What Happens to Your Body When You Go Without Water

What Happens to Your Body When You Go Without Water

In today’s fast-paced world, it can be easy to forget to hydrate our bodies as we go about our day. We might have a glass of water with our meals or take a few sips of coffee throughout the morning, but many of us underestimate the amount of fluids we need.

Keep reading to learn the symptoms of dehydration and how you can hydrate each day properly.

What Happens If You Don’t Drink Enough Water?

Our bodies are incredible structures that help us function throughout the day. We go to work, complete school work, participate in our favorite hobbies and discover new passions thanks to the energy that our bodies produce. Even when we’re sleeping, they work to keep us breathing, healing and dreaming. 

Water is a critical ingredient in how our body functions, including our brain, internal organs and blood cells. When we are not drinking enough water, our bodies try to conserve as much of it as possible so we can still actively move around and complete our daily routine. However, just like a car can’t run on the same tank of gas forever, your body will eventually run out of water if you don’t drink more.

The body’s essential functions slow significantly without fluids. Not drinking enough water can lead to things like: 

  • Changes in blood cells: Parts of the body start to work harder under dehydrated conditions. Without water, it’s harder for blood cells to deliver oxygen to the brain and other organs. If your organs don’t have the oxygen they need to function, your body will start growing weaker.
  • Quicker sicknesses: Our immune systems rely on hydration to fight off infections. Lack of fluids can make us more prone to diseases with slower recovery times. 
  • Slower digestion: Water helps us digest foods and drinks to regulate the waste in our stomachs and bloodstream. A lack of water makes going to the bathroom a challenge. 

How long you can go without water will depend on what else you eat and drink daily, but the body will typically start showing signs of dehydration within just a few days. 

10 Signs That You Need More Water

One of the fascinating things about human biology is our body’s ability to tell our brains what we need to thrive. Since you can only go without water for three days, symptoms of dehydration happen quickly. Recognizing these signs can help you avoid the more extreme consequences of dehydration. 

Symptoms of dehydration to watch for include:

  1. Persistent headaches: When blood cells do not get the hydration they need to carry oxygen to the brain, headaches can occur more often.
  2. Fatigue: Water keeps the mind and body alert. Without it, we start to feel tired during the day.
  3. Dizziness: When water cannot support your blood cells, the brain does not get enough oxygen or blood, making it easier to feel dizzy or faint.
  4. Sugar cravings: The body runs through glucose quicker when we don’t get enough water. Therefore, dehydration can cause sugar cravings to make up for low glucose levels.
  5. Constipation: Without fluids, your body cannot digest foods as easily.
  6. Dry mouth or throat: If you notice that your throat is dry even after drinking water, you may not be ingesting enough liquids. 
  7. Cramping: The lack of oxygen from water in the blood cells can cause cramping in joints and organs.
  8. Mood swings: If you’re feeling irritable or anxious, a glass of water may help improve your mood.
  9. Issues with memory and coordination: When you aren’t taking in enough fluids, the blood vessels in your brain can shrink, impacting your coordination and memory.
  10. Impaired thinking: When you don’t drink enough water, your mind starts to slow, impacting your ability to think clearly. You may experience confusion or a sense of brain fog. 

These physical and mental signs are the body’s way of telling you it needs more water. If you have any of these symptoms, do not wait to try different ways to add more hydration to your life! You can eliminate these symptoms with a few easy steps. 

Tips for Staying Hydrated

Tips for Staying Hydrated

Staying hydrated during your busy schedule is entirely doable! You can rejuvenate your body by drinking at least 11-15 glasses of water daily. If this number seems out of reach, there are a few easy ways to incorporate more water into your daily routine. Follow these simple tips to add more hydration to your day.

1. Start and End Your Day With Water

One of the best ways to start your day is with two glasses of water. Before going to bed, place a glass of water on your nightstand so you have something to drink when you wake up. As you get dressed and make breakfast, you can have another glass. Your mind will feel more awake and alert to tackle your day’s tasks. By ending the day with another glass of water, you will feel replenished and ready for a good night’s sleep!

2. Drink Before Every Meal

Whatever your usual meal schedule, try to fit a glass of water into your diet before each time you eat. Starting with a glass of water will also make you feel full quicker and longer, helping you avoid overeating. 

3. Add Flavor to Your Water

Many people find it challenging to drink enough water each day because it has no taste. You can make drinking water more exciting by adding natural flavors to your water bottles. Try slicing strawberries, cucumbers, lemons, oranges or berries into small pieces and swirl them into a glass of water. These hints of flavor can make you forget that you’re drinking water, making it easier to sip on throughout the day.

Some reusable water bottles even have a tube in the middle for these ingredients, letting you flavor your drink without consuming the seeds or stems! 

4. Eat Water-Rich Fruits and Veggies

Get more hydration while you snack! Some foods contain high water levels in each bite — lettuce, strawberries, celery, tomatoes, watermelon and zucchini have over 90% water content. These delicious foods are great to use as sides for your meals, snacks or inside your bottles of water. This alternative to just drinking water is an excellent way to supply your body with natural vitamins and nutrients to make your mind and body more alert.

Give Your Body a Boost of Hydration With Mobile IV Medics

Give Your Body a Boost of Hydration With Mobile IV Medics

If you could use a little extra hydration, Mobile IV Medics can help! With our IV Hydration package, you can get fluids straight into your bloodstream to alleviate symptoms of dehydration. Over time, you will notice several benefits of additional hydration with IV fluids, including better focus and concentration, clear skin, improved cardiovascular health, better moods and more comfortable joint movement.

During your appointment, a registered nurse will administer the IV and walk you through the process if you have additional questions about benefits and future treatments.

Book your IV drip appointment today!

About the author

Brad
Brad Wenderoth, Pharm.D.

Brad Wenderoth, Pharm.D. is a licensed pharmacist and co-owner of Mobile IV Medics. With over 16 years of healthcare experience, Brad is bringing his expertise and passion for patient care to the Mobile IV Medics patient population. Prior to Mobile IV Medics, Brad worked in varying areas including both direct patient care and hospital leadership at Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, nationwide health system pharmacy consulting for Comprehensive Pharmacy Services (CPS), and professor of pharmacy at the USC School of Pharmacy. He holds a doctorate in pharmacy from the University of Arizona, a pharmacy practice residency from USC, and a lean six sigma green belt from Johns Hopkins.