What Happens If You Don’t Drink Enough Water: How Dehydration Sets In
If someone were to ask you, “what are you made of” you may think about responding with words like courage, compassion, and strength. However, you wouldn’t be wrong if you simply said water. In fact, water makes up 60% of your body weight, makes up the majority of your brain, lungs, and is found in cells throughout your body. It’s so vital you may wonder what happens if you don’t drink enough water.
Water plays a key role in overall health and body processes, including bulking up blood volume and regulating internal body temperature. It’s a building block of life, and it helps transport nutrients from your digestive system to your organs that need it most.
So what happens if you don’t drink enough water? You may experience physiological side effects including headaches, irritability, and extreme thirst caused by a condition known as dehydration. Here, we’ll show you what happens to your body when you don’t have enough fluids and how to recognize the warning signs. You’ll learn how oral rehydration solutions like DripDrop ORS — a fast, low-cost, proven alternative to IV therapy — can help you manage mild to moderate dehydration.
What Is Dehydration?
What happens if you don’t drink enough water? You may become dehydrated. Dehydration is a condition where the human body doesn’t get enough water or electrolytes. It can lead to serious consequences including coma and seizures if left untreated.
Dehydration is commonly caused by illnesses, sweating, and a lack of body water and electrolytes. You may become dehydrated when you work outdoors in high temperatures, when you’re sick, or when you simply don’t drink enough water and electrolytes.
That’s because you lose electrolytes and water through sweating and waste elimination such as urination, vomiting, and defecation. If you catch a cold or flu, you may lose water and electrolytes through diarrhea and vomiting. If you aren't’ replacing the lost fluids quickly enough, dehydration can set in.
Dehydration also occurs when you sweat, and if you aren’t drinking enough water, you may be compounding the problem. When you’re hot or exerting yourself, your body produces sweat to control your core temperature.
To do this, water and sodium are pushed to the surface of your skin where it evaporates and creates a cooling effect. During the process, you lose water and electrolytes that your body needs to stay hydrated. If you aren’t drinking enough water and electrolytes to replace what you’re losing, dehydration can occur.
So what effects does not drinking enough water have on your daily activities? Read on to learn more about what happens if you don’t drink enough water and become dehydrated. Plus, we’ll show you how an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS, which is a proven, fast, and cost-effective alternative to IV therapy, can help keep you hydrated.
What Happens If You Don’t Drink Enough Water?
There are several things that can happen when you don’t drink water and dehydration sets in. These include impacts to your neurological health as well as physical effects that impact your energy and job performance. Here’s what happens if you don’t drink enough water.
1. Your Digestion Gets Off-Track
Waste production is an essential component of your digestive system, and a lack of water can affect your normal bowel movements. Under normal hydration conditions, water receptors in your colon and intestines draw in moisture to bulk up and soften stool. If your body doesn't have enough water, your poop may become hard, leading to constipation and difficulty using the bathroom. You may also have side effects such as cramps and stomach pain.
In addition, your body needs water to create urine. Urination is one of the main ways your body eliminates wastes and toxins from your body. When you can’t urinate regularly, you may feel sluggish and the risk of infections such as kidney stones and UTIs increases.
2. You Feel Fatigued
When you’re dehydrated, you may experience low energy levels and feelings of exhaustion. Here’s why. As dehydration sets in, your blood pressure begins to drop. This decreases your body’s ability to circulate blood from blood vessels to organs and decreases blood flow to your brain and other vital organs.
This blood is rich in oxygen and nutrients that your body needs to function properly. Without enough blood flow, your brain is unable to transmit signals across brain synapses as quickly as normal, resulting in foggy thoughts and fatigue.
3. You Have Difficulty Focusing
When you’re dehydrated, you may also experience difficulty focusing. Your brain is made up of about 75 percent water. That’s why so many of the signs of dehydration affect neurological processes.
When water concentration in your brain decreases, it’s harder for your brain to send neurotransmitters that control everything from mood and thought processes to body movements. Water also serves as an essential building block of new cells in your brain.
Studies show that drinking water can help to improve reaction time and support increased focus. When you don’t drink enough water, you may find it difficult to focus and pay attention.
4. You May Be Moody
Another sign of dehydration is irritability. In fact, researchers believe that even mild dehydration can impact your mood. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Connecticut examined these effects. Researchers found that participants who were mildly dehydrated had significant reductions in energy levels and the ability to think clearly. They also reported more cranky feelings and low mood.
What’s more, they found that the effect of water loss was as prominent in people who were at rest as well as those who were exercising. This underscores the importance of maintaining hydration levels by using an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS, even when you’re not engaging in strenuous activities.
5. Your Weight Is Affected
When your electrolytes and water level drop, your brain may confuse thirst with hunger. You may suddenly feel the urge to snack or eat large amounts of food when in reality, your body needs more water. If you suffer from chronic dehydration, you may experience weight gain over time. If you think you may be dehydrated and are hungry, try drinking an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS first. Wait about 20 minutes and in most cases, you’ll find that your body needs water, not food, and the feelings of hunger will dissipate along with the dehydration.
6. You Can’t Perform Your Job Well
Dehydration may affect your ability to perform at your job. Thanks to mind-altering impacts and changes in mood, you may find it more difficult to get things done at your desk job. Research shows that dehydration can also impact muscle movement, making it harder to perform especially if your job involves tough labor.
A meta-analysis examined the impacts of water loss and low water intake on physical performances. Researchers found that mild dehydration had a dramatic effect on the performance of physical activities lasting 30 seconds or more.
Additional research found the dehydration decreased VO2 max — the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use during exercise. Lower VO2 max levels are associated with poorer performance, meaning dehydration can significantly affect your ability to perform physical work.
To avoid these effects, hydrate by drinking an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS. The convenient packaging makes it easy to pack in your work bag so you always have a high-quality hydration protocol on hand. It’s also helpful to pack a water bottle, so you can take small sips throughout the day to avoid developing dehydration.
How To Recognize Dehydration
While not drinking enough fluids is one of the main causes of dehydration, there are other factors when it comes to staying properly hydrated. Your body needs more than just plain water. It needs a precise balance of electrolytes, including sodium and potassium, to avoid dehydration. That’s because the fluid in your body isn’t just made of water — it also contains electrolytes that help support muscle movement and promote water retention. When you don’t get enough water or electrolytes, the signs dehydration may set in.
Here are the most common signs of dehydration:
- Excessive thirst
- Dry mouth or dry skin
- Bad breath
- Decreased urination
- Dark urine
- Lightheadedness and fatigue
- Irritability and confusion
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid heart rate
Knowing how to recognize the signs of dehydration is the first step in managing the condition. If you think you’re dehydrated, reach for an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS. It contains a medically relevant balance of electrolytes necessary for dehydration relief fast.
Avoid Dehydration With DripDrop ORS
If you’re looking for ways to increase your water intake, an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS is a great choice.
Medical-grade DripDrop ORS allows you remedy mild to moderate dehydration outside of a hospital setting, without the need for costly and painful IV therapy. Our patented formula is powerful enough to help patients suffering from dehydration caused by Ebola and cholera, but safe enough for everyday use. Plus, DripDrop ORS tastes amazing and comes in a variety of flavors you can enjoy hot or cold.
When you're in a state of dehydration, you can’t just drink a glass of water. Your body needs the perfect balance of sodium and glucose to help absorption. With the precisely balanced ratio, you can replenish vital electrolytes and fluids to relieve dehydration quickly. Plus DripDrop ORS supplies vitamins like zinc, potassium, and magnesium which are essential to support your overall health.
For cases of mild to moderate dehydration, DripDrop ORS is a fast, effective, and great tasting remedy. With convenient packaging that allows you to have DripDrop ORS when you need it, where you need it. Get started with our most popular multi-flavor pouch for dehydration relief fast.