When it comes to survival, water is life. You can go up to two weeks without eating, but try going without anything to drink and you won't make it past day three. Considering that 70% of your body mass is made up of water, and that many of the body's functions depend on the presence of water, it's kind of amazing to me that so many people treat water so casually. In fact, a lot of people downright hate drinking it because they'd rather have the various sugary, flavored drinks out there.
Your body has its own ways of letting you know if something is wrong, but you also have to understand what it's trying to say so that you can actually remedy the issue. Here are 8 symptoms of dehydration you need to look out for.
1. Infrequent Urination
A normal, healthy individual goes to urinate about six to seven times a day. This number can vary, however, because no two people live the same lives or have the exact same physiology. Still, if you're only peeing two or three times a day, something's wrong. The kidneys need water to filter out impurities, and decreased water intake can impair kidney function.
2. Dry Skin
This one is almost self-explanatory. If you want smooth, supple skin, you're certainly not gonna get it by drying yourself out. For a somewhat oversimplified analogy, just consider that dehydration is also what causes grapes to turn into raisins. If you're using all sorts of skin creams and moisturizer, but still have dry skin, try drinking a glass of water every hour - it's way cheaper than anything Estée Lauder ever sold you!
Dehydration headaches make movement particularly uncomfortable. Simply bending down to grab something or moving quickly can cause the pain to become much more severe.
If this sounds like a common condition for you, try to be more conscientious about your daily water consumption. My wife would regularly complain of headaches at the end of every day... until I started examining her daily water intake. You'll be amazed what a difference this one little change can make.
4. Dry Mouth
Lack of water will, naturally, cause you to also have less water available for the production of saliva. This, in turn, dries out your mouth. If left untreated, it can even cause severe damage to the mouth and throat. This condition can also be the result of certain medications, but it's probably best to just stay hydrated in either case.
5. Urine Color
Lack of water will have noticeable effects on the color of your urine. If you're well hydrated, your urine should be lightly colored. When you haven't had enough water, the coloration becomes much more pronounced, going from the usual light yellow to a deep, intense yellow. If the dehydration is severe enough, it can even turn brownish.
That being said, take care not to overcorrect the issue either by trying to drink several glasses all at once. For the sake of your overall health (and kidney function), it's best to spread out your water intake over the course of the day.
Do you get hungry even after you just ate? You might think you're having a craving, but our body is sadly not very good at distinguishing between the signals for hunger and thirst. This often causes people to think they're hungry even though they're actually thirsty. Next time you get a hunger craving like that, drink a big glass of water and wait a few minutes. More often than not, the hunger will disappear.
Dizziness can be attributed to a number of things, including losing a large amount of water. Athletes in the sun often get bouts of dizziness, which is why the best of them also take hydration pretty seriously.
8. Symptoms of Chronic Dehydration
If you're chronically dehydrated, i.e. constantly not drinking enough water, it's gonna lead to some pretty undesirable consequences down the line. Symptoms of chronic dehydration include:
- Urinary tract infections
- Increased cholesterol
- Premature aging
As someone who loves drinking water, I have to honestly say that it really does work. When I get headaches, I usually skip the Advil and just take two glasses of water instead, and it always works. I also rarely get sick, and my wife thinks that has to do with my body being able to flush out toxins better due to good hydration. My advice? Buy a water bottle, and be vigilant about refilling it over the course of the day.
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H/T: Healthy Food House