Water is the main component of human body, and you need to drink more of it to help the body work better. Muscles and kidneys are 73% water, your blood is 83% water, your lungs are 90% water, and your brain is 76% water. Did you know this? We lose lots of water when we breathe, urinate and sweat, so the body needs it.
Experts believe that 6-8 glasses a day work fine, but most people do not drink more than 2 cups a day. Men should drink about 3 liters of water, or 12 cups. Women should drink about 9 cups, or 2.2 liters.
This provides optimal hydration. Insufficient water intake causes mild dehydration which is manifested through numerous symptoms.
10 Signs That You Should Drink More Water
1. Dark yellow urine
This is the most common sign of dehydration. If you are healthy, your urine shall be light yellow-amber. But, if you do not drink enough water, your kidneys will 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”, and your urine is a lot darker.
Some drugs affect the color of the urine. The same may happen if you take B vitamins, beets, blackberries, asparagus or food coloring. Temporary changes in color may indicate that you have eaten something that has changed the color of your urine. Drink more water, and you will notice how your urine color will become lighter. But, if your urine is dark for longer period of time, you may be dealing with a severe ailment like hepatitis or gallstones.
2. Reduced Urine Output
Healthy people go to the bathroom 6-7 times in a day. If you do not drink enough water, the body cannot replace the fluids it has excreted, and your kidneys retain as much fluid as possible. If you go less often to the bathroom, make sure you drink more water.
Dehydration also causes constipation, and you can relieve it by drinking more water. Dehydrated body absorbs water from every organ and tissue, including the colon. The large intestine needs more water. Insufficient water intake leads to hard stools.
Increase your fiber intake and drink plenty of water to prevent and treat constipation. It may be also a result of insufficient physical activity, hypothyroidism, intestinal inflammation or dysbiosis, food sensitivities and chronic stress. If you do drink enough water, there is probably another cause for your inflammation.
4. Dry skin and defined wrinkles
You do not need an expensive moisturizer to keep your skin soft and silky. You also do not need pricey treatment to iron your wrinkles. Drink more water. Dr. Diana Howard says that dehydration makes skin irritated, inflamed, itching and sensitive. Sometimes skin tends to flake or scale, or it can be cracked and bleeding. When the skin lacks moisture, it looks older and wrinkled. Drink more water to nourish the skin.
Make yourself a natural skin moisturizer, and your skin will be more than grateful.
5. Hunger and Weight Gain
Human body can do miracles, but it cannot make a difference between hunger and thirst. The hypothalamus regulates hunger and thirst. When it is confused, you get to eat instead of drink water. So, next time you feel hungry, drink water, and you will not gain weight.
If you are dealing with excess weight, make sure you drink enough water. Drink a glass of water, and if you still feel hungry after 15 minutes, it is time for your next meal.
6. Thirst and Dry Mouth
Being thirsty means that your body already lacks water. If you have a dry mouth, it is because the mucus membranes in your body need water. The only way to “treat” this is to drink water.
As mentioned before, when you are dehydrated, the body pulls out water from all tissues. The brain loses water and shrinks, and then separates from the scull. This triggers the pain receptors and results in headaches. The blood volume also drops, and reduces the amount of oxygen the brain gets. The blood vessels in your brain dilate, and cause swelling and inflammation, which intensifies the pain.
Mild dehydration leads to fatigue, tiredness and poor energy, as shown by a 2001 study. Lower blood volume affects the function of your heart, and it fails to move oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. So, if you feel tired, drink a glass of water instead of coffee. As you may know coffee dehydrates tissues. This applies to tea, soda, and sports drinks. These cannot substitute water.
9. Joint Pain
Water lubricates joints, and bones slide over each other with every movement you make. When the body lacks water, the joints lack nutrients which damages the cartilage cells. In cases of chronic dehydration, the cartilage may degenerate to an irreversible point. If you deal with joint main, consider increase your water intake.
10. Weak Immune System
Dehydration increases the level of toxin in blood, which affects your immunity. Hydrate your body to eliminate byproducts and help your immune system carry its function properly or fight an infection.