Did you skip out on that morning glass of water and go straight to the coffee? Ever catch yourself reaching for the wine bottle rather than the water filter jug when you get home from work? Many of us (75% of Americans, to be exact) are guilty of falling short in the H2O department, whether we’re aware of it or not.
Strangely enough, dehydration can be tricky to spot if you're not looking out for it! Simply feeling thirsty is just the beginning, and if you let your lack of sufficient fluids stack up over several weeks or months, you could be looking at even more serious issues than a dry mouth...
Chronic dehydration poses a wide array of medical complications, from fatigue, joint pain, weight gain, migraines, mental confusion, ulcers, high blood pressure, and even kidney disease... *frantically grabs water bottle*
Don’t panic, though! With some conscious effort and listening to your body, you'll be hitting that recommended ten cups a day without a hitch.
Check out these 6 weird signals that show you’re definitely dehydrated, plus some tips for helping your hydration habits:
6. You’re exhausted.
Getting up in the morning has become an increasingly harder task everyday, and the afternoon slump has become more of a before-noon slump. Daydreams of crawling into bed crop up throughout the day and impede your ability to focus. Where did all this tiredness come from?
Our bodies are 60% water, and depleting them of the necessary fluids impacts their ability to function properly. You might be tempted to make a second or third run to the espresso maker for a pick-me-up, but the caffeine could actually be contributing to the problem.
5. You’re… hungry?
Not so fast with the snacks! If you feel hungry but it’s been less than three hours since your last meal, it’s possible you’re actually thirsty. Sometimes your body confuses thirst for hunger, making you eat more than necessary while neglecting your need for water.
This one’s a double-edged sword, as it can lead to weight gain and unhealthy eating habits as well in the long run.
Next time you feel abnormally hungry, resist reaching for the pantry and try hydrating instead. Craving some flavor? Spice things up with low-sugar flavored sparkling water or herbal tea.
4. Your pee is darker
Apologies if you're eating as you read this, because the next couple of bullets on this list are not for the squeamish!
Taking a peek at your urine before flushing is a fast and easy way to keep tabs on your hydration levels. The clearer and lighter the color, the more hydrated you are. On the flip side, if it’s more opaque and darker yellow (or even orange), that’s a telltale sign of serious dehydration. Better grab some water stat!
3. Or you don't pee much at all...
In addition, try to keep track of how frequently you urinate. If you notice you’ve been making less bathroom runs than usual, take that as a cue that you need to get more water in your system. After all, what goes in must come out!
2. You have bad breath
One of the more embarrassing and inconvenient signs of dehydration, this one can really make or break your day. Mints and gum are a temporary and unsustainable solution, not to mention their eventual hit on your wallet and sugar levels.
The science behind this one is a doozy, but the summary is this: Dehydration leads to less fluids everywhere, including your mouth. A decrease in saliva production can spike the growth of bacteria, emitting an unpleasant odor. Gross.
1. Your skin is dry & less elastic
Not getting enough water quite literally dries you up, and your skin is no less culpable. While some of this comes naturally with age, proper hydration can do wonders for the health and elasticity of your skin (goodbye, wrinkles!).
More effective than topical creams, drinking water moisturizes everything from the inside out, so you'll reap the benefits everywhere!
Besides, if your skin is showing signs of dehydration, you can only imagine how your internal organs are being affected...
Steer clear of these six nasty and unexpected symptoms and get on track to hydration bliss!
Greens Steel's eco-friendly drinkware can help you build healthy water-drinking habits for life.
Cheers to that!
Maggie Johnson | Greens Steel Lifestyle Contributor