Being thirsty a few times per day is normal – our body needs water to survive as 2/3 of it is made up of this important liquid. Water keeps our organs running, lubricates our joints and eyes, plays an important part in digestion, helps the body get rid of toxins and waste materials, and of course it keeps the skin flexible and radiant. This is why it’s important to drink the proper amount of water every day. Dehydration is a big problem that can even be fatal in some cases, which is why we need to make sure we stay hydrated.
People nowadays don’t even realize how important water is until they’re dehydrated. Dehydration can affect anyone, with athletes, burn victims, and diabetics being more prone to it. It’s not that easy to notice – you may be dehydrated right now before realizing it. In the beginning, dehydration may manifest through dry mouth, which isn’t a serious thing, but as it progresses, the signs will become more and more severe. If you don’t resolve it on time, you’re risking the health of all organs in your body, so please take it more seriously.
Here are 10 signs that will let you know you’re dehydrated:
Proper water levels in the body ensure that the balance of minerals in your body is optimal, which allows proper organ function. When the levels of potassium and sugar in your blood are low, which occurs in cases of dehydration, you will experience heart palpitations (abnormal heart rhythm). Whenever you experience your heart skipping a beat, drink more water. If the problem persists, you must visit a doctor.
Dehydration can lead to sweet and salty food cravings, with the former being more common. However, instead of rushing to the store and getting a candy bar, try something natural. You can have an apple, peach, kiwi or watermelon, which is full of water. Vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers will also satisfy your cravings, but they’re not as sweet as a peach.
Our saliva forms a protective shield around the teeth and gums, preventing bacteria from destroying our oral health. Of course, being a liquid, saliva depends on proper water levels in the body. When you’re dehydrated, the body won’t be able to produce saliva, which will let bacteria run rampant in your mouth and cause bad breath.
Headaches are one of the most common symptoms of dehydration. The human brain is wrapped in a ‘sack’ that floats in fluid in order to keep the organ from bumping into the skull. Whenever the fluid levels in the sack are reduced, like in cases of dehydration, the brain gets pushed and bumped against the skull, leading to headaches.
Joint and Muscle Pain
As water lubricates our joints, it helps us move and protects them from rubbing too hard between each other. Dehydration has been known to cause inflammation and pain in the joints and muscles. It also causes low magnesium levels, which can in turn cause muscle and leg pain and cramps. In order to balance the minerals in your body and solve the painful problem, drink more water and eat fruits such as avocados more often.
Lethargy and Fatigue
When the fluid levels in the body are low, the blood volume will drop and raise the blood pressure, making the heart work harder in order to supply blood to vital organs and provide our muscles with nutrients. Of course, you will feel the consequences of this, feeling lethargic and tired.
Instead of reaching for a sports drink whenever you’re feeling tired, drink a few glasses of water. It may be all you need to return to normal functioning and feel energetic once again.
Our digestive system depends on water to digest food and absorb minerals. As a matter of fact, water is one of the most important fluids for proper digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals. The large intestine, for example, soaks up the water from any food we eat which is later processed by the kidneys. Of course, the digestive system soaks up as much as it needs to keep our stool consistent and solid. When you’re dehydrated, the large intestine will soak up all the water it can get, making your stool hard and difficult to pass.
Dry Skin and Lips
Whenever your mouth is dry, you can be sure you’re dehydrated. Dry lips and skin are the two most common and earliest symptoms of dehydration – you can say they’re a warning sign to start drinking more water immediately. The skin is made up of about 30% of water, which helps it stay flexible. In cases of internal dehydration, the skin cells lose their fluid content first in order to keep the internal organs properly satiated with water. In order to prevent this from happening and keep your skin from drying out, start drinking more water.
The kidneys work overtime in order to keep the balance of fluids in the body proper. When the water levels are satisfying, your urine should have a light yellow color. It means that your kidneys are properly hydrated and fully functioning, which in turn means proper elimination of toxins. If the levels of water are too low, on the other hand, the kidneys will redirect water back into the body in order to keep the blood pressure steady. This will also make your urine darker – as soon as you notice this, start drinking more water before things get serious.
The final sign of dehydration is brain fog. According to experts, the lack of water can cause poor cognitive performance and mood changes, eventually affecting your memory, arithmetic abilities, and visuomotor and psychomotor skills. In order to prevent brain fog and similar problems, you need to drink more water.