Keeping your body hydrated is crucial to maintaining health. Despite the human body being over 70% water many people still do not drink enough water throughout the day. Here are ten messages from your body that let you know when you need more H2O and how much you should drink.
10 Signs You’re Not Drinking Enough Water
One of the most noticeable signs that you’re lacking in hydration is headache. A mild, headache may be your body’s way of saying it needs a drink of water. Your body compensates for it by taking water from your blood, which affects how much oxygen your brain gets and leads to headache. Instead of reaching for aspirin when you notice a headache try downing a glass of cool water.
2. Dry Mouth, Skin or Eyes
Feeling like your tongue has turned into sandpaper is not a welcome feeling. If you’ve already reaching for a refreshing beverage to stave it off make sure it’s water as sodas or coffee can dehydrate you further. If your skin and eyes feel dry they’ll thank you for the drink as they too need water to stay healthy and perform their jobs at peak performance.
3. Dark Colored Urine
The best litmus test to check your water levels is to pay attention to the color of urine when you use the restroom. If your urine is clear or light colored keep up the good work! You’re drinking enough water! If it’s darker in color it is an indication that you need to take in more water. Reduced frequency of urination is also a sign of dehydration.
While your body is designed to signal its needs it can sometimes send mixed messages. Hunger may be your body’s way of asking for a drink that you can easily misinterpret. If your stomach is complaining and you think you may need to grab a snack try drinking a glass of water before to see if that helps. If you’re still hungry afterwards you can grab that quick snack.
This one seems like a no-brainer but being thirsty is one of the later signs of dehydration. But while you may have a craving for a soda, juice or afternoon tea water is always the best option. As mentioned, soda and coffee contain caffeine and substances that can cause dehydration which will only lead to more pronounced headaches or worse issues. Water is your best option of quenching thirst.
6. Digestive Issues
Digestive issues coupled with dehydration present a tricky situation. If you’re experiencing diarrhea or nausea from a stomach bug your body needs to take in more water to replace what it has lost. Similarly your body will hold onto the water it has if you’re experiencing constipation. For any sort of tummy upset water is a nice and light remedy that helps replenish depleted stores while offering refreshment.
Feeling tired when you haven’t had enough water is another confusing signal. Again, avoid reaching for soda or coffee to get a shot of energy. Just as your body will take water from your blood and lead to a headache the same principles apply here. The drop in oxygen leads to feeling tired and lethargic. A glass of water may be all you need to perk up your afternoon.
8. Sluggish Immune System
If it seems like it takes you longer than usual to rebound from a cold or other illness then you might not be drinking enough water. Water helps your body to clear itself of wastes. If there isn’t enough water for it to clean itself it will borrow water from your organs, impeding their ability to function optimally. Drink plenty of water when sick to speed recovery.
9. Weight Gain
One of the many benefits of being adequately hydrated is being able to keep excess weight off. If your body isn’t getting enough water it will hold onto what it does get causing the scale to go up. Don’t skimp on the H2O if you’re dieting. Water won’t add any calories to your daily intake and it will help keep your shape trim while it cools you down.
10. Joint Pain
Just as your body needs water to function properly your joints need water to do the same. Your joints need water to stay lubricated. When they don’t have enough water they’ll borrow it from somewhere else. Similarly the cushions between your spinal vertebra need water to help absorb shock from your movements. Drinking more water might not cure all joint pain but it certainly couldn’t hurt.
Setting a daily water goal is the best way to ensure proper hydration. Determine how much you should be drinking by multiplying your weight by 2/3 or 67%. For example if you weigh 150 lbs you would multiply that by 2/3 to reach 100 ounces of water a day.