We have all heard it before. at least 60% of our body is made of water.
Every day, roughly 2.5 liters get lost through the skin and other natural processes.
This needs to be re-stocked.
What happens when you don’t Drink Enough Water?
Since our whole body is dependent on water, and it’s important for pretty much all processes, there is no way to ignore drinking enough.
On top of that, dehydration is dangerous.
However, with the availability of water in modern days, there is no way dehydration should remotely be a threat.
Reason for this is, that the best indicator for drinking too little water, is thirst.
So unless you ignore your thirst for long periods of time, which would be very unpleasant to do, you can be sure not to face symptoms of dehydration.
For the sake of completion, and because the information might come in handy at some point, here is a list of symptoms that occur because of heavy dehydration.
- Very dry skin
- Not having to pee at all or very dark yellow pee
- Increased heart-rate and breathing
- Lack of energy
- Constantly feeling dizzy
Anyhow, even if dehydration is nothing you need to be concerned about, not being 100% hydrated will already have a negative impact on your system.
Next to that, here are symptoms of mild or medium dehydration
- Dry mouth
- Dry skin
- Muscle Cramps
- Dark yellow pee
Do you drink enough water?
In order to check if you drink enough water, there are some simple tricks you can use.
The most important one, again, is just listening to your body.
You should pee regularly, and it should have a light color.
Moreover, experiencing thirst is already a warning that your body needs water!
Definitely, drink if you are thirsty, but don’t limit your drinking to only that.
Especially since your body gets worse at detecting smaller deficits of water with age, making it more important to drink despite not feeling thirsty at the moment.
To make sure you are always stocked up, try to create a habit of drinking water.
Just always have a water bottle with you, no matter where you go, no matter what you do.
Drink small amounts frequently, rather than big chunks in one go.
This is important for another reason.
Your body can only store very limited amounts of water, every excess gets flushed out again.
For that reason, there is no way you can ignore drinking all day, and then refill your lost 2.5 liters at the end of the day.
Also, you don’t have to drink every drop of water you lose.
There is plenty of water in the food you eat daily. Roughly accounting for 1 liter every day.
This leaves you with 1,5 liters to regain from drinking daily.
Doesn’t sounds like much right? Well, there are still enough people struggling with that.
While it is possible to give estimates on how much you need to drink every day, these values change a lot based on your lifestyle and body proportions.
As a rule of thumb, your body weight divided by 30 equals the necessary amount of water per day.
This is just one formula out of many you can find online.
Another method is calculating the amount of water you need with the help of a tool like this water calculator.
Don’t stress too much about whether you should drink 2,5 or 3 liters though. Your body usually does a pretty good job of regulating itself and giving hints when you should drink more, or if you are not drinking enough in general.
If you want to go safe, there is a lot of other factors you need to respect.
Sickness, for example, can make your body’s water need go up.
Another one is physical activity, try to add 1 liter of water for 1 hour of heavy physical activity.
Heat and the climate in total will make an impact on your water needs, too.
Since you are losing more water during hot days, and activities become more demanding, you need to compensate for that in your drinking habits.
Other specific factors are
- Overall health
All these things need to be accounted for when thinking about your intake.
If you are stressing out about not getting enough water, just drink more. The human body can deal with excess water quite easily.
Still, there are thresholds you should adhere too.
Can you drink too much water?
This one can be answered very easily.
Yes, it is possible to drink too much water.
And the symptoms are surprisingly similar to drinking not enough of it.
Overhydration, or water intoxication, occurs, when you drink more water faster, than your kidneys can get rid of by disposing of it as urine.
This can cause brain disruption based on your water intake, sounds crazy right?
There is good news though, your kidneys can get rid of 28 liters every day! So as long as you are not pumping water into your system 24/7 you will be fine.
But be aware! The danger does probably not come from the amount of water you drink when you look at a daily basis.
But rather when you look at specific time-frames during the day.
The kidney can get rid of 0.8-1.0 liters in an hour.
This has a couple of indications for us.
First, don’t necessarily drink more than 1 liter in an hour, especially not on average.
Second, this is only the water the kidneys can dispatch, it does not factor in sweating or other processes that use up water.
Third, mentioning it again, trying to reach your “water goal” for the day by drinking huge amounts in one go does not only not work, but it is also dangerous
Symptoms that come with water intoxication are
- Increased blood pressure
- Double vision
- Difficulty breathing
So, is it possible to die from drinking too much water then?
Yes, it can be, but you should not worry about it.
While in theory, dying because you drank too much water is entirely possible, in practice, it’s not so much.
As I mentioned earlier. Your body is excitingly good at knowing what it needs at any given moment and providing signals to make sure you know too.
Drinking so much water is simply not realistic, no one (hopefully) would do it. On top of that, even if you wanted to do it, there is a big chance your body wouldn’t let you.
Causing you to have a feeling of fullness, or vomiting everything the second you try to chug it down.
Benefits of staying hydrated
Now that we covered all the basics, how many liters you should drink, and why you should stay in a certain range of consumption, let’s look at the bright side of life.
Staying hydrated has many health benefits you can profit from.
1. Cools your body
Water is an essential part of regulating your body’s temperature. Having enough of it at any moment in your body makes sure you can cool off whenever needed.
2. It makes your body work smoothly.
Water transports important nutrients into the cells, and escorts waste out of them.
Basically making sure that everything works the way it should.
Also, it can slow down muscle-exhaustion.
3. Improves your skin
Staying hydrated will make your skin look, and feel better!
It will get more elastic and cleaner, changing your whole appearance and body-feeling for the better.
4. Cleanses the body
Your kidneys need water to get rid of the waste that amounts from natural processes.
You don’t want waste in your body.
5. Increases performance
Water is an enabler.
Just like mentioned earlier, only 2% of dehydration can already cause deficits in cognitive performance.
This means on the other hand, that drinking enough of it brings about the laser focus, and results in you being as productive as possible.
6. Helps with constipation
No one likes it, no one wants it.
Maybe the solution to a more pleasant time on the toilet is as simple as drinking more water!
7. Promotes weight loss
No special pill, no magic ingredient that will make your belly fat disappear overnight.
Water it is.
While it won’t make you slim overnight, it increases your metabolism and energy level.
Which is not only helpful in losing weight!
This makes you burn more calories. Promoting weight loss in that way.
Bottom line: The Importance of Staying Hydrated All The Time
Since such a big part of our body is water, and it has it’s a role in all of our basic processes, it should be a no-brainer to say that proper hydration is very important.
Not only that, not caring about your water intake can even be dangerous and cause dehydration or even overhydration.
However, if you pay the necessary respect and though to your drinking habits (it’s not too hard!), you will have
- A better-regulated body
- Better skin
- A better digestive system
- Increased productivity
- Higher energy consumption and levels
- A smoothly running, waste-free, body
Thank you for reading this article.
I wish good hydration upon all of you!