According to a survey, about 75 percent of Americans are dehydrated, which is commonly ignored as people continue to deprive themselves of water and expose their system to serious health complications.
Besides being thirsty, what are the signs that you’re not drinking enough water? Do you know that you’re getting enough water into your system?
Well, we will learn about the 9 signs of what could possibly happen if you aren’t drinking enough water. If that happens, it’s important to do everything to get your hydration level back on track.
1. Impaired Memory and Concentration
One of the reasons you find yourself unable to concentrate can be because you’re not drinking enough water; you are mildly dehydrated.
While it’s not exactly clear what causes these symptoms, researchers at the University of Connecticut Human Performance Laboratory attribute it to changes in the blood electrolyte balance due to dehydration. As a result of this, the brain’s part responsible for cognitive function and reasoning becomes impaired. Irregular blood electrolyte levels can also affect brain serotonin levels, leading to moodiness and anxiety.
The average human body is 60 percent water, which is lost continuously to perform bodily functions such as regulating body temperature and flushing out waste. Not drinking enough water to replenish your body’s water supply will severely impair your concentration.
2. Skin Dehydration
Dry skin is one of the obvious ways to tell if you’re experiencing dehydration. Some of the first warning signs of this condition include persistent dry skin, chapped lips, dry eyes, and dandruff.
As the largest body organ, the skin needs to be adequately hydrated at all times to perform its function and retain its appearance and texture. Otherwise, it becomes dry, which eventually leads to full-blown dehydration, a more severe condition. When the skin lacks water, it cannot produce sweat to wash off accumulated dirt and oil, causing various skill complications. To manage breakouts, drinking enough water should be your course of action.
3. Dark Yellow Urine
The different urine shades can serve as indicators of various health conditions, from dehydration to more severe diseases like bladder cancer.
Less than 4-5 trips a day with dark urine of amber or honey colour are signs that you’re not taking sufficient fluids. This is usually because the kidneys responsible for filtering waste, are trying to retain water to perform their functions due to low body water levels.
Since there is less water in the urine, the compounds and toxins become more concentrated, which is why the darker, unhealthy colour. Pale to light yellow urine indicates you’re drinking enough water.
4. Hunger after Eating
Dehydration can confuse your body into thinking it needs food when it just needs to rehydrate. Hunger due to dehydration can happen either during the day or at night when you wake up craving that midnight snack. Rather than satisfying your appetite, eating makes your body heavier, whereas drinking water cleanses your system and provide you with the necessary electrolyte to perform other functions.
This confusion of feeling hungry instead of thirsty happens in the hypothalamus, the part of our brain responsible for controlling thirst and appetite. If you find yourself feeling hungry just after eating, it may be your hypothalamus going haywire. Instead of going for extra helpings, drink water and see if you’re still hungry.
Is it taking longer than usual in the toilet? These may be your body telling you that you’re not drinking enough water. Aside from its many other functions, water helps promote good digestion and regular bowel movements through your intestines and ensure your intestines are smooth and flexible.
When you don’t drink enough water, the fluids in the body won’t be sufficient to move the food you eat through your intestines, leading to constipation, gas and bloating, or even worse, excretion of undigested food. If you are experiencing this condition and you’re looking for a quick way to ease it, drink plenty of water every day.
6. Fatigue and Lethargic
Many factors attribute to Fatigue and lethargic, including insufficient sleep and insomnia. But if you experience tiredness and sluggishness even though you’re getting enough sleep, then it may be a sign that you’re dehydrated.
When you are dehydrated, your blood pressure drops, leading to a reduction in hydrated blood flow to the brain and other parts of the body. Since oxygen can’t circulate your body, you become tired, dizzy, or lightheaded.
7. Frequent Headaches
Dehydration is another common cause of headache. When you don’t get enough water into your body, you experience mild dehydration, leading to headaches. Merely taking a glass of water when you feel a headache instead of painkillers may relieve you of your pain. Note that hydration is not a guaranteed preventative measure for headaches as these can be symptoms of other underlying conditions. So, if you still have headaches after drinking water, make an appointment with your doctor.
8. Muscle Cramps and Joint Pains
Muscle cramps are a common symptom of electrolyte imbalances, which is due to body dehydration. When you fail to replenish the water lost to sweating, especially during an exercise routine, you end up with cramps. Quickly drink water and rest if you’re feeling dehydrated while working out.
The cartilage between your joints and spinal discs to function correctly needs to be continuously lubricated with water. When it lacks the necessary fluid, it loses its elasticity, responsible for aching, cracking joints.
Drinking enough water helps the joints to be a better shock absorber.
9. Bad Breath (Chronic Halitosis)
Dehydration can be the cause of that bad breath you have. When you’re dehydrated, your body won’t produce enough saliva, which gives the bacteria in your mouth the opportunity to grow, leading to bad breath. Water moistens and lubricates the mucus membranes in your mouth and throat, promoting saliva production.
While dehydration can easily be solved by drinking a glass of water, leaving it untreated can lead to a more serious problem. Thus, it is essential you drink enough water every day, and as soon you notice any of the listed symptoms.