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Home / Making Waves: Fall Issue 2018 / 5 Effects of Even Mild Dehydration
5 Effects of Even Mild Dehydration

5 Effects of Even Mild Dehydration

Melissa Bellew

What is one thing every person needs to stay focused and motivated? Water!

Most people drink once they’re thirsty, but in reality that thirsty feeling means you are already dehydrated. In fact, an average of 144 million Americans do not drink the suggested amount of water to maximize daily efficiency and energy. It is suggested that a person drink 8 8-oz glasses of water per day, but that amount may actually vary depending on location, age, and activity level. However, it’s important to get the right amount of water in every day - even mild dehydration can have extreme effects on your skin, workout routine, and dietary habits. Here are just five ways that mild dehydration affects your body:

Food Cravings

Craving unhealthy treats is normal, but did you know your body could be mistaking dehydration for a need for sugar? This craving for sweets becomes more intense when you’re dehydrated, because your body has a difficult time releasing stored sugar into your bloodstream due to lack of fluid intake. It is also common for your body to confuse the feeling of thirst with hunger, so drinking a glass of water the next time you’re feeling snackish can help you beat your junk food cravings.


Whatever the cause, headaches are a real pain. Dehydration headaches occur because your brain can contract when your body does not have enough water to sustain itself properly. These headaches often last around three hours and, as anyone who has experienced one can tell you, really slows you down throughout the day. Simply drinking water can drastically relieve a dehydration headache, improving your mood and cognition.

Getting the most from your workout

Many of us make exercise a priority, but forget how crucial hydration is to improving our workout. High intensity exercise that raises your heart rate also heats up your muscles, leaving them overworked and vulnerable. Drinking enough water before, during, and after your workout is very important to prevent your muscles from cramping and swelling - this is especially true in hotter weather! The exact amount of water you need to drink during a workout varies depending on the intensity of your sweat session, so make to check in with your body as you exercise.

Weak Immune System

As we all know, winter is flu season. During this time of year it’s easier to get sick, making it harder to work or even perform simple everyday tasks. When your body is dehydrated, your immune system isn’t functioning at its best, making it harder to fight off a fever, sore throat, cough, and a variety of other illnesses. Drinking the proper amount of fluids can help ward off sickness and get you back to feeling like yourself.

Bad Skin

Dehydration is one of the biggest causes of dry skin or wayward breakouts. Many of us spend hundreds on perfecting our skin care routine with fancy facemasks and lotions, but forget a fundamental step to maintaining clear and glowing skin: drinking enough water. Along with moisturizing and always taking off your make-up at the end of the day, be sure to add drinking water to your daily skincare routine.


Even mild dehydration can have a huge impact on your day to day life. How much water you need to drink daily varies depending on your personal habits and routine, but it’s an important step to take. Staying properly hydrated makes everyday life a little easier!


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