Water is essential to support life on earth. It covers 70% of the surface, and our bodies consist of 60% water. In fact, when scientists search for extraterrestrial life, they follow the water. It is one of the most essential substances that is significant for all your biological functions such as digestion, reproduction, waste removal, temperature regulation, etc. One cannot even imagine life without water on planet earth. Therefore, to celebrate International Water Day today, let’s learn about how dehydration affects your body and brain and how we can sustainably save water to save our own existence.
What does water do to your body?
Let’s begin with you. Did you know? Your body cannot make water, or store water and you have to replenish it to help support all your physical functions. Every cell, organ, and tissue in your body is dependent on water. When they said, you should drink water every day, they didn’t amplify the effects of water on your body and brain but not to worry, we’ll do that job for you. Staying hydrated is the real key to maximizing your physical and mental performance.
Drinking water helps support your brain potential by improving concentration and cognition, balances your mood and memory functions, increases blood flow to your brain, reduces stress and maintain memory. For your body, it detoxifies your system, keeping your kidney and liver health in check, it supports your muscles and spine health and keeps you happy and healthy in ways you cannot imagine.
So, what are the dangers of Dehydration?
On average, everyday an adult loses up to 10 cups of water by merely sweating, breathing and eliminating waste. When water escapes your body faster than you can replace it by drinking water or liquids, you get dehydrated.
Dehydration occurs when your system doesn’t have enough water or electrolytes to carry out its everyday functions normally and maintain the balance of fluids in your system.
What are electrolytes? Electrolytes are minerals in your body that have an electric charge. They can be found in your blood, tissues, urine and other fluids. When you lose more electrolytes due to dehydration than you have in your body, then it leads to the imbalance.
Although mild dehydration with symptoms like dry lips, fatigue, and headache may not be life-threatening. But when your dehydration leads to advanced stages, with more alarming and aggravated symptoms such as no urination, moodiness, pain in joints and muscles, rapid breathing, low blood pressure; it is advised to seek emergency treatment. And that’s what you need to avoid at all costs.
Read below what happens to your body when you don’t drink enough water.
Dehydration and Detoxification
Without enough water flowing through our systems to take out waste and toxins, we would be drowning in our metabolic wastes. When you don’t drink enough water, your body starts to accumulate toxins in your liver. With this build-up of toxins, you risk your life with issues such as bowel failure, a formation of kidney stones and kidney failure. Not only this, water helps in transporting nutrients to various parts of the body, where they are needed.
Water is very crucial to enable proteins that act as enzymes to function more efficiently. Without enzymes, our biological function won’t work since the chemical reactions supporting it will stop. Hence, you need water to detoxify and let your system work at its best.
Pro tip: Drink a glass of warm water with lemon every morning, to kick-start the detoxification process in your body. Lemon juice acts as a digestive and detoxifying agent. Apart from cleaning your digestive tract, it maintains the pH balance in your body.
Dehydration and Skin health
The most prominent symptom of being dehydrated is dull skin. When we are dehydrated, our skin shrivels like a raisin making us appear dull and wrinkled. Our skin is directly related to the health of our tissue cells. When these cells are healthy, our skin is plump, healthy and glowing. But, when we don’t drink water regularly, our body’s mechanism gives priority to transfer water to organs such as brain, liver, and lungs and ignoring the connective tissues of the skin. Collagen, the primary connective tissue of the skin stops receiving water and starts to get dehydrated. This leads to unhealthy and wrinkled skin. Therefore, if you want to enjoy healthy, plump and shiny skin; then keep yourself hydrated.
Pro tip: Create a water break for every hour and keep investing in your skin health. We promise you will be glowing!
Dehydration and Depression
You will be surprised to know that depression and dehydration are linked in many ways. Although, dehydration itself doesn’t cause depression some studies tie them together.
Depression occurs when you have insufficient levels of Serotonin present, which is a crucial neurotransmitter that influences your emotions and state of mood. The amino acid tryptophan is converted into Serotonin in your brain, but when you are dehydrated, you are limiting this transportation. Because there is not enough water in your system to transport tryptophan across the blood and brain barrier.
Dehydration also depletes other essential amino acids that help to create a sense of well-being for your emotional and mental health. Not drinking enough water starts showing its symptoms by fatigue, cranky mood, weakness, lack of concentration and energy, headaches and confusion which one shouldn’t ignore. Because the long-term implications can lead to anxiety and depression.
Pro Tip: Don’t wait for your body to give a signal to drink water, ensure that you are fueling your mood with the right liquids. Please note; if you drink alcohol and caffeine, then do so in moderation.
Dehydration and Weight gain
Water is used as a solvent and a transporter for nutrients, hormones and other elements in your body. When we don’t provide water to our system, the first thing it does it that it slows down the metabolic process.
You need to have healthy metabolism to burn fat and regulate your weight. A metabolism which is functioning in its optimal rate converts fats and calories into energy easily. But if your metabolism slows down or performs poorly, then your body starts storing fats easily. Now, without a doubt, many factors lead to weight gain such as unhealthy lifestyles, erratic sleep patterns, and stress but dehydration contributes majorly in weight gain. Studies have shown that drinking as less as 2 cups of water before a meal, increases your metabolic rate by 30 percent. A healthy body equals a healthy metabolism.
Pro tip: Drink a glass of water before you eat because water is an appetite suppressant. Drinking water before you reach out for that junk meal can help reduce the number of calories you may intake. Timing is also crucial, drink water half an hour before your regular meals and see the difference.
Hence, the key to leading a healthy and happy life is drinking water. When you hydrate yourself well, you are able to be active and work more efficiently. Your mood changes, you are able to focus and be creative. Your overall health depends on your water intake. In fact, our entire existence on this planet earth depends on water. So, let water flow in your life in ways it helps the environment too. This International Water Day, let’s pledge to save water!
“Thousands have lived without love but not one without water” – W.H Auden
97.5% of the world’s water is locked in seas and oceans, it’s too salty for human taste. So, as humans, we depend on natural resources, which are available as fresh water. But the fact is that we don’t just use water for drinking, we wash it, clean clothes, use it to support our agriculture, economics, transportation, etc. And it’s all putting stress on the resources we are left with. But the good news is that you can make a difference. You can make your contribution to saving water and saving life on this planet.
Here are some Green Solutions you can try:
Ban bottled water
Banning bottled water not only helps the environment by reducing the plastic but is also a great reminder for you to bring your own water bottle. When you do that, you tend to not forget about drinking water.
Reduce shower time
Long showers means water wastage. We all enjoy taking our time in the shower, it’s that creative space to solve life’s many problems but imagine if all the water from the planet disappears, life will end, and all our problems will go with it too. Do we really want that?
Turn off the water when you are brushing your teeth
We all are guilty of leaving the tap opened while brushing our teeth. We may think it’s just a tiny bit of water, but once you look at it from an eagle eye perspective, you would know it’s gallons of water over a week.
Wash full loads of laundry to reduce water usage
The less water you use, the more you are saving on your water and electricity bills. Instead of washing clothes every week, start doing it every two weeks. This ensures you are washing full loads of clothes, saving water and reducing your electricity bill number.
Water is the essence of life. Save water, save your health and save the planet.