There's not much in this world more refreshing
than a tall, ice-cold glass of water. I don't think
there's anyone alive that can deny that
sometimes, a simple glass of water can be more
satisfying than a cup of coffee or a can of soda.
Despite this, too many of us don't drink enough
water on a daily basis. By depriving ourselves of
the world's most natural resource, we are
continuously damaging our bodies. If you
experience any of the following, you can
improve your situation by starting with a glass
of H2O.
1. Your Mouth is Dry
This seems pretty obvious, but the ramifications
might not be so. Of course, any time you feel
that sticky, nasty feeling in your mouth, you'd
obviously reach for some sort of liquid. But
sugary drinks are only a temporary solution to a
larger problem. Drinking water lubricates the
mucus membranes in your mouth and throat,
which will continue to keep your mouth moist
with saliva long after that first sip.
2. Your Skin is Dry
Your skin is your body's largest organ, so of
course it needs to stay hydrated. In fact, dry
skin is one of the earliest signs of full-on
dehydration, which can lead to much larger
problems. A lack of water means a lack of
sweat, which leads to a body's inability to wash
away excess dirt and oil accumulated throughout
the day. If you want to stave off breakouts, your
first recourse should be to drink more water.
3. You're Overly Thirsty
We went over dry mouth already, but thirst goes
beyond a desert-like tongue. Anyone who's ever
had a hangover can tell you that, upon waking
up, your body just can't get enough water.
Alcohol dehydrates the entire body, and drinking
water sends "YES PLEASE!" signals to the brain
until your fluid levels get back to baseline. Listen
to what your body is telling you; it knows what
it's talking about!
4. Your Eyes Are Dry
By now it should be clear that drinking water
affects more than just your mouth and throat. A
lack of water intake leads to dry, bloodshot eyes
(again, think of that last pounding hangover).
Without water in the body, your tear ducts dry
up. If you're thinking "So what if I can't cry?",
realize that this could cause much more harm to
your eyes, especially if you wear contacts on a
daily basis.
5. You Experience Joint Pain
Our cartilage and spinal discs are made up of
about 80% water. This is an absolute necessity
to keep our bones from grinding against each
other with every step we take. By keeping your
body hydrated, you ensure that your joints can
absorb the shock of sudden movements, such
as running, jumping, or falling awkwardly.
6. Your Muscle Mass Decreases
Your muscles, also, are comprised mostly of
water. Obviously, less water in the body means
less muscle mass. Drinking water before, during,
and after a workout not only keeps you hydrated
and comfortable, it also brings water to the right
places in your body, and decreases the chance
of developing inflammation and soreness related
to exercise and weightlifting.
7. You Stay Sick Longer
Drinking water allows your body to continuously
flush out toxins. Your organs work to filter our
certain waste products like a machine, but if you
don't fuel the machine with water, it cannot
work properly. What ends up happening in a
dehydrated body is organs start to pull water
from stored areas like your blood, which leads to
a whole new set of problems.
8. You Feel Fatigued and Lethargic
As we just mentioned, when a body is
dehydrated it "borrows" water from your blood.
A lack of properly hydrated blood leads to a lack
of oxygen being brought throughout the body.
Of course, a lack of oxygen leads to sleepiness
and outright fatigue. A lack of stamina means
you"ll start to experience that 2PM crash earlier
and earlier in your day (and remember, coffee
won't help in the long run).
9. You Experience Hunger Pangs
When you're dehydrated, your body might start
to think it needs some food. This happens
throughout the day, and overnight when you
wake up craving that midnight snack.