DEHYDRATION IS MAKING YOU SICK AND FAT.

After writing this post, I couldn’t sleep. I have this little plant in my house that I sometimes forget to water. Not intentionally, it’s just that it’s not very demanding in a house of very demanding things (kids, chickens, renegade sheep, husband etc). It just sits there and waits. Wilting. Quietly. At 2am I finally gave in to the impulse to get up and water it. I know it appreciated it, because this morning it looked beautifully green and perky and I’m sure it was smiling inside.

Feeling thirsty? Then it’s already too late. Your body is already in the early stages  of dehydrated.

We are really similar to that little plant. Up to 75% of our entire body is just plain ol’ regular water. Your blood is roughly 90% water. We need water. Every single day. Or we die. Um….. That went dark fast.

Am I being a little dramatic? I don’t think so. We can live only a few days without water – maybe a week if we keep real still and cool.

Researchers have found that most of us, as in, the human population and its kids, spend our lives in a state of mild to serious dehydration. We just aren’t getting enough water. Now before you move on, thinking, ‘Oh that’s not me’, take a quick look at this little list below showing what happens to your body when you don’t have enough water:

Symptoms and Signs of Mild to Medium Dehydration

  • Feeling thirsty. This is not a reliable indicator of dehydration, as often by the time you are thirsty, your body is already dehydrated.
  • Dry mouth. Think about it now, is your mouth a little dry right now?
  • Feeling tired or have no energy?
  • Peeing less than 6 – 8 times a day. When last did you pee?
  • Urine is of a low volume or more yellow than usual. May need to check this next time.
  • Headaches. That dull ache that you get used to after a while,  but just doesn’t go away.
  • Dry Skin.
  • Feeling Dizzy.
  • Low skin elasticity (test this by pinching the skin on the back of your hand. If it ‘springs’ back to normal position, then you’re all good, but if it sinks back slowly then you need water right now)
  • Dehydration symptoms can differ between infants and adults. An Infant or young child may show these symptoms: Dry mouth and tongue; No tears when crying; No wet diapers for three hours; Sunken eyes or cheeks; Sunken soft spot on top of skull; Listlessness or irritability.

Without water, the above symptoms may quickly worsen and Signs of Severe dehydration may develop, leading to confusion and eventually coma and death.

The Benefits of Drinking more Water

So, what does this mean? Why should we drink more water?

  1. Lose Weight. Water plays an important role in weight loss and weight maintenance in a number of ways. Keeping hydrated decreases food cravings. Often we think we are hungry, when actually all we need is a big drink of water. Along with containing zero calories, drinking water also increases our energy levels and metabolism. Don’t just take my word for it, though, here’s the research done on over 18,000 adults.   It’s Nature’s ready mixed diet drink.
  2. Reduced Allergies. Your lungs are moistened by water. Water helps you breathe. When dehydrated, your body will restrict the width of your airways to conserve water loss.  When you don’t drink enough water, your histamine levels increase as the body loses water. This can lead to increased allergy reactions and asthma.
  3. Prevent cancer. Research suggests that staying hydrated can reduce the risk of colon cancer by 45%5, bladder cancer by 50%6, and possibly reduce breast cancer risk as well.7  Keeping our cells hydrated means that they can effectively transport nutrients in and toxic waste out of our body.
  4. Be less grumpy. Your brain tissue is 75% water. When you’re not properly hydrated, your brain operates on less fuel and efficiency. You can feel drained, or experience fatigue or mood fluctuations. Research says dehydration can affect your mood and make you cranky and confused. Hmm. I think  I may know a few people who  live their life in a permanent state of thirst.
  5. Perform better. Dehydration can lead to weakness, muscle fatigue, dizziness, and electrolyte imbalance. Keeping our body hydrated means an increase in energy and plays an important part in maintaining muscle tone and increasing the production of new blood and muscle cells.
  6. Get Smarter. Drinking 8 – 10 cups of water a day can increase your cognitive abilities by as much as 30%. The reason for this is that the more water your brain has, the more oxygen it can receive – which is what keeps it functioning at its best.
  7. Save Money. Save money by not having to buy soda and other sugary drinks.
  8. No more Cavities. It’s better for your teeth and that means fewer fillings and fewer dentist bills. All of my children are cavity free. As in NO CAVITIES at all. The only thing I put it down to is the fact that we don’t drink soda, but we all drink water every day.
  9. Pain free Joints. Drinking water can reduce pain in your joints by keeping the cartilage soft and hydrated. The leading supplement taken for joint pain is glucosamine. This works by aiding in cartilage’s absorption of water.
  10. Detox Our digestive system needs water to function properly. Our body flushes out waste by urinating and sweat. Both of these processes only work with hydration. If we don’t flush out waste and bacteria, these toxins collect in our our body.
  11. Youthful looking skin. Forget expensive face creams.  Regular and plentiful water consumption can improve the color and texture of your skin by getting rid of toxins and improving the flow of blood to the skin. Our skin cells have a 2 – 3 weeks lifespan. We are constantly making new cells to replace the dead ones. Keeping our body hydrated means that the new cells can be built properly. Water plays an important role in keeping cells firm, allowing for firmer, tauter youthful looking skin.
  12. Pimple free face. If your teenager has a problem skin with breakouts and redness, you will be amazed at the difference this little change will make. Watch this video on what 30 days of drinking water does to this woman’s skin. 

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