Water is essential to life and makes up, on average, 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water to function. Without it — or enough of it — these systems begin to decline, resulting in potentially serious health complications.
You don’t have to be severely dehydrated to begin to experience symptoms. Mild dehydration in adults occurs when the body has lost about 2 percent of its total weight. At this point, some of the effects of dehydration include dry skin, thirst, loss of appetite, dry mouth, fatigue or weakness, head rushes and chills.
When the body experiences fluid loss of 5 percent more, severe dehydration effects begin to set in. Symptoms include increased heart rate, decreased sweating, decreased urination, headaches, nausea, muscle cramps, extreme fatigue and increased body temperature.
Should the dehydration continue to the point that 10 percent fluid loss occurs, the effects could be fatal. Some of the most severe effects of dehydration include muscle spasms, vomiting, confusion, difficulty breathing, racing pulse, seizures, chest and abdominal pain and unconsciousness. Should you or someone around you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
In addition to these potentially dangerous health complications, failing to drink enough water can also affect weight loss. Simply put, if you want to lose more weight, drink more water.
Water acts as a hunger suppressant. The more you drink, the less hungry you will be throughout the day. When you deprive your body of water, cells begin to hold onto that water, increasing your weight. When your body recognizes you are consuming enough water, it will begin to release retained water, resulting in weight loss.
Water works to flush toxins out of your body. Toxins can cause inflammation and increased fat storage, as the body may wrap toxins in fat cells to prevent the toxins from doing damage. When you flush the toxins (from the environment, food, etc.) out of your body, you can then begin to release stored fat.
Here are a few tips to help you consume more water on a daily basis:
Remember, if you’re experiencing any of the effects of dehydration mentioned above, contact your health care provider to rule out any serious health problems.