Water is crucial for survival. Since 60% of the human body is made of this compound, many cognitive, cardiovascular, and metabolic activities depend on its intake for daily functioning. According to experts, adults must drink at least eight glasses of water daily to remain hydrated. This intake value will vary slightly depending on factors like a person’s body mass, age, and gender. However, not drinking enough water can lead to various side effects.
Drinking water has many skin benefits as the water molecules hydrate and moisturize the skin cells. Reducing intake causes the skin to dry out, lose its natural elasticity, and develop fine lines or wrinkles as collagen cracks due to dehydration.
Water helps maintain the necessary sodium and glucose balance, among other essential electrolytes responsible for cognitive function. In fact, 73% of the brain is made up of water, so reducing its intake can result in confusion, brain fog, and memory problems.
Increased food intake
Sometimes, people mistake thirst for hunger and eat more foods to curb these hunger pangs. However, a glass of water can easily satiate such cravings. One can have a small snack if one still feels hungry after drinking water.
Slowing down metabolism
Metabolism happens when the body converts foods and drinks into energy required for necessary organ functions. Dehydration makes it difficult for the body to digest food as it slows down the metabolism. It can also trigger several complications linked to blood pressure and blood glucose levels.
Increased risk of kidney stones
Water helps remove all the toxins and waste from the body through urine filtered out by the kidneys. Reducing water intake increases the risk of these toxins forming stone crystals inside the organ. Dehydration also increases the risk of urinary tract infections as the fluid intake is insufficient for evacuating the bacteria and toxins from the urethra.
Reducing water intake affects blood circulation, and less oxygenated blood flows in the body, thus affecting cardiovascular functions. It, in turn, leads to fatigue and lethargy, which can be easily avoided by increasing the water intake.
In addition to the abovementioned complications, dehydration has also been associated with respiratory problems. Severe dehydration may lead to hypotension or low blood pressure that causes symptoms like shortness of breath. Further, being dehydrated may cause a buildup of lactic acid in the lungs, which may trigger certain respiratory issues like rapid breathing.
Additionally, dehydration can trigger allergies in individuals. It is noticed that when the body is dehydrated, it produces higher levels of histamines, chemicals released in response to an allergen in the immune system. It works as a part of the defense mechanism and preserves the water in the body. Increased levels of histamine production in the body can worsen the allergic symptoms, causing discomfort to the affected.
Along with inadequate water intake, conditions like diabetes can increase the risk of dehydration. Here, when dealing with persistently high blood glucose levels, the kidneys tend to remove excess glucose from the blood along with water, causing excessive thirst and dehydration.
Along with quantity, the quality of water matters just as much to reduce the risk of waterborne illnesses and ensure optimal health. For example, drinking water purified by a water purifier offers many health benefits. It removes harmful contaminants and toxic metals and makes water safe to consume. It also retains essential minerals, helps detoxify the body, enhances the taste, eliminates water odor, and promotes overall well-being.