Mahatma Gandhi showed the world, through the passive resistance of fasting, that it was possible to live without food for weeks at a time. But no one can survive for very long without water, an essential substance that allows our bodies to function properly.
Because of this, it’s rather surprising to discover that the majority of adults suffer from at least mild dehydration on a daily basis. But when you stop and think about how much water you actually consume in a day, you’ll probably find that you’re not getting anywhere near the eight glasses (or 64 ounces) a day that your body requires.
In fact, if you drink a lot of caffeinated beverages (coffee, soda, etc.), you could be dehydrating yourself even further (since caffeine is a known diuretic).
However, you may not necessarily realize that some of the symptoms you’re feeling are associated with a lack of fluids.
So here are a few side effects you’ll want to watch out for.
A lack of fluid doesn’t just affect your digestive system; it will quickly spread to your whole body. This means that every cell will start to shrink and dry out, including your skin. So if you begin to notice dryness where none existed before (arms, legs, and everywhere else), forget about the lotions and go straight to the tap.
This is one of the most common symptoms of dehydration, although it is often attributed to other causes (like sleeplessness, stress, and so on). When you don’t have water in your system to lubricate and aid in transportation, everything has to work harder to keep you up and running. So it’s no surprise that you tire much more quickly. By doing your part to introduce these necessary fluids into your body, everything will run more smoothly, virtually giving you extra energy reserves.
When you become dehydrated, your body loses not only fluids, but also electrolytes that are needed for both bodily and brain function. This may be part of the reason why headaches are a symptom of dehydration. Additionally, overtaxing the systems of the body may lead to low blood pressure, which can definitely contribute to headaches for some people.
Not all of the symptoms associated with dehydration are physical. You may also experience emotional side effects such as irritability. While you could certainly attribute these feelings to other causes, there’s no harm in adding water to your diet to see if you can perk up and pull yourself out of the doldrums.
You don’t need to call every doctor in the health directory to figure out why you’re feeling thirsty. If you get to the point where your mouth is sticky or dry, your throat is parched, and you feel like you could gulp down a whole gallon of water, it’s a pretty good bet that you’re dehydrated. What’s interesting is that you might not necessarily feel thirsty when you’re suffering from dehydration. Just in case, be sure to drink plenty of water-based fluids throughout the day to avoid all of the symptoms listed above (and more).