Dehydration is a very real and very severe condition. However, you don’t have to be stranded in the middle of a hot desert without water or doing hard exercise to become dehydrated. Many people suffer from chronic dehydration and don’t even know about it.
Our bodies were built to withstand a high level of dehydration. However, when our bodies do not receive enough hydrating fluids it causes our kidneys to function poorly. Fortunately the body has a back-up in place- the liver.
When the kidneys stop functioning properly, the liver stops performing its regular duties, like metabolizing fatty acids and burning fat and instead starts breaking down sodium to keep our bodies performing at a reasonable level of function. A person can go for years being chronically dehydrated and not even know it.
So if we can survive being chronically dehydrated what’s the point of staying hydrated? When the liver has to focus on breaking down sodium in order to keep our bodies functioning, but at the same time perform all of its regular duties, like processing toxins in our food and metabolizing fatty acids two things happen.
- The liver is unable to perform all of its tasks in an optimal way which means that the less toxins are being processed and less fat is being metabolized, and so or bodies become generally less healthy.
- The liver is chronically over-worked. This can eventually lead to liver failure, which is a very serious condition resulting in death if it is not caught in time and treated.
So, by not hydrating sufficiently we are slowly but surely making sure that our body gets sicker and sicker until it eventually stops working all together. This is dangerous for everyone leading a lifestyle with a low water intake and a high sodium intake. However it is especially dangerous to people on diets and with rigorous training regimes. When your body is on a diet and expending a lot of calories the process of dehydration can happen within days.
If you’re on a diet increasing your water intake is one of the easiest ways to burn extra calories. It works through the process of thermogenesis. Thermogenesis can be explained as the process in which the body uses energy to warm itself up. One way to trigger thermogenesis is to consume cold water. The water cools the body down, and by thermogenesis energy is used to warm it back up. Basically you are making your body work out for you. Proper hydration makes sure your body function and burns fat. Dehydration makes your body unable to burn fat and can lead to sever health problems.
When you are on a diet, it can be tempting to cut back on liquids but never cut back on water. The weight you gain from water is just water weight and will fluctuate daily. It’s important to remember that when you are dehydrated you are hurting your chances of losing actual weight from fat cells. In the long run you will keep on putting on fat and you are also running a real risk of liver-failure. All healthy diets include a lot of water, which keeps your body healthy and also facilitates a healthy weight loss.