Water makes up between 60 and 80 percent of our body mass, so it’s unsurprising that it’s involved in almost every bodily process. When you don’t take enough water in, you disrupt these processes and you suffer adverse effects.
Knowing the signs of dehydration helps you gauge if you’re drinking enough water. Check out the following symptoms to see if you show signs of drinking too little water.
1. You’re hungrier than normal.
If you’ve just eaten and are already feeling hungry again, consider drinking a glass of water. People often confuse thirst and hunger pangs. Wait about 15 minutes after you drink the water to see if you still feel hungry.
2. Your urine is extra yellow.
This unmistakable sign tells you that your urine has too high a concentration of waste. When you’re properly hydrated, your pee should be light yellow.
3. Your muscles cramp up.
Every athlete knows that if you don’t hydrate before a game, you are more susceptible to charley horses. Muscles need a particular ratio of water to electrolytes to properly contract, and when you get dehydrated, muscles start malfunctioning.
4. Your skin doesn’t bounce back.
Doctors perform a simple test to see if patients are dehydrated. They pinch the skin on top of a patient’s hand. If the skin doesn’t immediately snap back into place, it means the body is low on fluids.
5. Lotion doesn’t moisturize your skin.
If you slather your dry skin with lotion, but it still doesn’t improve, the problem may be coming from within. When you are dehydrated, your body doesn’t produce enough sebum, which helps keep skin moist. Luckily, drinking more water is a cheap and easy fix to this problem.
6. You are constipated.
Constipation can be caused by a number of things, such as medications or certain foods. If you’ve ruled out other obvious culprits, it could be dehydration that’s stopping you up.
7. You are prone to urinary tract infections.
Drinking plenty of water helps take bacteria out of the bladder. When you skimp on fluids, your body can’t properly flush all of the germs out of your system. When bacteria aren’t flushed out, they can multiply in the urinary tract, causing this painful condition. Of course there are other causes of UTIs, but drinking plenty of water can prevent some of them.
8. You start having headaches.
When you start to get dehydrated, the first sign is often a pounding headache. Your brain is highly sensitive to the chemical reactions happening in your blood, and dehydration can trigger this painful phenomenon. Drink plenty of water, but avoid sugary beverages if you have a headache caused by dehydration.
9. You feel overheated.
Sweating is an important way that humans regulate their body temperatures. When you don’t have enough water in your system, you don’t produce enough sweat. That means your temperature can rise to uncomfortable and even dangerous levels.
Water is cheap, calorie-free, and can help prevent numerous health conditions. Avoid these painful and annoying symptoms by drinking plenty of water at the first sign of dehydration.