Water is a vital part of most of your bodily functions. Depending on your age and gender, it makes up between 55-75% of your body’s composition. It helps regulate your body’s temperature, allows proper circulation, and carries oxygen and nutrients to your cells. Without enough of it, mental and physical coordination becomes impaired, the body begins to fatigue, and, over time, you can even lose sensitivity to water deprivation.
One of the most destructive consequences of dehydration is electrolyte imbalance. Electrolytes are minerals and compounds that also help your body function properly. They either have a positive or negative charge when they dissolve in your body’s fluid, and they’re responsible for moving electrical charges and signals throughout your body. When these signals aren’t being transmitted throughout your body properly, you can have responses like an irregular heart beat, blood pressure changes, and nervous system disorders.
Prescription medications, which millions of Americans take on a daily basis, are often the culprit behind dehydration, and in turn, electrolyte imbalance. The reason is twofold: on the one hand, these medications tend to increase urine output, and on the other hand, they often cause vomiting and diarrhea, which can be particularly dangerous.
Some of the most common medications that lead to dehydration are:
- blood pressure medication
Among those that cause electrolyte imbalances are:
- birth control pills
- Antifungal medication
Because not taking these medications is simply not an option for most people, it becomes crucially important that you take the necessary steps to stay hydrated. Not only does proper hydration improve physical performance and protect against disease, it can also facilitate weight loss, prevent headaches, and even boost your mood.