Everyone knows how water is vital for humanity’s survival. Your body needs an adequate amount of water for your organs to function well. Without it, your body becomes dehydrated.
Dehydration occurs when you lose more fluid than you took in. There are various ways that your body can experience dehydration. You can be dehydrated due to extreme heat which is caused by too much sweating, doing exercises, or vomiting. Once you experience any of these, you must replenish the lost water as soon as possible to prevent dehydration.
However, some people are not aware yet of how dehydration can affect their bodies in as little as two hours. Dehydration can affect anyone, at any age. People don’t even notice that they’re already dehydrated until they feel thirsty.
Your body is made up of 60% water, so if your body is getting less water, you become dehydrated. It’s vital that even if you don’t feel thirsty yet, you have to keep up your liquid intake. You can also hydrate yourself by eating fruit and vegetables that are rich in water. As the famous saying goes, prevention is better than cure.
For better awareness, here are the various effects of dehydration on your body:
The first effect of dehydration is that you feel thirsty. You’ll feel the urge to want to drink something, especially a cold drink. Thirst can also be accompanied by other symptoms like the decreased urge to urinate, reduced sweat, tiredness, and, in extreme cases, dizziness and nausea.
That’s why it’s crucial that you have access to water anytime. If you’re going on a trip, don’t forget to bring your own water container. You can also add sodium in your water, such as DripDrop, as it contains more electrolytes than ordinary water. The more electrolytes you take, the faster your body can recover from dehydration.
2. Decreased Energy levels
Once you feel thirsty yet you fail to replenish yourself with water or any type of drink, it can take a toll on your energy levels. As your muscles become weaker and you feel headache or dizzy spells, it can impair your physical performance. You’re likely to experience fatigue, which reduces your motivation to complete certain tasks and endure even light physical activities. Some people even faint while they’re in the middle of doing their jobs because of dehydration.
Furthermore, your body temperature will also increase as your heart rate increases. This means your heart has to work twice as hard in maintaining your homeostasis when you’re dehydrated. Overall, dehydration can have a negative effect both on your physical performance and your well-being.
3. Effects on mood
The effects of dehydration do not only limit your inability to complete tasks. It can also hugely affect your mood for the day. When you’re thirsty and dehydrated, you’re more susceptible to experiencing mood alterations.
As you’re physically weak and tired, you may then feel confused with your surroundings. That’s because when you’re dehydrated, you’ll lose the ability to focus on things or certain tasks. You can’t think clearly about what to do or say next, which can also leave you feeling frustrated and easily angered over petty things.
As you all know, water actually helps in soothing anxieties as it has natural calming properties. Notice that when someone is stressed or is crying due to problems, you serve them a cup of water to ease their mood. Drinking enough water and being hydrated is essential to managing your moods and anxiety. But, even if you’re not suffering any anxiety, being hydrated all the time creates a feeling of relaxation.
4. Decreases your brain’s ability to function well
Now that you’re feeling thirsty, physically weak, and frustrated due to dehydration, it will then affect your brain’s ability to function well. As mentioned earlier, you lose your ability to focus on things when you’re dehydrated. That’s because your brain needs water to function effectively.
When your brain doesn’t have enough water, you’ll likely experience short-term memory loss and reduced concentration and alertness. Your performance in day-to-day tasks will also be impaired as your brain decreases perceptual discrimination, visual-motor tracking, psychomotor skills, and arithmetic ability. However, these effects are temporary and will be reversed as soon as you drink enough fluid to fill your entire system, most especially your brain.
5. Impaired gastrointestinal function
If you’re the type of person who is not fond of drinking enough water every day, you’ll notice that your bowel movement is minimal and irregular. You’re not only prone to dehydration, but lack of water intake can also affect your gastrointestinal function.
Your digestive system needs water to help digest your food and easily send it to your large and small intestines. If your body doesn’t have enough water to complete this process, your bowel movement will be reduced, and your stools are more likely to be lumpy and dry, leading to constipation.
Constipation occurs when your colon is dehydrated due to insufficient water. However, this effect can be alleviated, and your gastrointestinal system can function again properly if you increase your water consumption every day.
6. Organ Failure or Coma
In extreme cases, if your body is still not receiving enough water for its organs to function properly, it will ultimately result in organ failure, coma, or even death.
For instance, your urinary system needs water to function well. As your body separates waste from the nutrients, your blood vessels are opened by the water, allowing blood to travel to your kidneys. After the waste was successfully separated from the blood, water will mix with the waste to form urine.
If you don’t have enough water, your urinary system will not be able to complete the tasks mentioned above, and the harmful wastes will build up in your body instead of being released. If this situation continues for a long time, this can eventually damage your kidneys. The unreleased harmful waste will build up and form into what is commonly called kidney stones which are very painful, especially when urinating.
Dehydration is why some people suffer from kidney stones and urinary tract infections. Once this condition is left untreated, the kidney damage can become permanent and will soon be deadly. It will open up opportunities for other health complications due to high amounts of waste buildup in the bloodstream. Ultimately, a person may die due to kidney failure.
The Bottom Line
Now you know how dehydration can be the root cause of severe health complications. Dehydration is a concern not only for people who are doing extreme physical activities, but for everyone. Staying hydrated should be one of your daily priorities. Make sure to keep track of your water intake, and make water as part of your daily routine.