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Water is what the body is mostly composed of. In order to survive, we need to consume water. The muscles and kidneys only are made of 73% of water, the blood is composed of 83%, lungs of 90%, while the brain is made of 76% water. 3 liters or 12 cups is the recommended amount of water for men while for women 2.2 liters or 9 cups.

Those who don’t drink enough water can experience these symptoms:

Your Urine is Dark, Yellow and Smelly

This is a clear indicator and the first sign that you’re not drinking enough.  Urine should normally be a light yellow-amber colour.  If you don’t drink enough water, the kidneys excrete a “higher concentration of waste products in the urine, including dead blood cells, toxins, proteins and other products that need to be removed from the body”, resulting in darker urine.

Your Urine Output is Reduced

Commonly, people urinate between 6-7 times every day. But if you don’t drink enough water, there will be less fluid available to replace the fluids that are excreted from the body, so the kidneys will keep as much fluid as possible in order to prevent dehydration.  If you urinate less than 6 times per day, you must increase the water intake immediately.

Constipation

In case you don’t drink enough water then your body will absorb water from wherever it can, including the colon, and the insufficient amount of water in the large intestine can lead to harder stools. If you want to prevent or treat constipation you should consume a lot of water.

Your skin is dry and wrinkles are more defined

According to Dr. Diana Howard, dehydration can lead to an irritated, inflamed, itching and sensitive skin. In severe cases, the skin can even become red with cracks and bleeds.

Hunger and Weight Gain

The body can sometimes find it difficult to differentiate between hunger and thirst.  The hypothalamus, the part of the brain responsible for regulating hunger and thirst, can sometimes get confused, leading to the feeling of hunger in response to thirst. 

When you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight, always consume adequate amounts of water.  When you feel hungry, how about grabbing a glass of water before going for a snack and wait 10-15 minutes to see if the hunger has passed or if it’s still there.  If you still feel hungry then it is true hunger and time for you to get your munchies!

Thirst and dry mouth

Most of the people find it tough to believe that feeling thirsty is actually a sign that the body is slightly dehydrated. Dry mouth I another sign that the body needs hydration.

Headaches

If you don’t drink enough water, your body will absorb water from all of your tissues to compensate for the lack of fluids.  Because of that, your brain tissue loses some of its moisture and shrinks, pulling away from the skull. This triggers the pain receptors and results in a headache. At the same time, when you don’t consume enough water, the blood volume drops, reducing the amount of oxygen being carried to the brain. In response to this, the blood vessels in the brain will dilate and the headache will intensify.

Fatigue

According to a 2011 study, mild dehydration can cause fatigue, tiredness and low energy.  When you’re dehydrated and the blood volume decrease, the heart has to work harder to push oxygen and nutrients through the body.  Next time you start to feeling tired, skip the coffee (which is dehydrating!) and drink a glass of water instead.  Coffee, tea, soda and sports drinks are not substitutes for water.

Joint Pain

Water is a lubricant to the joints because it allows two bones to slide over each other as the joint moves.  If you don’t drink enough water, the joint will become nutrient deficient, which leads to damage of the cartilage cells.  

Weak Immune System

Dehydration increases the concentration of toxins in the blood, which can weaken the immune system.  Optimal hydration is essential in assisting in the elimination of any illness byproducts and helps the immune system ward off infection.

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