October 27, 2011
By Dr. Josh Axe
You can go without food for days, weeks and even months, but going without water for just one day can negatively impact your health. Many people don’t realize just how important water really is. The human body is made up of 2/3 (66%) water and when we lose just a little bit of water through sweat and elimination, and we do not replenish lost liquid, we’ll begin to notice the effects to our health right away.
Health Effects of Going without Water
Water is the most valuable life support product for our health, right up there with oxygen. Water and oxygen are the only two things in life that without for just a short period of time we would die. Studies have been done that show if a 175 pound man were to lose just 2.5% of water in his body (2 quarts) he will lose 25% of his body’s effectiveness towards survival.
When a person begins to dehydrate more things happen in the body than just being thirsty. The more liquid in the body that is lost, the thicker the blood becomes and the harder the heart muscle must work to pump the blood through the circulatory system. When a person loses their abilities to reason and think straight because of dehydration it means they will die very soon, unless they drink water to rehydrate. Depending on the circumstances, mainly environment, a person can die within 24 to 28 hours after having no water if they are laboring in the hot dry sun with no water. If a person is sedentary indoors and the elements, such as wind, sun, and heat is not present they may live up to 3 days, tops. So water is VERY important for survival, but water is also very important to your overall health.
Most people think they drink enough liquids throughout the day to keep them hydrated. But if you counted all the beverages besides water that people drink you would see that they are actually dehydrating themselves. Most liquids such as coffee, tea, soda, alcohol, Gatorade, and sugary fruit drinks do not hydrate the body like pure water can. Some people are walking around actually dehydrated and they don’t know it because they don’t feel thirsty. Let’s take a look at 4 of the main reasons you should make sure you’re getting enough water.
1. Fatigue and Tiredness
The first sign of dehydration is the feeling of being tired; some people experience a headache and feel like taking a nap. When the body begins to dehydrate it means the tissues and cells are not getting enough water to make a person feel like doing anything; enzymatic activity slows down and without water the enzymes are unable to produce energy either. In fact a dehydrated person may have no enthusiasm or joy for life. The good news is once the individual starts to drink some water their energy reserves speed back up and sometimes the headache completely goes away.
2. Constipation and Digestive Problems
If a person is not drinking enough water they do not have enough liquid to help with the elimination process and without eliminating the foods we digest we gain weight, gain toxins, and feel awful. Being constipated is the beginning to many health problems from allergies to toxic overload syndrome to digestive disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, gas bloating, stomach pain, nausea and loss of appetite in chronic cases.