Water is vital: What happens in our body when we don’t drink enough water

Author: Corinne Bett   Date Posted:11 January 2016 

How could anyone find water boring when it is so vital to every faucet of life? Particularly humans! We all know our body is predominantly made up of water and unlike the clever camel who is able to store its water supplies, we need to keep drinking water to maintain a constant supply and maintain better health in the body.

Water can help to aid our improve our energy, digestion, detoxification, mood and more! But what can happen to our body when we don’t drink enough water? Read on for some very good reasons to get you motivated to be drinking up as the heat of summer starts to set in.

Feeling hot-hot-hot?

This is a simple one but works. Water helps to regulate our body temperature by assisting us to sweat effectively which in turn cools us down. So next time you’re feeling super-hot, try a glass of water for an instant cooling effect.

Difficult Digestion?

Water is required for pretty much every aspect of digestion, from producing saliva in the mouth to begin the digestive process, to ensuring a smooth transition of a bowel motion into the toilet bowl. The body absorbs extra water from the colon in the latter stages of digestion and without sufficient water to reabsorb, your stool may become extra dehydrated, hard and difficult to pass, leading to sluggish and slow digestion or even constipation.

Hangry?

Nobody likes a hangry person. They are the worst combination of hungry and angry – and they might just be dehydrated! When our body is crying out for water, it is also asking for extra nutrients, which are carried directly to our cells via water. However, some people mistake this message of thirst as a message to eat instead, to satisfy the cell’s need for nutrients and energy. But all they really needed was a glass of water or two.

Eating when you really need to be drinking water, may also lead to weight gain over the long term. So get that hangry person a glass of water, stat!  

Fighting Fatigue?

Do you feel like you’re constantly fighting that tired feeling? Then top of up your glass of water. Water is required for many biochemical processes in the body, including energy production. It is also required for waste removal and detoxification and if there isn’t enough water available for these processes in the body, you can also end up feeling sluggish, tired and you might even end up with a headache.

A good way to counter this is to ensure you drink at least 2 cups of water when you wake up in the morning, this will ensure there is enough water in your system ready to utilise in the morning to start the day right.

Up and down?

Not drinking enough water can also affect our mood and cognitive function, this can contribute to feelings of tension and anxiety.

This may occur as the neurons in the brain that detect dehydration may signal the parts of the brain that regulate mood that something is not right. It is thought that this process may have evolved in humans from ancient times, warning our bodies that we need water to survive as a protective mechanism.

Weak at the knees?

Dehydration can affect our physical condition and can leave us feeling weak and in a poor physical shape. Our muscles need sufficient water, otherwise they may not be able to function effectively and may lose strength.

Water is also required to lubricate and cushion our joints and to assist our blood volume and circulation, both of which may affect us from acting in our peak physical condition without enough H20 in our system.

Urinary issues?

A lack of water can increase the risk of developing kidney stones and contracting a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).  

This is because water assists in flushing the kidneys, bladder, the urinary tract and preventing the accumulation of toxins and bacteria which may cause infection and kidney stones. If your urine is a dark yellow or tan colour, it means the toxins and wastes from the urinary tract are being excreted in a concentrated form. This is a strong physical sign that you may be dehydrated. People who are sufficiently hydrated should have a light yellow coloured urine.

Here are some Tutti Fruity ideas to get you drinking more water this summer. All you need to do is add the fruits to your glass, bottle or jug of water and voila! Fruity delicious water. Feel free to mix and match flavours and find your favourite combo.

  • Pomegranate and Kiwi fruit.
  • Strawberry, Lime and Mint.
  • Pineapple and Mint.
  • Berries and Lemon.
  • Watermelon.
  • Orange, Lemon and Lime.
  • Cucumber and Lemon.
Written by Corinne Bett

Corinne spent her childhood helping her mother and grandfather in the garden grow various herbs and vegetables. This sparked a great interest in herbal medicine and nutrition in later life, and a passion for a wholefood diet. As a Naturopath today, she likes to empower others to utilise food as medicine, and live a healthy and balanced lifestyle. In her spare time she like to spend time in nature bushwalking and swimming, adventuring in far and exotic places, and dreaming about what kind of dog she might like to have one day.