“Follow the water.” This slogan guided the first NASA missions to Mars. Why? Because water is essential to survival.
Keep your body in smooth waters with H2O.
Water in your body is a lot like oil in your car engine. It lubricates to keep things moving. It prevents waste from building up. And it stops the engine from overheating.
Without oil, your car would stop working. Without water, your body couldn’t carry nutrients and oxygen to every cell in your body. And this is how it maintains your skin, hair, nails, body temperature, heart rate, and more.
You wouldn’t let your car run out of oil, would you? But millions of people don’t drink enough water each day, even though dehydration is one of the easiest conditions to avoid. Guzzling more water doesn’t cost anything, and you’ll see the benefits right away.
Dehydration hangs your health out to dry.
Staying hydrated can help you avoid a long list of health hazards. That means you can spend less time with your doctor and lower your medical bills. Here’s what you may miss by keeping a water bottle close.
Constipation. When you drink water, where does it go? Straight through your digestive tract, of course. Your body soaks up the fluid in your intestines. But if you don’t have enough water going through your pipes, hard stools that are difficult to pass get left behind.
Unbalanced blood pressure. Once your intestines absorb water, they send it to your bloodstream to distribute to your thirsty organs. But if you don’t have enough water, your blood volume goes down. That can lower pressure against artery walls, and a sudden drop in blood pressure can be dangerous. On the other hand, sometimes your body compensates by holding onto sodium, which can raise your blood pressure.
High cholesterol. An internal drought may trigger a cholesterol hike. One study shows dehydration during fasting could cause a surge in bad LDL cholesterol. It’s your body’s way of protecting cell membranes from moisture and nutrient loss.
Poor stroke recovery. High cholesterol and blood pressure both contribute to stroke risk. And since dehydration zaps water out of your arteries, your blood ends up even thicker. That raises chances of your condition worsening post-stroke.
Brain fog. Experts aren’t sure why dehydration affects your noggin. But your brain is about 75 percent water. So, it makes sense that you need H2O balance for concentration, alertness, and short-term memory. Drink up to help your brain think better, remember more, and stay young longer.
Bad moods. Dehydration isn’t just linked to brain fatigue. Low fluid levels can really get you down. And according to studies, you only have to be mildly dehydrated to feel the effects. But feeling lethargic and down in the dumps is just the beginning. In one small study, dehydration in men actually increased anxiety.
Chronic pain. Your body needs fluid to cushion and lubricate your joints to protect you from pain and wear and tear. In fact, your cartilage contains water, which helps it stay firm and absorb shock. What’s more, a recent study showed dehydration can increase pain sensitivity. That would make even a little discomfort feel a lot worse.
Kidney problems. Your kidneys remove waste and extra fluid from your body, sending ’em straight to your bladder for removal. Water makes sure waste products, bacteria, and proteins move smoothly on the way out. Dehydration can lead to buildup and from there to dangerous infections, painful kidney stones, and in extreme cases, even kidney failure.