I think we all know that more than 60% of our bodies are made up of water. We know we need to keep ourselves hydrated to keep our bodies functioning at their best. Yet few of us make sure we drink enough every day to stay fully hydrated. For a lot of us staying fully hydrated or having total hydration is something that rarely happens. It is so important that we need to start taking the effects of dehydration more seriously. Here are some side effects you may know and some you might not.
This is an obvious one but did you know that by the time you feel thirsty you’re already dehydrated? Thirst is meant to be a warning sign rather than something you should routinely feel.
The cartilage that acts as a buffer in your joints is mostly made of water. If there isn’t enough fluid coming in it can affect the quality of protection this vital part of your anatomy provides. If you are regularly dehydrated you run a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis. Even more worrying it can affect the discs in your spine. The result could be bad sciatica or a herniated disc. In other words you’ll be in a lot of pain.
UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections) are rarely life threatening but they can be pretty uncomfortable. You’ll find yourself needing to run to the bathroom a lot and you’ll probably experience an unpleasant burning sensation when you go. You may even see blood in your urine. If not treated the infection can spread up the tract to your kidneys which can make you extremely ill.
As I touched in above you can experience a range of kidney problems associated with dehydration. This makes sense as the kidneys filter toxins from your blood. In order to perform at their best and expel all the waste from your body they need a lot of water. If they don’t have enough toxins will start to build up in your blood. You could also develop kidney stones which are extremely painful to pass out through your urinary tract (we’ve all seen Joey in Friends doing it!). Finally if your kidneys aren’t working as well as they should you’ll also experience fluid build up and bloating. Time to reach for the water!
If your body is dehydrated it struggles to sweat when you’re too warm. If you’re outside on a hot day or working out this can very quickly lead to heatstroke. Heatstroke causes vomiting, severe headaches, a rapid heartbeat, and even seizures. Excessive heat as well as the seizures can cause permanent damage to your brain. If the body is not cooled down quickly enough it can also be fatal.
I know the topic of poop is not one we generally like to discuss but just like peeing it’s absolutely vital to keeping our bodies healthy and free of toxins. Water is necessary to make your waste into a consistency that will pass easily through your body. If there isn’t enough you can become constipated and have trouble pooping. It will be hard and painful if you can go at all. You can take over the counter products to help but please bear in mind these are only for occasional use! If you use them too often your body can become dependent on them and you’ll start to find you can’t go without them. If you think constipation is one of the least serious complications on the list please think again. Not pooping regularly causes a toxin buildup that can produce brain symptoms which are very like Alzheimer’s.
Hopefully now you’ve read this list and are running for your water bottle as we speak! Remember folks, 2 liters per day minimum! Your body will thank you.