Two of the major things that make life on earth possible for humans are oxygen and water. Without these we would certainly die, and relatively quick for that matter. If you were chronically under oxygenated, you’d know it, and you’d do something about it. Yet an astonishing 75 percent of all people are chronically dehydrated. And what do we do? Not a damn thing. Mainly because many people who are dehydrated do not even realize they are dehydrated to do anything about it. We take over the counter medicines, prescription medicines, homeopathic medicines and everything in between to try to fix problems that truly stem from poor diet and under hydration. Soda does not count as water, tea does not count as water, flavored water does not count as water. Plain ol’ H20 is the only thing that counts as water! The eight-eight ounce glass of water rules does not really have a whole lot of scientific backing, but its a hell of a place to start, and odds are you need even more. So next time you giggle at the meathead at the gym with his sleeveless shirt cut all the way down to his hips and a jug of water on hand, ask yourself if you exhibit any of these signs of chronic dehydration:
Next time you have a pounding headache, before you crack open the vicodin, maybe crack open the dasani first. The human brain is composed of 80% water and also basically ‘floats around’ in cerebral fluid inside your skull, which is made of guess what? water. Dehydration causes brain tissue to lose fluid and also restricts oxygen and blood flow to the brain causing blood vessel dilation and inflammation, which can be pretty damn painful. Knock down a half a gallon of water tomorrow and get back to us on the migraines.
What most people chalk up to lack of sleep or other lifestyle distractions, can actually be attributed to dehydration. Self preservation is the very first law of nature, and the human body is a self-preservation machine. When you’re dehydrated, your body preserves energy by decreasing blood circulation. When blood circulation is reduced, that means less oxygenated blood is flowing to the brain , muscles and other organs, which causes extreme lack of energy.
4. Extreme Hunger
This one may come as a shock to our readers with ‘big appetites’, but the hunger signal is very often confused for the thirst signal. More often than not you will feel hungry when all you need to do is drink water. When the body is dehydrated, the area of the brain called the hypothalamus tends to confuse thirst with appetite. Try drinking 32 ounces of water before a meal. Dehydration also slows down metabolism which will directly negatively affect your body’s ability to burn fat.
5. Digestive issues
The mucus in the mouth and throat keep the digestive system running properly. In addition to lubrication the mucus also contains important enzymes that are critical to proper digestion and metabolism, as well as conversion of food to energy (rather than stored body fat). This applies to the entire digestive system from the mouth all the way through the intestines. Which is why dehydration can also lead to serious illnesses like diverticulitis and intestinal blockages. Without proper hydration and lubrication of the digestive system and stomach, stomach acid can build up and do serious damage to the lining of the stomach and even the esophagus and throat.
6. Abnormal urine
Dark, Smelly, and/or infrequent urine are all signs that you are not drinking enough water. Coupled with consumption of diuretics and bladder irritants like energy drinks and caffeinated sodas, this can lead to bladder and kidney disease as well as irritate the prostate in men, potentially leading to enlargement.
7. Muscle cramps
When we sweat, regardless of if it’s from exercise, sex, or watching cops, it can lead to a drop in sodium. Sodium is an important regulator when it comes to maintaining fluid balance in the muscles. But more importantly, when we sweat and don’t replenish the water, there’s only so much water to go around and the body has to prioritize where the remaining fluid is going to go. Which is almost always the circulatory system, which puts the muscles on the back burner. When the muscles become dehydrated they become extremely sensitive which produces involuntary spasms and cramps.
8. Constant/Prolonged sickness
We all know that person (or perhaps you are that person) who always gets sick, and can’t seem to shake something as simple as the common cold. Every other week you’re in bed with chicken noodle soup and a rag on your head for days on end. You buy theraflu in bulk and avoid sick people like lepers because you cant afford to take anymore sick days from work because you got a month-long sniffle. But can you believe this could be attributed to your water intake? Drinking water allows your body (particularly your liver and kidneys) to rid your body of toxins. Your organs function to filter out certain waste products , and when they become dehydrated, they end up pulling water from other sources like your blood stream, which is a whole new can of worms I promise you don’t wanna crack.