Water flows through every cell in our bodies, supporting blood flow, toxin removal and production and transmission of important enzymes and hormones. If your body has too little water, these essential functions will be compromised and that can lead to serious chronic health conditions. Drinking good, clean pure water helps our bodies to perform at optimal levels and it sustains our health.

Luckily, we receive a couple of early signals if the water levels in our bodies are too low. The first is thirst. The second is the color of our urine. If you ignore the thirst signal, you may already be slightly dehydrated, so if you then notice that your urine is a dark yellow color you can be sure that you are dehydrated and must drink water soon. If you continue to ignore these simple signals, then the next batch of signals you receive will seem a little more severe, including fatigue, moodiness, hunger, aches and pains, and dry skin.

If you fail to recognize any of those symptoms by not bringing water to the rescue, then unfortunately the next batch of signals you may get are likely to be the result of damage caused by the breakdown of essential bodily functions. Symptoms of chronic dehydration include heartburn, constipation, anxiety, urinary tract infections, premature aging and high cholesterol.

Simply drinking water regularly throughout the day keeps all the essential functions working. You can avoid many ailments that may be treated with harsh pharmaceuticals that often produce their own list of undesired side effects. During warm summer months or periods of exercise, increase your consumption of water as your body eliminates a lot more water through perspiration to keep you cool – another benefit of staying hydrated.

Your blood is about ninety-two percent water. Maintaining the water levels in your blood supports efficient blood flow to organs and helps to prevent high blood pressure. This is also critical during times of sleep and times of stress when the body produces hormones to help keep the body strong and balanced. A well-hydrated body also regulates histamine production, which controls our immune system’s response to allergies and other elements. Over-production of histamines can create the symptoms of allergies such as stuffy nose, itchy eyes and sneezing.

Your body needs water to flush itself of toxins. Two systems are responsible for eliminating most of the toxins from your body. The first is your skin. If you are dehydrated, your skin holds toxins that would otherwise we eliminated and you may develop skin irritations. The second is your digestive system. Water helps to keep food moving through your digestive tract, which allows toxins and pathogenic microbes to be eliminated naturally. Constipation may contribute to other digestive disorders including bladder infections, ulcers, acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome.

Sometimes we misinterpret the thirsty signal and assume we are hungry instead, even though we may have consumed a meal just a short while ago. In a dehydrated state, your cells cry out for sustenance and your brain signals you to get more food. Keeping yourself hydrated will keep the cells well supplied with water and you can avoid inadvertently adding on extra pounds.

Drinks that are high in caffeine such as coffee and soda are not good choices for hydrating your body. They are natural diuretics, which serve to accelerate the dehydration process. Drinks high in sugar, such as soda, juice drinks and the new flavored water products, provide too much sugar to your system, which only creates other health and weight-gain issues. Drink plain, pure water often and throughout the day. Start the day with warm water and add a little juice squeezed from a lemon. Pay attention to the early signals, like thirst or hunger, when you should not be, and drink some water immediately to stay hydrated and keep your body performing at its best.