6 Ways Dehydration Affects Your Body
It’s surprisingly easy to become dehydrated. You need to drink water regularly throughout the day to keep your fluid levels up, and sometimes you might not give your body quite as much as it needs. However, it’s important to make an effort to keep hydrated. Dehydration doesn’t just leave you thirsty – it can cause a range of other symptoms, some of which affect your health and safety. Here are a few of the reasons dehydration is bad for you.
1) It Makes You Tired
Dehydration slows blood flow to the brain, makes your blood pressure drop and increases your heart rate – a combination of effects that lead to you feeling tired. This tiredness makes your daily tasks feel more difficult, sometimes brings down your mood, and generally makes the day feel like hard work.
2) It Can Make You Dizzy
Decreased blood flow to the brain can leave you feeling lightheaded and dizzy – another symptom of dehydration which makes both mental and physical tasks more difficult. Your progress at work is likely to suffer as a result, because you’ll struggle to concentrate and generally feel a little unwell.
3) It Can Make Driving Unsafe
Feeling tired and lightheaded is dangerous when you’re behind the wheel. In fact, research has shown that dehydrated drivers make twice as many errors as hydrated ones – an effect similar to driving while over the alcohol limit. This means that if you drive while dehydrated you’re much more likely to have an accident.
4) It Hinders Physical Activity
Exercise, which should be a regular part of your routine, can be hard work at the best of times, but is even more so when you’re dehydrated. You’ll need to exert yourself more to complete all of the exercises which usually require less effort from you, and you’ll become tired much quicker. You’re also at risk of suffering from even more severe dehydration as your body will lose even more fluids during the physical activity. To get the most out of any physical activity – and to keep your body functioning healthily – you should always drink plenty of water before a workout.
5) It Makes You Crave Sugar
If you’re dehydrated and having an active day, your body will use stored carbohydrates at a faster rate, making you feel hungry when you’re really just dehydrated. This can lead to sugar and carb cravings as those stored carbohydrate levels need to be replenished. If your water intake is regularly lower than it should be, you may find your diet becomes gradually less healthy.
6) It Dries Your Skin Out
As well as having a number of negative effects on the inside, dehydration can show on the outside. Keeping skin healthy and glowing requires drinking enough water. Being regularly dehydrated causes your skin to look increasingly dull, dry and lined, eventually adding extra years to your appearance.
Fortunately, you can easily avoid dehydration by simply paying attention to your fluid intake. Drink water regularly throughout the day and remember that you should increase your intake when you exercise or when the weather is hot. Your thirst will generally guide you – if you feel thirsty, you need to drink more.