Being dehydrated causes more problems than you think.
- Driving simulation tests showed that dehydrated men made the same number of errors as drunk drivers! The non-dehydrated drivers had 47 errors compared to 101 for dehydrated drivers–similar to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol!
- Dehydration causes less saliva in your mouth. Since saliva is anti-bacterial, you can give rise to bad breath when you’re dehydrated. The worst times for bad breath are immediately after waking up when you haven’t had any water all night and late in the day for the same reason.
- Whether you dehydrate from exercise or work at your computer, by the time you are thirsty (about 1.5% dehydrated) studies at the Univ. of Connecticut show you’re already subject to reduced memory and mental function, dizziness, loss of focus and irritability.
- Dehydration reduces blood flow through the small vessels in your brain leading to headaches and even migraines. This is what happens with hangovers. Alcohol dehydrates the body. Try drinking a glass or two of water the next time you have a headache
- Your body sweats when you exercise and burns glycogen (stored sugar reserves in the liver) for energy. When you are dehydrated, you burn more glycogen than if you weren’t dehydrated. The more glycogen you burn, the more you crave sugar after your workout. Also, dehydration is sometimes sensed by the body as hunger when all it needs is a glass of water. Those familiar with the master cleanse know that drinking a glass of water almost always turns off hunger.
- Mid-afternoon tiredness may come from dropped blood pressure, increased heart rate and reduced blood flow to the brain.
- Surprisingly, athletic performance worsens with dehydration. “2% dehydration causes a 10% decrease in athletic performance,” according to sports dietician for the Dallas Cowboys, Amy Goodson. “And the more dehydrated you become, the worse your performance gets.”