Besides the fact that you'd literally die without it, there are many, MANY imperative reasons to drink water frequently, every single day. It starts out pretty mild — you might feel thirsty and have a dry mouth. But the long-term effects of not drinking enough water not only have an effect on your weight (in a bad way), but they're also extremely dangerous and life-threatening. Here's what happens to your body.
Even mild dehydration has strong effects. Here's how you'll feel with a lack of H2O (hint: it's really not fun).
- Fatigue, tiredness, sleepiness
- Mood change, irritability, increased anxiety
- Sunken eyes
- Shriveled skin
- Muscle cramps
- Joint aches
If things get worse, so do your symptoms. These are the "go to the hospital" signs.
- Low blood pressure, with a rapid heartbeat
- Delirium, unconsciousness
- Severe diarrhea and/or vomiting
- Inability to keep fluids down
Consistently not drinking enough water for an extended period of time has its effect as well. Although you may brush off the milder side effects, your body is still suffering — and several of these have a significant bearing on weight gain.
- Low water, slow metabolism. Your body's ability to remove waste and detoxify is inhibited. In addition, your metabolism is slower without water. One study found that drinking 16 ounces of water daily increases your metabolic rate by 30 percent. Guys. That's literally ONE standard-size water bottle. JUST DRINK IT.
- Increased hunger. When you're somewhat dehydrated, your body confuses it for hunger, causing you to eat when you don't need to. Read: weight gain.
- Slowed circulation, irregular temperature. Your CV system suffers, and your equilibrium is totally out of whack.
- Digestion problems. That constipation we talked about becomes a regular thing. Not fun. Also not great for weight loss.
- General fatigue. Same goes for your energy levels. You'll constantly feel tired, unable (or unwilling) to exercise, and unable to concentrate.
- Increased blood sugar. Your body needs water to break down sugar. If you're diabetic, this is especially dangerous.
Severe Long-Term Effects
Now for the worst of it. Yes, it's terrible that dehydration can make you gain weight (or keep you from losing it), but there are some bigger issues at hand. If you're truly neglecting your water intake, this should likely help you get on track. Here's what happens to your body when you don't get enough water.
- Heat injury
- Brain swelling
- Hypovolemic shock
- Kidney failure
- Coma and death
Now go get yourself a water bottle and FILL. IT. UP.