Got Water?

What really happens when your body is dehydrated?


By Tesa Johns


Did you know the average human body is composed of about 55% water? The human lungs are made up of about 90% water, blood and skin are about 80% water, and muscles and the brain are about 70% water. These percentages are how much water are within each organ within the whole human body. Not consuming enough fluids will result in negative changes to these vital organs. 

Dehydration occurs when your body does not have enough water or fluids as it should. Dehydration can be mild, moderate, or severe based on how much fluid your body has lost. Severe dehydration is life-threatening and should be treated as an emergency. 

Not having enough liquids or fluids can be a result from losing too much fluid, not drinking enough, or a combination of both. Excess free water, or hypotonic water, can leave the body in two ways - sensible loss such as osmotic diuresis, sweating, vomiting and diarrhea, and insensible water loss, occurring mainly through the skin and respiratory tract. Older adults and certain diseases, such as diabetes, are at a higher risk for dehydration.

Drinking water while working out and during daily activity is a key factor to preventing dehydration. Blood flow to the exercising muscle declines significantly when dehydrated, due to a lowering in blood pressure and systemic blood flow. We can go weeks without food but your body can't survive more than a day or two without water.

Dehydration causes activity in the body to slow down resulting in fatigue. When your body is dehydrated it will begin to restrict airways to conserve more water. Dehydration can also lead to digestive disorders, high blood pressure, and skin disorders.

Signs of mild to moderate

  • Thirst
  • Dry or sticky mouth
  • Not urinating much
  • Dark or yellow urine
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps

Signs of severe dehydration

  • Very dark yellow or amber-colored urine
  • Dry, shriveled skin
  • Irritability or confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid heartbeating
  • Rapid breath
  • Shock

Dehydration can be treated by sipping water or drinking sports drinks with electrolytes (in moderation). There are also many tips and tricks you can learn to stay hydrated.

  • Keep your water bottle handy. If it's always near you, you’ll be more likely to drink from it
  • Spice up your water. Add a splash of fruit juice or even better for less calories fresh fruit! If you really hate water or need flavor try calorie-free seltzers
  • Tea!! Unsweetened tea is available in many different flavors.
  • Snack smart. Chips, pretzels, and high salt snacks could be swapped with fruit, yogurt, or cut vegetables.
  • Sip before meals. Drink a glass of water 45 minutes before meals. Not only will you feel more full it will help with digestion.
  • Start using the Argus app to track your water consumption! You could even challenge a friend to see who can drink more or the recommended amount throughout the day!

How much should I drink?

The typical adult loses 1-1.4lbs of water daily through urine, breath, and sweat. To combat water loss the Institute of Medicine recommends that most women get about 2.7 liters of water a day (or about 12 cups), and most men get about 3.7 liters a day (or about 15 cups). Drinking 2-3 liters of water each day is essential to the body’s well being.

Therefore sit back relax and enjoy a cup of water every once and awhile it just might make your day flow a little better!

Tesa is new to blogging, but hopes to make a big impact with her vast knowledge of athletics and experience. Tesa recently earned her bachelor's degree at the Pennsylvania State University. While majoring in Athletic Training and minoring in psychology, she worked with various division one collegiate sports teams. Tesa is continuing her education by pursuing her Master's of Science in Kinesiology with a concentration in sports pedagogy at The Louisiana State University. Tesa is a board certified Athletic Trainer and a Performance Enhancement Specialist. Outside of the training room, Tesa enjoys going on runs and working out for leisure.

Main Photo Credit: Maridav/; Second Photo Credit: antoniodiaz/; Third Photo Credit: puhhha/

Jun 13, 2016

I suggest Argus to add water reminder advanced in future update.

Jun 13, 2016

Tyrone Carey

Jun 13, 2016

Christine Love word.

Jun 17, 2016

Argus reminds me to drink water...

Jun 29, 2016

Brendan Lynch you need to read this article

Jul 22, 2016

Mukesh you need to read this (till the end!)

Jul 22, 2016

Read what

Jul 22, 2016

Got it