seriously in that case.
Effect on Cardiovascular System
Dehydration negatively affects our entire cardiovascular system, including increased heart rate, blood pressure, and high blood pressure. The risk of dehydration is higher in older people and people with chronic diseases.
When your body becomes dehydrated the heart rate increases because the volume of blood in the vessels decreases, resulting in less stretch in the blood vessels. To compensate for the decrease in blood volume, the heart rate increases.
Dehydration can cause blood pressure to rise. As this reduces blood volume, the body keeps more sodium in the blood. A high level of sodium can cause the capillaries to contract or close up of small blood vessels. When this happens, the blood becomes heavy and it becomes difficult to move around the body, which increases the blood pressure.
The reduction in cardiac output is due to the effect on heart rate and the amount of blood in the vessels.
Dehydration due to increased blood pressure can lead to orthostatic hypotension. You may also feel dizzy, lightheaded or faint in some cases.
Impact Respiratory System
Adequate amount of water is essential for the body to digest and dissolve all the nutrients. Drinking water soaks up the mucus lining and creates more room for air to move properly. Dehydration causes it to become thick and viscous, and this viscosity results in the overall respiratory system.
How Much Should I Drink
About 90% of the functions of our body are dependent on water due to several factors. Especially our metabolism, diet and body composition. Surprisingly, the amount of water can also vary depending on these factors.
The first official document released in 2004 stated that an adult male should drink about 3.7 liters of water while women should drink about 2.7 liters per day. In addition, this document states that liquids make up 80% of water intake.
How to test for dehydration?
Always track your body weight and do not exceed a threshold of more than 1 percent of baseline.
You should urinate about 3-4 times a day, and your urine should not be very yellow or have a strong odor.
Take care of fluids in your daily diet. Fluid intake should be adequate, and this will keep you from feeling thirsty.
Plan and take extra water whenever you go out. For those who work out, athletes must do it.
Never forget to check the forecast, especially when the temperature is high. Avoid outdoor exposure, exercise in hot weather.
Young and old people, infants and children, are most at risk. Encourage to consume enough water.
Consumption of alcohol should be avoided, especially during the summer season as it leads to loss of water.
Avoid wearing dark clothes when it is hot outside. Wear light-colored and loose-fitting clothing when planning to go out or be exposed to direct sunlight.
As we discussed, it is important to consume enough water. However, at any time, if you feel thirsty, you should drink water or liquid. Even after that, if you feel dizzy, tired or have a headache, do not forget to contact the doctor as soon as possible. Stay hydrated, stay healthy. But before drinking water, make sure that your drinking water is healthy and properly treated by a water purifier or water purification system.