Our bodies are composed of a lot of water. For adult males, its 60% while for the ladies, its 55%. Imagine if the water levels go down significantly, all sorts of problems can set in. Whether you’re physically active or just going about your everyday routine, you can get dehydrated. But how do you know you’re already lacking fluids or just being affected by the summer heat? Watch out for the 9 signs of dehydration.
Always Hungry. Most of the time, thirst is mistaken for hunger. People unnecessarily eat rather than drink. This is because the part of the brain which indicates hunger and thirst is the same area. How do you know thirst from hunger? Hunger happens gradually, not suddenly. So if you become hungry all of a sudden, reach for a glass of water first and not for a sandwich.
Sudden Sweet Tooth. The lack of water reduces the liver’s release of glycogens for energy. The brain sends this as craving signals, which you may interpret as a sign to grab a chocolate bar. When you have that craving, reach for a high water content snack, like a watermelon. Not only will your thirst be quenched, but you get to satisfy your sweet tooth in a natural way.
Dry Skin. Let’s say you’re out for a run. A good SPF cream will take care of your skin right? While it’s true the cream moisturizes and protects, you also need good fluid intake to keep your skin from drying. Even the best moisturizer can’t keep the skin from drying because of dehydration.
Cramps. If you’re physically active, cramps are a good indicator that your fluids are on the low side. Muscles are composed of over 70 percent of water, imagine when you hit 40 percent or less because of sweating, muscles can cramp up. All that sweating depletes sodium and potassium levels as well, so besides water, a sports drink may be necessary.
Dry Mouth and Smelly Breath. Salivary glands use water to produce saliva, when there is a low supply, the glands reduce production significantly, leaving you with a dry mouth. But it does not stop there, the lack of saliva and warm environment promotes bacteria build up which then results in bad breath.
Headaches and Dizziness. There is a fluid sack which envelops the brain, protecting it from the impact of sudden blows. If the fluid sack’s water level significantly decreases, expect severe headaches. Also, when you’re dehydrated, there is a tendency for your blood pressure to decrease, leaving you dizzy. Some even experience disorientation.
Reduced Sweat. This one’s a bit more basic, you don’t drink much and you’re dehydrated, your body can barely produce sweat even on a very hot day.
No Twinkle in your Tinkle. Urine is another indicator of dehydration. If you have dark urine, and has a really pungent smell, then you lack fluids. Urine should be clear or light yellow. Some vitamins and medicine can affect the color of your urine, but they will only make it into a darker shade of yellow.
Constipation. Your bowels need enough water to successful pass stool, without it you’ll be constipated. Being well hydrated also helps your intestines absorb nutrients from digested food.
What’s your best option to prevent dehydration? Well, you can always buy bottled water, but in the long run you’ll be throwing away lots of money and adding plastic to landfills. So you’re better off buying a reusable drinking bottle, like the ones made by Laken.