Is this you? You wake up in the morning dehydrated with that awful, bitter taste in your mouth.
You dare not kiss a loved one because of it and you may even struggle with constipation when you go to the bathroom. No amount of lotion seems to soothe your dry skin. You may even have headaches, and probably feel tired every afternoon after lunch. If this is you, more than likely you’re dehydrated, and a little more water might be just what the doctor ordered.
CDC: 3 out of 4 Americans are chronically dehydrated
Chances are good that you suffer from the conditions described above. Because there is a 3 out of 4 chance that you are chronically dehydrated, according to the Centers for Disease Control. What chronic dehydration means is that over the long term (5 years and longer) you aren’t taking in enough water to replace what you’ve lost. When your body lacks water, it makes adjustments to preserve its remaining water, including:
- Generating less saliva
- Reducing water levels in your intestines
- Sending less water to your skin
- Slowing down your metabolism
- Your brain may even shrink slightly
It’s these biological compensations for dehydration that lead to the symptoms of dehydration. Unfortunately, the way many chronically dehydrated people respond to the symptoms of dehydration can make the problem even worse. For example: Your body tries to retain as much water as possible when you’re dehydrated, which leads to bloating due to water retention. Many people in this condition wrongly blame water for their bloating, so they drink even less water and become more dehydrated!
Why dehydration can cause bad breath
Saliva washes away food particles and bacteria that can cause bad breath. The top foods that cause bad breath are:
- Garlic and onions
- Coffee and alcohol
- Dairy products
- Canned tuna
Garlic and onions contain sulphur compounds that give them their distinct smell. They are absorbed into your bloodstream when you eat them, and then vapors from them are discharged when you exhale
Coffee and alcohol create a favorable environment in your mouth for bacteria to grow. They also dry out your mouth, which reduces saliva flow. This allows odor causing bacteria to stay in your mouth longer.
Dairy products have amino acids that a naturally occurring bacteria feed off of. When that bacteria proliferates, it gives off a foul odor.
Canned tuna has a very distinct and pungent odor that lingers on your breath after you eat it.
Horseradish contains a compound called isothiocyanate which gives it its unique smell, and gives you bad breath.
If you are chronically dehydrated, then it’s likely that your body can’t produce enough saliva to keep your mouth clean. The obvious solution is to drink more water. The extra water will serve two purposes: It will wash away some of the bacteria that causes bad breath, and it will stimulate saliva production. In addition, the Mayo Clinic recommends you also:
- Brush your teeth after eating
- Floss after dinner
- Brush your tongue
- Clean dentures or other dental appliances
- Avoid foods that cause bad breath
- Change your toothbrush every 3 – 4 months
- Get regular dental checkups and cleanings
- Of course, drink more water!
How dehydration causes headaches
When you’re dehydrated, your brain prioritizes the remaining water in your body. The brain itself gets top priority, followed by vital organs like your heart. But your brain can’t take all the water for itself, it has to cut back too. Since your brain is made mostly of water, when it cuts back, it shrinks. This shrinkage squeezes blood vessels in the brain, when that pressure gets too high, it triggers nerve impulses that your brain registers as a headache.
Dehydration can make joint pain worse
There’s three ways that dehydration negatively affects your joints: First, your joints are lubricated by the fluids in your body. Since dehydration deprives your joints of fluid, it increases the friction that results in painful inflammation. Second, fluids are also used in the body to keep your muscles and connective tissues soft and flexible. Dehydration makes both connective tissue and muscle stiffer, and more prone to injuries from over extension. Third, fluids are needed to flush wastes from your joints, muscles, and connective tissue. Dehydration can allow these wastes to build up and aggravate inflammation which leads to sore joints.
Dehydration is a major factor in constipation
It may even make you look fat. When you’re dehydrated, one of the first parts of your body that is deprived of water is your intestines. This causes waste matter in your bowels to dry out, which then causes constipation. Chronic dehydration may actually cause waste matter to build up in the intestines. That waste matter could then cause your bowels to expand and bulge, which would cause your waistline to expand. It would look just like weight that you can’t lose no matter how much you diet. When actor John Wayne was autopsied, it was found that he had 50 lbs of impacted waste in his bowels. This means he was 50 pounds heavier than he should have been.
3 O’clock crash caused by dehydration
Lots of people complain of becoming drowsy after lunch, usually between 2 and 3 O’Clock. They’ll often reach for a cup of coffee or an energy drink to perk themselves up, and then wonder why it’s not working. The reason it’s not working is because their fatigue is caused by dehydration. Well hydrated people don’t get the 3 O’Clock crash.
The reason this happens is because it takes a lot of water to create the digestive fluids your body needs to digest and absorb your lunch. If you’re dehydrated, then your body will slow your metabolism down so that it can spare some water for digestion. The right thing to do if you feel drowsy in the afternoon is to drink more water.
How much water should you drink
The Mayo Clinic recommends drinking eight, 8 ounce glasses of water per day, as a general rule. It isn’t an exact figure, but the “8×8” rule is recommended simply because it’s easy to remember. To be more specific, men should drink 3 liters of water per day, women should drink 2.2 liters of water per day, according to National Institute of Health guidelines.
The kind of water you drink matters
Alkaline water hydrates faster and better than plain water. Multiple studies done at the University of Montana suggest that alkaline water hydrates about 17% better than plain water with a neutral pH of 7. You can actually feel how much better alkaline water hydrates. It tastes slightly sweeter and feels more refreshing than plain water. That feeling of refreshment is your body’s way of signaling your brain that it is becoming hydrated.
Improving your hydration status with alkaline water may even help you eat less so you lose weight. If you are aged 50+ your body may mistake thirst for hunger if you are dehydrated. This could cause you to eat when what you really need to do is drink water. Drinking alkaline water can help you hydrate more thoroughly, and that would help to reduce your feeling of hunger so that you eat less.
Try this: Have a glass of water about a half hour before every meal. It may help reduce your hunger so you eat less. It may also help you avoid the 3 O’Clock crash by pre-hydrating your body prior to your meal.
Better hydration is just a phone call away. Call us at 877-959-7977 today and take charge of your health through better hydration.
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