- It’s probably safe to say that a lot of people don’t drink as much water as they maybe should (or think they should).
- You likely know that water is important when it comes to your overall health and wellbeing, but you may not be as clear on what it can do for you on a day to day basis.
- But knowing what happens to your body each day you go without water is important because it gives you a clearer picture about what’s really going on when you let your water glass run dry.
Ensuring that you’re getting enough hydration each day is really important for your overall health and wellbeing.
Exactly how much water that you need depends on a lot of different factors, which means that you might need to drink more or less water than coworkers, family members, or friends.
Though you might think that you don’t drink enough water each day to suit your health needs, a Centres for Disease Control and Prevention report from 2016 noted that most Americans likely do get enough hydration each day, generally speaking. But if you’re not drinking water, or not eating foods that are hydrating (like fruits and vegetables), you may be falling short. Not only that, but if you’re ill or out of reach of a good source of clean water, that too could affect how hydrated you may be.
Here are some ways going without water will impact your body.
Your breath might stink.
One thing that you may notice when you go without water is that your breath is a bit stinkier than when you’re drinking plenty. In an interview with Everyday Health, Dr. John Higgins, MD, a professor of medicine at The McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, said that bacteria can overgrow if your salivary glands aren’t producing enough saliva, and that bacterial overgrowth can lead to bad breath.
Water helps your body produce adequate amounts of saliva, so if you’re not getting enough of it, saliva production might go down.
You might experience changes in your bathroom habits.
Although you might expect that you won’t be headed into the bathroom to pee quite as often, not getting enough water can also cut down on bowel movements. “Water helps to push things through the digestive tract and helps with the formation of stools and evacuation of the bowels, so not getting enough water can cause your poop to be dry and hard to pass,” Isabel Smith, RD, a registered dietitian, told Redbook. Regular bowel movements are important, health-wise, (not to mention for the way you feel overall), so boosting your water intake if you’re constipated might help alleviate some of the discomforts.
You might also notice some changes to your urine.
You might also notice some changes to your urine, that is, when you do go. If your urine has gotten darker or you notice that the scent is particularly strong, that’s a pretty good indication that you might not be getting enough water, and that sort of thing can come on relatively quickly (it’s an early sign of dehydration), as Medical Daily noted.
Bathroom changes are important to notice in general, because they can tell you a lot about your health, even beyond the fact that you haven’t had enough water today.
Brain fog is another potential issue if you’re not getting enough water.
Because so many of your organ systems – including your brain – depend on water to function effectively and healthily, if you’re not getting enough of it, you might experience brain fog. In an interview with Shape magazine, Liz Weinandy, a registered dietitian, said that you might find that “you’re not able to think straight,” because you’re not getting the amount of fluids that you need, but also because you might be missing out on certain electrolytes and other minerals, like potassium, which are vital for healthy, functional muscles.
You might get headaches.
Likewise, not drinking enough water can also cause you to experience headaches, according to Medical News Today. Whether you feel confident that it’s dehydration that may have caused your headache or not, drinking a glass of water when you feel a headache coming on could potentially help ease some of those symptoms and leave you feeling better, able to focus, and more capable to take on the day.
You might feel rundown.
You may also notice that you’re a little bit more rundown when you’re not drinking water.According to Healthline, not drinking water can cause you to feel more lethargic, like you don’t have enough energy. Instead of reaching for coffee or tea (though those do count when it comes to how much water you’re drinking each day) to deal with your mid-afternoon slump, adding a glass of water into the mix, particularly if you haven’t had much to drink that day, might be a good idea.
You might get bloated.
Plus, that extra glass of water might help alleviate bloating as well. Though you might think that you’d be less bloated if you’re not taking in much water, because your body has a tendency to try to hold on to water when you’re not drinking much, it can also cause you to bloat, Leslie Bonci, RD, a registered dietitian, told Redbook.
You’ll be thirsty.
It might seem obvious but if you’re feeling like you’re thirsty, however, you’re likely already at least a little dehydrated, as researcher Harris Lieberman, Ph.D., told Shape. Drinking some water can, of course, help with this. But eating foods that can up your hydration levels over the course of the day can help keep you from getting to this point. Vegetables like cucumber, cauliflower, iceberg lettuce, and spinach and fruits like melon and berries can help you reach your hydration goals, Health reported.
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