Effects of Dehydration and why drinking Water is so important

Probably everybody knows how important it is to drink water in order to keep the body and especially the kidneys in good function and health. The human body consists of 75 % water, brain cells even of 85 %. We need water for transportation of nutrients, for elimination of waste and sludge and many other activities in the body. Plain water works as a “life elixir”.  For people who feel thirsty all the time it is not a problem to drink water:  wherever they go, they have a bottle of water with them. But for others it is a real task to bring down the recommended 2 liter a day. To make it easier they replace water with something “better tasting” – thinking “liquid is liquid”.

Most people don’t know that drinks like coffee, tea, juices from stores, soft and sport drinks and alcohol can not replace water.

The essential role of the kidneys

The kidneys have homeostatic functions such as the regulation of electrolytes, maintenance of acid-base balance, and regulation of blood pressure. They are responsible for the re-absorption of water, glucose, and amino acids. The kidneys also produce hormones vital to the body system functions.

They serve the body as a natural filter of the blood, and remove wastes through the urine, including urea and ammonium and other by-products of metabolism.

In order for the kidneys to function, it is absolutely necessary for them to have a LARGE SUPPLY OF WATER. Otherwise dehydration occurs,

Lack of water makes us sick  

Many people suffer from dehydration without knowing it. Dehydration leads to different symptoms. In fact, in all chronic illnesses we have to consider dehydration might be the cause or at least an important factor in the development of a chronic state.

Taking medication or supplements for treatment is useless unless we provide enough water to the body.  

Why Common Beverage Substitutions Lead to Dehydration

It is true that beverages such as tea, coffee, wine, beer, soft drinks, sports drinks and juices contain water, but they also contain caffeine, alcohol, sugar, artificial sweeteners or other chemicals that act as strong dehydrators. The more of these beverages somebody consumes, the more dehydrated the body becomes because the effects they create in the body are exactly opposite the ones that are produced by water. Beverages containing caffeine, for example, trigger stress responses that at first have strong diuretic effects, leading to increased urination. Beverages with added sugar drastically raise blood sugar levels. Any beverage that provokes such a response forces the body to give up large quantities of water. Regular consumption of such beverages results in chronic dehydration.

Activities of cells is inhibited

Normally there is more water inside of the cell than outside. If there is not enough water available the single cell gives up a certain amount of water, which reduces the cell activity. This happens in all kinds of tissues: skin, mucous membrane, kidney, brain or heart cells etc. with the result, that waste substances can not be sufficiently eliminated. The  symptoms mimic an illness, but are actually just indications of a disturbed water metabolism.

Water retention and edemas

If dehydration of cells already exists, the body collects more and more extra cellular (outside of the cells) water, to neutralize acidity and toxins. This is a natural reaction to keep these substances “in solution” and works as a protection for the organs. Water retention in legs, ankles and feet, arms or face is the result.

Gout, kidney stones, arthritis 

These common problems show easily the connection with dehydration. Because the main cause of these illnesses is accumulation of body waste substances: uric acid, lactic acid, sulfuric acid, phosphor acid, nitric acid etc. The body’s own regulatory mechanisms  are not able to eliminate sufficiently these substances from the organism and pain and dysfunction are the result.  

High blood pressure  as a warning signal for dehydration

Millions of people have high blood pressure and accept this as almost “normal” in a certain age.  When the body is lacking water, it will restrict the blood vessels throughout the body to try to preserve fluid. This restriction causes blood pressure buildup. The solution is as simple as drinking plenty of water and staying away from salt, sugar and caffeine, which contribute also to dehydration..

Lack of water affects  the function of our brain.

Our brain needs more water than every other part of our body. Lack of water inhibits the energy potential of our brain cells. Over the time normal brain activities become more  difficult.


It sounds so simple “just drink more water”, but from my own experience I know it is not so simple. It helps when you fill in the morning 2 bottles with water, have them on your desk or counter and know, in the late afternoon they have to be empty. We just have to train and discipline ourselves for good health.  Herbal teas like chamomile, peppermint, horse tail, dandelion, stinging nettle etc. or glasses of fresh pressed lemon juice are good alternatives to the plain water. They also have other healthy properties.

For more information: Barbara Rotthaler, German licensed Holistic Practitioner and Naturopath can be reached at (376) 7661987 or by email barbararotthaler@gmail.com www.chapalahealth.com

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