10 signs to know your body is dehydrated

Hello? It’s your body here…and we really need to have a chat.

Water, water, water. It’s all around you and all within you…in fact, as your body, I’m always pretty thirsty because I’m made up of 60% water! And because drinking water is crucial for your survival I have many clever ways of letting you know when you’re not drinking enough.

So how do you know you’re drinking enough water?

Well, actually, it’s quite simple…you just need to listen to what I’m trying to tell you.

11 ways I will tell you I’m dehydrated

Hi there! Now that I’ve got your attention, here’s the 10 main signals I give to you when I’m in danger of becoming, or are already, dehydrated.

1.YOU’RE THIRSTY

Seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it? But by the time I tell you I’m thirsty you’re already pretty dehydrated.

Ideally you should be drinking enough water so you never get to the stage where you feel thirsty. And here are some ideas of how to increase your water consumption.

2. YOUR URINE IS DARK YELLOW OR BROWN

Dark coloured or infrequent urination urine (less than 4-7 times per day) is my way of telling you I am retaining fluids in order to maintain vital bodily functions. Apart from your first wee of the day, if your urine isn’t clear or light yellow, you’re definitely not drinking enough and you’re also making yourself more susceptible to urinary tract infections, because water also helps flush out toxins and keep your renal system running smoothly.

3. YOUR MOUTH, SKIN AND EYES ARE DRY

Dehydration affects not just your insides—it also affects your outsides, making your skin dry and itchy, eyes red and sore, and your mouth really dry. If you aren’t drinking enough water you can also have problems producing tears.

4. YOUR SKIN BREAKS OUT

Without adequate water, toxins build up on and under your skin, resulting in skin disorders as diverse as acne, psoriasis, eczema, and discoloration. If you don’t drink enough I can’t sweat out all of the internal and internal toxins, which makes you prone to clogged pores and skin breakouts.

When you drink water you’re bringing oxygen into me, and I can then oxygenate your cells. The more oxygen you get in your cells, the more energy you have.

If you don’t drink enough water, I have to go looking elsewhere for that oxygen and I take it from your blood. This basically slows your whole system down and makes you feel even more tired, moody, and downright lethargic.

5. YOU FEEL LETHARGIC

When you drink water you’re bringing oxygen into me, and I can then oxygenate your cells. The more oxygen you get in your cells, the more energy you have.

6. YOU HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

When I don’t get receive oxygen from water I have to take it from your blood, which not only makes you feel tired, but it slows and thickens your blood flow and increases its sodium content in the blood.

All of which create a “perfect storm” for high blood pressure…leading to many other diseases.

7. YOU BECOME CONSTIPATED

When you stay hydrated it helps lubricate your digestive system.

If you don’t drink enough water I have to use the water that the intestines need for the next step of the digestive process, which means they can’t do their job and you become very clogged up.

8. YOU’RE ALWAYS HUNGRY

Well sometimes I get confused too when you don’t drink enough and I try to tell you to eat instead of drink!

Getting into the habit of drinking water when you feel hungry not only helps control hunger pangs, but it helps you feel fuller for longer, enabling you to increase your water intake, decrease your food consumption and regulate your weight.

9. YOUR BACK AND JOINTS ACHE

Your cartilage is nearly 80% water, which is why drinking water after exercise is essential for maintaining healthy bones and joints. Water keeps your joints lubricated, which protects your body during strenuous activities or unexpected movement.

10. YOU HAVE HEADACHES OR MIGRAINES

Dehydration also affects your brain tissue, making it shrink and pull away from the skull. I then send alarms to your pain receptors that surround your brain and this gives you a headache.

And because dehydration means less blood and oxygen flowing to your brain, I have to dilate your blood vessels in your brain, which gives you a pounding headache.

11. YOUR BREATH SMELLS

Yes, I know, this really stinks. But did you realise your bad breath is not only a sign of poor dental hygiene? When you keep your mouth moist with water it helps wash away food particles and bacteria, which in turn keeps your breath fresh.

So how much do you really need to drink?

The best way to work out how much you need to drink is to start with the usual recommendation of 8 glasses of water per day. However, if you’re doing a lot of exercise, breastfeeding, or it’s extremely hot, you might need to drink more.

The easiest and most inexpensive way of increasing your water intake is to invest in a home water filter system and a good quality reusable water bottle.

Because once you’ve got pure filtered water on tap 24/7, at a fraction of the cost of bottled water, drinking enough water becomes an absolute pleasure, rather than just another chore.

And you’re far less likely to become dehydrated. Glad we had that little chat? You can thank me later.

Read more on the health benefits of filtered water

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