Do you drink enough water? According to Healthline.com, our bodies are made up of around 60 percent water. Losing just 2 percent of that can lead to dehydration, which can make you extremely sick or even endanger your life.
Your body needs constant hydration in order to perform effectively. Fluid balance plays an important role in everything from metabolism to immune defense and even warding off certain neurological conditions. Stay hydrated more efficiently by printing out and referencing these 12 symptoms of dehydration often.
Struggle with Digestion Issues
Water intake plays a critical role in your ability properly digest food. If you don’t drink enough water, your metabolism and digestion will slow and you won’t produce enough mucus, causing membranes from your mouth all the way to your anus to lose their slippery, protective coating. Dehydration also triggers bile acid build-up in the stomach, raising the risk for ulcers, heartburn, and reflux.
Just as failing to drink enough water can strip moisture from your gastrointestinal tract, so, too, can it cause your skin to become dry. Slathering on moisturizer helps, but the best way to effectively prevent everyday dry skin is to increase your fluid intake. When your body isn’t properly hydrated, your skin over-produces oils to compensate, causing rebound effect dryness, irritation and flaking.
Not drinking enough water can lead to dry, bloodshot eyes. Your tear ducts need water so they won’t dry up. It may not be a big deal to most but it makes a huge difference to those who wear contacts on a daily basis. Also, having dry eyes can be very uncomfortable and annoying.
You just drank water this morning. It’s only 1:00 p.m.; why are you thirsty? The reality is that constant thirst is a sign that, while we may be drinking, we aren’t taking in enough fluids. This is especially common after drinking too much alcohol the night before or if you drink dehydrating beverages, like coffee or soda. Step up your game by keeping a thermos of water by your side at all times to sip on.
Starting to feel your age? What you might be feeling is really dehydration. When the body’s natural water stores are depleted, it often starts to draw water away from internal structures to compensate. This includes cartilage, spinal discs and other connective tissue zones (including muscle). Drinking more water “lubes up” these structures, easing movement and mobility.
Water is one of the most effective detoxifiers; it’s also one of the safest. When you achieve optimal hydration, you ensure your organs are operating in the healthiest, most balanced environment for your unique health situation. Better organ function, including kidney and liver function, lets your body flush out toxins faster.
Feeling tired is the number one symptom of dehydration! That’s because loss of fluids often leads to electrolyte imbalance, which affects the way your heart, muscles, kidneys, lungs, and brain work, too. Feeling fuzzy or fatigued may be your body telling you to increase intake for sharper focus.
Can’t seem to stop snacking? You might not actually be hungry. After a certain point in dehydration, your mind may start to play tricks on you. It tells you you’re hungry simply because your body is desperate for intake; even eating food introduces some moisture. Unfortunately, eating more when you’re dehydrated is counter-intuitive because it can actually cause you to become even more parched. Try drinking a full 8-oz glass of water when cravings hit first; if you’re still hungry in 30 minutes, you’re probably actually in need of calories, too.
Dark Brown or Yellow Urine
When the body is correctly hydrated (and the kidneys are healthy), urine output should be light yellow to almost clear. Dark, cloudy urine, or urine that is the color of beer or tea, is highly concentrated, which means you aren’t drinking enough water. In some cases, it may also be a symptom of underlying kidney issues, too.
What if you aren’t urinating frequently at all? If you’re one of those people who only seems to go twice a day, it may be because you’re dehydrated. The ideal frequency is around once every three to five hours, but ultimately, you should be going at least a few times a day with clean, clear urine every time.
Your body is the only body you’ll ever have, and drinking water is one of the easiest, most effective ways to stay healthy. Get yourself a refillable thermos and tote it around with you; every cell within you will appreciate the kind gesture!