What happens when we don't drink water
Updated: Apr 21
Lets start with the facts!
The average human is 55-60% water (give or take depending on factors like location, body fat %, sex and age). At birth we are 75% but drop to 65% by our first birthdays.
Water is virtually everywhere in our bodies and is vital to our function. Water helps us to regulate temperature, lubricate our joints, nourish the brain and spinal cord and helps our heart beat. Our bodies also rely on water to hydrate our spinal discs. If your body is dehydrated, your discs will be too.
At night, our discs rehydrate with available water within our bodies to re-nourish. A study performed by Rasekhi et al. studied the difference between hydrated intervertebral discs and dehydrated intervertebral discs and the results showed that hydrated intervertebral discs were associated with less pain.
So why do we need to drink water?
Well- if the fact enough didn't sell you then keep reading! Each day we lose between 2-3 litres of water through bladder + bowel movements, set and ventilation/ breathing. Maintaining an adequate level of water in our system is essential to avoid de-hydration but likewise over-hydration. Increased dehydration can create changes to our mood, our skin moisture, energy levels and blood pressure. It can also create fuzziness in the brain- did you know that a dehydrated brain works notably harder to accomplish the same amount as a normal brain?
Studies have shown that long term adequate water intake can lower the chance of stroke and help manage diabetes.
The recommendation guidelines suggest men should drink between 2.5-3.7L and women 2.0-2.7L daily- give or take depending on location, daily expenditure with exercise, age and physical exertion through work. The average person loses 0.5-1.5L per hour of exercise.
The good news >
Food we consume counts! Foods can account for 1/5th of our daily intake of water. Foods like strawberries, cucumber and broccoli are 90% water! Plus, irrelevant to rumours- tea and coffee actually do count too. But, you can't beat a straight ol' glass of water!
So, here are some tips to help you stay hydrated!
- Buy yourself a 1LTR reusable drink bottle (save the earth!) so you can clock how much you are taking in.
- Drink a glass of water after every bathroom break
- Have a sip of water before every meal
- Use an app to track your water intake - there are some which encourage "drink breaks"
- Break the day into thirds and set yourself goals for each part of the day> e.g. before 12pm 750ml, before 4pm 750ml and before bedtime 750ml = 2.25L!
For any references or further information on the studies we used for this blog please contact firstname.lastname@example.org