Most of us know that we should be drinking eight glasses of water a day, but how many of us actually do? Staying properly hydrated is essential for our health, yet many of us don’t realize just how important it is. Dehydration can cause a whole host of problems, from headaches and fatigue to dizziness and dry skin. If you’re not sure if you’re drinking enough water, watch out for these warning signs.
1. You’re thirsty
This one might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless. If you’re feeling thirsty, that’s a surefire sign that you need to drink some water. Drink a glass of water as soon as you start feeling thirsty, and try to drink smaller sips throughout the day so that you don’t get dehydrated in the first place.
2. You have a headache
One of the first signs of dehydration is a headache. When you don’t have enough water in your body, your brain tissue actually shrinks. This decrease in size puts pressure on blood vessels, which can lead to headaches. If you often find yourself reaching for ibuprofen or aspirin, drink a glass of water first and see if that helps.
3. You’re tired all the time
One of the functions of water in the body is to carry nutrients to our cells. If you’re dehydrated, your cells aren’t getting the oxygen and nutrients they need to function properly, which can leave you feeling fatigued.
4. You have trouble concentrating
Dehydration can also lead to problems with focus and concentration. When you’re feeling groggy or having trouble remembering things, drink a glass of water and see if that helps clear your head.
5. You feel dizzy or lightheaded
If you’re standing up and suddenly feel like you might faint, it could be because your blood pressure has dropped due to dehydration. When you don’t have enough fluids in your body, your blood volume decreases, and your blood pressure drops along with it.
6. Your urine is dark yellow or orange
One way to tell if you’re properly hydrated is to take a look at your urine when you go to the bathroom. If it’s clear or light yellow, that means you’re well-hydrated. If it’s dark yellow or orange, that’s a sign that you need to drink more water.
7. You have a dry mouth or chapped lips
Another warning sign that your body is lacking water is a dry mouth or chapped lips. This is because dehydration can cause your saliva to become thicker and more concentrated, which can lead to a decrease in saliva production. If your mouth feels dry or your lips are chapped, drink some water and apply some lip balm.
8. You have bad breath
When your mouth doesn’t have enough saliva—which happens when you’re dehydrated—it provides an ideal environment for bacteria growth which can then lead to bad breath.
9. You have muscle cramps or spasms.
Muscle cramps are another common symptom of dehydration, especially during exercise. When we sweat, we lose not only water but also electrolytes like sodium and potassium. These electrolytes are necessary for proper muscle function, so if they become imbalanced, it can lead to cramping.
10. You’re constipated
Constipation is a common symptom of dehydration because a lack of fluids leads to hard, dry stools. Drinking plenty of water helps keep things moving through the digestive system.
11. Your heart rate is faster than normal
A fast heart rate is another sign that your body is lacking fluids. When you don’t have enough water in your system, your hearts have to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. This can result in an increased heart rate. Check your pulse next time you’re feeling thirsty; if it’s higher than normal, drink some water and see if it goes down after 20 minutes or so.
12. You have dry skin
If your skin is feeling dry, tight, or flaky, it could be a sign that you’re not drinking enough water. When your body lacks water, it will start to hold on to whatever moisture it can, resulting in dry skin.
13. You have dark circles under your eyes
Dehydration can cause the blood vessels under your eyes to dilate, which in turn causes dark circles or bags under your eyes.
14. You’re short of breath
The final warning sign on the list is shortness of breath. If even simple activities leave you feeling out of breath, it could be because not enough oxygen is getting to your cells. Dehydration reduces the amount of blood flowing through your vessels, including those carrying oxygen to your muscles.
Now that you know what some of the warning signs of dehydration are, it’s important to make sure that you’re drinking enough fluids throughout the day—especially if you live an active lifestyle or live in a hot climate! Aim for 8-10 glasses of water per day, and always keep a bottle of water with you when you leave the house just in case thirst strikes while you’re on the go!
Also Read: 10 Good Reasons To Drink Hot Water