All of us know that our bodies are composed primarily out of water. As much as 70% of our total body mass is just water. When this fact is stated, it becomes clear that it is necessary to drink enough water in order for our bodies to function at the optimal state. However, how much water exactly we should drink is not clear. It is no surprise because different people have different needs. However, instead of trying to match some arbitrary limits like “Drinking X glasses of water per day” or “X Gallons…” it is better to listen to your body and drink when you have to.
That being said, here are 19 warning signs that you are not drinking enough water.
1. You are Feeling Thirsty
The most common and the most obvious warning that you should drink more water. If you are feeling thirsty, it means that you are dehydrated, period. The intensity of the thirst correlates with the level of dehydration, so it is one of the best indicators that you are not drinking enough water.
2. Your Mouth and Throat are Dry
Another reliable and common indicator. If you find difficulties to speak clearly and if it is followed by bad breath and uncomfortable sticky feeling in your mouth, the problem and solution are clear. You need more water, so drink it.
3. You Have Dry Skin
Flaky skin, annoying pimples and red spots all might be due to dehydration. It is no surprise, as the skin is our largest organ, so drinking enough water is necessary to keep your skin from having problems, which usually causes us to lose self-esteem and confidence. Instead of trying to make it up, try to drink more water and see whether it helps.
4. Your Urine is Not Clear Color
The next time you are going to urinate, pay attention to the color of your urine. If it is clear or slightly yellow, you are fine. It means that you are drinking enough water. On the other hand, if your urine is dark yellow, it means you are not hydrating properly. A good rule to remember is “Sprite – good. Mountain Dew – Bad.”
5. Aching Joints
The cushioning that is preventing your bones from grinding into each other is made out of 80% water. Not supplying your body with enough water is a sure way to deteriorate your spinal discs and cartilage. If you are dehydrated for extended periods of time, you will start experiencing joint pain. Keep this issue unresolved for a few years and you might have some serious joint problems to face.
6. Exhaustion and Fatigue
If you find yourself exhausted before noon on a common basis, it might be due to dehydration. The reason is that our bodies start to draw water from our blood, which leads to less oxygenated blood, which in turn leads to fatigue. Oxygen is one of the most vital components of our functioning, and even if we don’t feel the lack of it, our bodies might run into problems regarding it due to dehydration.
7. Digestive Problems
Food moves through the digestive tract thanks to mucus lining, which thins out if we are not drinking enough water. As a result, we might experience indigestion, acid reflux and stomachache. These problems combined can easily damage our day to day well being, and in the long term even cause serious health problems.
8. Dry Eyes
While these days we might experience dry, red and irritated eyes mostly due to our extended screen time during the day, dehydration might also lead to such problems. Not drinking enough water also leads to the drying out of our tear ducts. These problems are especially dangerous to people who wear contact lenses. Keep your sight healthy by drinking enough water!
9. Weak Immune System
If you find yourself catching colds every other weak, it might be because you are not drinking enough water. Many organs in our bodies use water to flush out toxins and dangerous waste from our systems. Unfortunately, not drinking enough water puts these processes on a halt, which results in the accumulation of potentially dangerous substances and chemicals in our bodies, which in turn weakens our immune system.
10. Not Sweating Despite Physical Activity
Exercising should make everyone sweat. If you find yourself sweatless after lifting some weights or running some laps, it might indicate that your body simply doesn’t have enough water to spare for sweating. It can lead to a heat stroke and fatigue quickly, as the sweating mechanism cools our bodies off to prevent those problems.
Next time you are experiencing a persisting headache, reach out for a glass of water instead of an Advil pill. When we are dehydrated, our brain tissues tend to contract a little bit, which might cause a headache. Only if the headache does not stop after downing a couple of glasses of water try to use pain medication.
12. Insatiable Hunger
After prolonged periods of dehydration, our bodies might mistake the lack of water for the lack of food, thus increasing your appetite. In such a case eating will not satiate your hunger and you will eat way more than you should. The only way to satiate a persisting hunger like this is to drink enough water. Not doing so can slowly but surely lead to obesity, cardiovascular disease, and other health problems.
13. Chronic Constipation
Water hydrates the colon or the large intestine and secures that this intestine is working as it should. On the other hand, if you are dehydrated, your large intestine will dry out and will start drawing water from your food waste, which will leave you with hard to pass, sometimes even painful stools. So if you are noticing that your visits to the restroom are getting more difficult day by day, you should definitely try drinking more water each day.
14. Quick Aging
As it was mentioned before, water can make up to 70% of our total body mass. However, as we get older, the percentage of water in our bodies slowly decreases. Seniors usually have only about 50% of water as their body weight. We can see it clearly, as the skin of older people lose elasticity and start wrinkling. Because of that, not hydrating yourself enough can cause accelerated aging. If you want to look as best and as young as you can, be sure to drink enough water! It might be one of the best anti-aging “products” out there.
15. Brain Fog
Water is essential to our cognitive functioning, thus not having enough water can cause brain fog and mental sluggishness. Research done in recent years regarding this issue is clear. Drinking enough water and being properly hydrated increases mental capabilities. Be it solving mathematical problems or verbal quizzes. So after all, the pill from “Limitless” might have been hiding in plastic bottles all this time, but we were ignoring it!
16. Sugar Cravings
This warning sign might be encountered the most after a strenuous workout session. Using our muscles and breaking them down during exercise depletes our blood glucose levels, thus our bodies start craving for glucose or sugar after a workout. In spite of that, it is important to keep in mind that being dehydrated will also cause sugar cravings, thus try to have a glass of water before indulging yourself in glazed donuts or frosted cakes.
17. Interrupted Sleep
Going to bed dehydrated can lead to cramps and snoring. These two things are the Unholy Grail of poor sleep quality. Waking up in the middle of the night will interrupt your sleep cycles, which in turn will lead to grogginess and fatigue upon waking up. The worst part is that you might not even remember that you woke up during the night, just to be left wondering in the morning why you feel terrible. Keep in mind that it is important to not overdo on the water before falling asleep, as it can make you want to visit a bathroom during the night.
18. Loss of Muscle Mass
If you are working out like mad, eating according to your diet plan but still not noticing any increase in your muscle mass, it might be because you are dehydrated. Water is essential to muscles, as it is the main component of it. Being dehydrated shrinks your muscles, not only decreasing its size but also limiting its strength. If you want to reach your optimal muscle mass and strength, stay hydrated throughout the day, especially during your workout sessions.
19. A Rise in Cholesterol Levels
Our bodies have a natural mechanism against dehydration, which is an increase in the thickness of the cellular walls in order to retain as much water as possible. This happens because dehydration causes a rise in cholesterol levels and the thickening of the cellular walls helps to minimize the lack of water in our system.
Now you know that not drinking enough water can cause a lot of problems, which over long periods of time only become worse. If right now you are experiencing any of these 19 warning signs mentioned, be sure to grab a glass of water!