Water is essential for human body and drinking less or no water can cause various conditions. Many of the symptoms related to less water consumption are similar to regular sickness symptoms and people often get worried about these symptoms thinking something is really wrong with their body. When there is an easy fix – drinking enough water everyday helps to reduce these symptoms/conditions. Moreover, there is a misconception in people that water can be replaced with tea, coffee, diet soda, sports drink, juice etc. The thirst disease, which people get, is a progressive state of dehydration, which happens after drinking any of other drinks other than water. Drinking too many other fluids in place of water results in accumulation of toxins in the body. To combat these toxins body compensates water by removing water from the cells.
Some of the common symptoms of body indicate that more water drinking is needed for the body.
1) Mouth feels dry: Lip skin will peel, tongue feels dry and throat feels itchy.
2) Skin change: Skin breaks out, feels very dry and dry -ash like appearance with eczema. The skin is 75 percent water, so any lack of water is damaging to the skin. This dehydration results in eczema.
3) Joint pain and arthritis: Both in hands and legs joint pain increases because of less water in cartilage. Cartilage contains a large amount of water, so dehydration causes it to become dry and less effective.
4) Weight gain: Body tries to retain water and with water accumulation body weight increases.
5) Aging: Premature appearance due to dry and dehydrated skin.
6) Unhealthy urinary tract: Urine becomes darker yellow and results in a burning sensation while passing urine. The lack of water in the body allows excess bacteria and germs to congregate in the bladder and urethra causing infection.
7) Stomach ache: Constipation happens due to lack of dehydration and results in stomach pain.
8) Low energy: Lethargic and more stressed body – when there is no water body loses its energy and results in a lethargic condition.
9) Muscle ache: Constant muscle pain and often inflammation of muscle is possible. This also leads to cramps -especially in calves’ area of leg.
10) Eyes: Color change in eyes – bloodshot eyes.
11) Sickness: Water is a very important cleanser. Not enough drinking water results in buildup of toxins in the body and causes sickness.
12) Brain function decline: The brain requires more water than any other part of the body because it contains 20% of the blood circulating through the body at any one time.
13) Other damages: Low hydration levels in the aged can result in brain damage, diabetes, and respiratory ailments.
14) Judgment and balance: Dehydration can lead to fatigue and impaired cognition. Normal tasks like driving, lifting things can give hard time, as there will not be a balance in mind.
How much water one need to drink?
Our activities, temperature, perspiration, urination, exercise and other factors determine how much water we should drink. General recommendation is from The Institute of Medicine is an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) per day. The AI for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) per day. Normally nutritionals say 8-ounce glasses (1.9 liters) of water a day which is close to daily general recommendation from IM. However, as mentioned above our daily water consumption depends on our activity and how much our body is dehydrated.
See this link to understand how much water is needed to hydrate your body.