How does dehydration affect the body?

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Once the body becomes dehydrated, the individual starts to feel the effects both physically and mentally. By the time the individual feels thirsty, he/she is already on the way to dehydration. In case he/she could not replenish the intake of water soon, the individual will start to feel sick since more organs in the body are affected by the diminished supply of water. Dehydration can be prevented with a number of measures that focus on the fluid intake.

The human body and water

The body is comprised of more than 2/3 water. Once more fluids are lost than taken in, dehydration develops. Always bear in mind that water makes up 75% of muscle tissue and 10% fatty tissue.

Water helps with the transportation of essential nutrients within the cells as well as taking out wastes. Remember that it is impossible to support life for more than a week without water. Women are recommended to drink up to 9 cups of water on a daily basis while men should consume up to 13 cups. This amount can be increased if exercising during warm weather. Take note that one can lose up to a quart of fluid during one hour of exercise depending on the intensity of the routine as well as the temperature.

Indications of dehydration

In case the body is dehydrated, it could no longer cool itself properly. This results to heat exhaustion and eventually heat stroke. The individual starts to feel lethargic and the muscles cramp up.

The usual causes of dehydration are digestive issues since fluid loss occurs via diarrhea and vomiting.

The brain will not work properly and the individual feels groggy and slow. The kidneys could no longer transport waste products, thus the toxins accumulate in the system. Constipation will also develop while the skin becomes itchy and dry. There is also difficulty in controlling the body temperature and the individual feels chronically cold.

Causes of dehydration

The usual causes of dehydration are digestive issues since fluid loss occurs via diarrhea and vomiting. An individual can also end up dehydrated after playing sports or exercising under warm weather. There are also some diets that put emphasis on cutting down water weight and involve the use of products such as diuretics or laxatives. If the individual starts to feel dizzy or lightheaded, has sticky or dry mouth and produce less urine that is dark in color, he/she is getting dehydrated and should replenish fluids right away.


The ideal way to avoid dehydration is to drink plenty of fluids, especially during warm or windy weather. Water is the recommended fluid since it lacks calories. It is also important to use loose-fitting clothes and a hat during warm days in order to stay cool and sweat minimally. Take breaks under a shaded area and drink fluids.

For those who engage in sports or rigorous outdoor activities, drink adequate fluids before, during and at the end of the activity. If the individual has a digestive issue, he/she can take small sips of water or suck on ice pops.

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