January 31, 2018

Proper Hydration Tips: What Happens to Your Body When You’re Dehydrated?

proper hydration tips

Ever wonder what happens to your body when you’re water deficient? Like a well-oiled machine, the body conducts thousands of different biological processes on the daily. And to complete these biological processes, the body needs water. Now imagine if you’re not drinking enough water every day.

Your body loses water every time you sweat, breathe, and eat. You lose even more when you are engaged in strenuous activities. Drinking plain water is the best way to rehydrate the body. By drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day, you nourish the cells and restore the delicate balance of fluids in the body. But if say, you are not getting enough water every day, what happens to your body? Let’s find out:

The Cells and Organs

Dehydration affects the body on a cellular level. If you’re not drinking enough water, the cells are unable to work at their peak. And when the cells are not getting enough fluids, the organs are affected too. Once the body fluids are too low, various organs would trigger the sensation of thirst. The thirst sensation is a product of many organs working together to track the amount of water you’re taking and losing.

Once the body fluids dip, you will urinate less frequently. Your pee becomes concentrated, taking on a dark yellow to almost rust-colored. The body temperature rises too. This is the body’s way of regulating the core temperature due to the lack of fluids.

proper hydration tips

Unfortunately, the rising temps also cause the body to lose even more water. If you are still not drinking water at this point, the organs become strained, unable to work properly. Eventually, dehydration leads to weak and sometimes damaged organs.

Dehydration’s Adverse Effects

How does dehydration feel? When you’re always water deficient, you will experience unpleasant sensations such as headaches, dry mouth, dizziness, and lethargy. The skin becomes abnormally cool to the touch and you pee less frequently.

Because the blood is mostly made of water, the circulatory system becomes less efficient in distributing blood all over the organs. As the blood loses volume, the heart works harder to circulate oxygenated blood all over the body. This, in turn, raises the blood pressure, which causes damage to the heart tissues and arterial wall.

When you’re dehydrated, your heart will beat faster. The brain also shrinks, causing recurring headaches and poor cognitive functions. The blood vessels become narrower, reducing the supply of oxygen and blood to the brain.

proper hydration tips

Photo Credit: atlantico.fr

Once the brain is affected, the rest of the organs are affected too. That’s because the brain regulates all of the body systems. This leads to poor mental and physical performance. Dehydration may also lead to psychological stress, causing severe mood swings, irritability, uncontrolled temper, etc.


As you can see, the body is so sensitive that even the slightest drop in water levels affects a variety of systems profoundly. The amount of water you need every day will depend on your age, lifestyle, diet, climate, and daily activities.

Apart from drinking plain water, you can stay hydrated by eating whole foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables. If you work out hard, you need to increase your water intake. Do not rely too much on sports drinks to get you through your training.

Sports drinks aren’t that efficient in terms of hydrating the body. Pay more attention to the subtle dehydration cues and always keep a bottle of water on hand to hydrate on the go. This goes especially when you lead a busy lifestyle and you’re always up and about!

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