Earlier this month we looked at dehydration and the brain (read more about Headaches and Hydration here). This week in Drink Up! Part 2 we look at the affects of dehydration on the body.
In the middle of a summer afternoon, or even in the middle of an afternoon at work at your desk, you might feel you are starting to get groggy. You might feel that way right now and want to reach for a snack. But are you really hungry? Maybe your body just needs more water? If you are not properly hydrated, you will feel tired and hungry.
Take a drink. Your body can easily mistake hunger for thirst. The mix up happens in the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls the autonomic nervous system and things like body temperature, thirst, and hunger. So if you feel hungry and have not had plenty to drink, wait 15 minutes and instead of grabbing a snack, grab a drink. Your hunger will probably subside.
Keep in mind that dehydration begins even before you get signals of hunger or thirst. Given that the average human body is 75 percent water, with blood 92 percent water, bones 22 percent water, and muscles 75 percent water, it’s not all that surprising that sipping water throughout the day can be one of the best things you can do for your body. Drinking water regularly boosts metabolism and curbs the appetite. Some sources claim it’s even good for you emotional health.
According to MedicalDaily.com, “When the body is dehydrated, the blood becomes thicker causing resistance to blood flow, resulting in elevated blood pressure. Dehydration can also lead to a rise in blood cholesterol. This is the body’s response to prevent water loss from the cells. High cholesterol and high blood pressure can further increase the risk of coronary heart disease, says the American Heart Association.
Dehydration can also lead to an increased risk of obesity, affiliated with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer, among many others. However, this can be prevented by drinking two 8-ounce glasses of water before breakfast, lunch, and dinner, according to a 2010 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. This can help keep weight off for at least a year.”
Increased risks of obesity, high blood pressure, and cancer! If these risks are not enough to encourage you to fill your water glass, dehydration can also make it hard to control your body temperature (this is a hypothalamus thing), it can make you cranky and irritable, cause skin and digestion disorders, cause joint pain, and even contribute to premature aging.
So drink up! If plain old water doesn’t float your boat, reach for something natural like Blossom Water!