Weight gain, memory loss, muscle cramps and more misunderstood signals from your thirsty body
With summer just around the corner, Australians are bracing themselves for heatwaves, beach days, and a constant stream of advice and advertisements reminding them to DRINK MORE WATER. Hotter weather brings dehydration to the front of everyone’s mind, but some of the symptoms can be harder to spot than you might think; our bodies don’t always send a clear message when they want to tell us they’re thirsty.
While a dry mouth or raspy throat are obvious and easily addressed calls for water, sometimes their absence can trick us into thinking that we’re fine when our bodies are actually dehydrated. Even if you’re drinking plenty of water (between 2 and 4 litres per day), your body may not be getting all the hydration benefits it needs – especially if the water contains impurities and contaminants.
From your hair and fingernails to your brain and the heart, every part of your body relies on water to stay healthy and keep functioning. Your kidneys can filter impurities out of the water you drink, but the more contaminants they have to remove, the more water will be flushed out as waste. This means we’re getting less hydration from drinking the same amount of water, so our bodies will feel the strain even if we don’t think we’re thirsty.
Both artificial chemicals and excess natural minerals can reduce the effectiveness of your water, so even though Australia’s water quality varies from state to state, the issue of water impurities is relevant to everyone. To find out what the main concerns are for your area, have a look at your water provider’s latest data or take our quick web survey.
Aching for a Drink
Dehydration is a common cause of headaches, but the exact pain/sensation can be difficult to identify. Unlike a posture headache that usually throbs through the base of the skull and into the forehead, dehydration headaches vary from case to case. The pain will typically be dull rather than a sharp spike of discomfort, but it can be either constant or a repeated pounding sensation and can occur all through your head or be focused in a specific spot.
Another source of physical discomfort from dehydration comes in the form of muscle aches/cramps. Water is used for delivering oxygen around the body, so when your muscles aren’t getting the oxygen they need they will start aching and cramping. Water also cushions your bones and lubricates your joints, so the basic mechanical functions of your body will put more strain on your system when you’re dehydrated.
Other physical signs of dehydration can include flushed skin, swollen feet, constipation, temperature sensitivity, increased heart rate and low blood pressure.
Water on the Brain
The human brain is roughly 75% water, and it’s one of the most delicate organs we have. It is also often the first part of the body to react to deeper dehydration, so it’s important to recognise the signals it might be sending.
In addition to the aforementioned headaches, dehydration can lead to dizziness, light-headedness, fatigue and difficulty sleeping. You might also experience subtler cognitive effects like confusion, anxiety, crankiness or loss of memory.
Like the headaches, of course, these symptoms on their own could be attributed to any number of ailments or internal distress calls. A visit to your doctor is a good idea if any of these symptoms are particularly prominent or outstaying their welcome, but it’s also worth seeing if a few solid sips of water make a difference.
Mixed Messages & Masquerading Munchies
Drinking more water is recommended by all sorts of weight loss plans, from intermittent fasting to exercise regimes. As well as replacing soft drinks to reduce your liquid calorie intake and helping your body work more efficiently when you’re exercising, staying hydrated keeps your brain from tricking you into eating when you aren’t hungry.
When our bodies need water but we aren’t feeling noticeably thirsty, we will often mistake the cravings for hunger. A lot of food contains water, too, so the cravings will likely lessen after a snack. This reinforces the illusion and can lead to a habit of eating when we’re not hungry.
Alternatively, dehydration may cause a sudden lack of appetite but an increase in sugar cravings. This in turn exacerbates other symptoms like fatigue and headaches because your body is running low on nutrients AND water.
The Complete Home Solution
Drinking properly filtered water is the simplest solution to undercover dehydration. By filtering out the contaminants, chemicals and excess minerals before the water enters your body, you’re reducing the strain on your kidneys and getting the full benefit of every drop. Your water will also taste better, so you’ll be more inclined to drink it – hell, you might even look forward to it!
Complete Home Filtration systems take the effort out of staying hydrated. Having better water throughout your entire home means that benefits of drinking clean water will be compounded every time you take a shower or wash your clothes. Your skin and hair will be properly hydrated from the inside, and you won’t have to worry about harsh chemicals drying them out from the outside.
If you want to forget about dehydration this summer, start your journey with Complete Home Filtration by sending us a quick message below or filling out our contact form.