What if you drink too little water?

4 Min Read

Research shows that one in three Belgians drink too little water. Which is certainly not good news for the average health status of the Belgian people. Water is therefore necessary for the optimal functioning of our body. Below seven consequences of dehydration.

  1. Increased chance of health problems

Everyone should drink enough water. The recommended amount depends on weight, body type, age, life phase, etc. The daily average is approximately 1.5 l to 2 l water. Someone who reaches this limit is less likely to have heart failure, bladder and colon cancer and kidney stones.

  1. You get a headache

When the body has not absorbed enough water, it is the hypothalamus, a gland in the brain, which indicates that the body is drying out. The so-called thirst feeling is a first signal. At that moment the blood in the body will be less watery and the body can process certain substances less quickly.

A good example is the throbbing headache that goes along with the well-known “hangover”. Because the body is dehydrated by alcohol, the brain needs to make more efforts to send all the stimuli and signals to the rest of our body. Drinking sufficient water is therefore the message, not just after a night out.

  1. You eat larger portions (more often)

Research by the American National Institute for Public Health shows that those who drink a glass or two before each meal eat lesser portions. Up to 90 calories even less. Often the brain turns a feeling of thirst into a feeling of hunger. Making people often eat unnecessarily much. The extra calories are more difficult to burn due to a slower metabolism, which in turn is due to insufficient hydration.

  1. Your skin looks older

The human body consists of about 70% water. With a lack of hydration, the skin becomes drier and shrinks with very small amounts. Due to a lack of water, the skin seems to age faster and wrinkles become more visible. People who often walk in the sun or too often crawl under the sun bed, get these symptoms so quickly. Through abundant heat, the moisture “evaporates” literally in the skin.

  1. Slower response capability

A British study shows that our body thirsts out the symptom in response to dehydration. The result is a responsiveness that will be much slower. Even the smallest form of dehydration showed adverse effects according to research.

This can have serious consequences if someone is behind the wheel at such a moment, for example. It turns out that drivers who have not drunk enough water make twice as many mistakes in a two-hour ride, than drivers who drank enough water in advance or had a bottle of water at hand. This phenomenon can be compared to being drunk behind the wheel.

  1. Worse concentration and cognitive abilities

In addition to a slower reaction, the concentration also strongly decreases with a shortage of water. A mild dehydration (1% – 3% of the body weight of a test subject) can already influence a person’s mood, concentration and cognitive ability.

In young women, a moisture loss of 1.5% after exercise can lead to a worse mood, a reduced concentration and a higher chance of headaches. A similar study shows that boys of the same age experience a negative impact in terms of memory with mild dehydration, and increased feelings of uncertainty and fatigue as a result.

  1. Reduced physical performance

Physical efforts can also quickly suffer from poor fluid balance. A mild dehydration of 2% dehydration causes a 10% decrease in physical performance. Moreover, every effort also feels a lot heavier, which in turn has a demotivating effect on mood. Good hydration can also prevent nagging muscle pains.