We know we’re supposed to drink eight glasses of water a day. We know hydration is important. We know we should drink more water, but do we really know how dehydration affects us? The benefits of drinking water go on and on, however, a shocking 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Not drinking enough water affects not only our bodies, but our minds as well. So grab a glass and read up on all of the things you may not have known about dehydration.
1. Food cravings
That’s right, believe it or not dehydration can increase cravings for certain foods. It is especially common to crave sweets because when you’re dehydrated your body may be having difficulty producing glycogen, which is made up of a type of sugar called glucose. So if you’re craving sweets there is a chance you’re dehydrated. Try drinking a few glasses of water and a snack with high water content like fruit, to get rid of those pesky cravings! Wait…does this mean I’m dehydrated all of the time?
2. Bad breath
Another great reason to drink more water. Saliva has antibacterial properties which can help improve bad breath. Since you don’t produce as much saliva when you’re dehydrated, you will have more bacteria growing in your mouth which can lead to bad breath. Not cute.
Being dehydrated actually affects your brain as well as your body, making it harder for you to concentrate and retain information. Your brain is crazy sensitive to changes in your body’s fluids, which directly affects your mental abilities. Who knew being better at studying was as easy as drinking more water? Next time your cramming in the library make sure to bring a water bottle along with you, it will do more wonders than coffee I promise. Okay, you can bring coffee too. Because honestly, what’s studying without coffee?
Proper hydration is extremely important for your digestive system as water insures that the food you’re eating can move through your body easily. Dehydration is a common cause of chronic constipation. If you’re having issues with digestion, chances are you need to drink more water.
Since it’s harder for your brain to function when you’re dehydrated this directly affects your mood, energy and stress levels. When you’re not drinking enough water you are more likely to have migraines, feel fatigued, anxious and experience mood swings. Life is hard enough as it is, make sure your staying hydrated to keep these symptoms at bay and have a (slightly) less stressful semester.
Image Via Molly Peach