We all know that water is important for our survival, but not everyone understands the many important functions water has in keeping us healthy. If we went 3-5 days without any water intake, our organs would begin to shut down. For optimal functioning, a person should aim to drink a minimum of half their body weight (lbs) in ounces. So if someone weighed 130 pounds, they should be consuming a minimum of 65 oz of pure water per day, and upwards of 130 ounces per day. There are also individual factors that may increase a person’s need for water, such as exercising and sweating a lot, living in a hot or humid climate, living at a high altitude, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. Many people don’t consume enough water and their bodies are in a state of chronic dehydration. And while people may get enough water from food and other beverage sources to stay alive, their bodies will still suffer some consequences if they’re consuming far less water than they should.
The Role of Water in Keeping Our Bodies Functioning
Here is a list of some of the major functions that water plays in our bodies:
- Aids in the entire digestive process
- Prevents constipation
- Aids in nutrient absorption from food
- Boosts brain function
- Regulates body temperature
- Lubricates your joints
- Creates saliva
- Improves skin complexion
- Enhances wound healing
- Delivers nutrients to all of our cells
- Flushes toxins from the body
What Are the Signs of Dehydration?
In the early stages of dehydration, a person may not notice many symptoms, but they will eventually manifest.
These symptoms can include:
- Dark yellow urine
- Not urinating enough
- Dry mouth
- Extreme thirst
- Dizziness or feeling lightheaded
- Sugar cravings
While some of these symptoms may also be caused by other issues, if you know you’re not consuming enough water on a daily basis, then simply increasing your water intake may be just what you need to feel better.
The Effects of Chronic Dehydration
Our bodies are very adaptable and always working hard to keep us as healthy as possible. But if a person goes for a prolonged period of time without proper water consumption, then they may be at risk for some of the long term effects of chronic dehydration.
These risks include:
- Kidney stones or renal failure
- Heart palpitations
- Sunken cheeks and skin problems
- Concentration issues
- Hardened stools
- Greater risk of urinary tract infections
- Low blood pressure which can lead to fainting spells
For some tips to help you drink enough water, check out our previous post “Tips to Hit Your Daily Water Intake.”