Life on Earth as we know it would be impossible without water. That is an undisputed fact. Water is the top most essential thing that all of our bodies need to stay healthy and functioning as intended. There’s nothing better when you’re super thirsty, hot, or dehydrated than a tall glass of clean, cool water.
While practically everyone has heard of the standard rule when it comes to water consumption, which is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses a day to stay hydrated, not all of us manage to do exactly that. In fact, the majority of people fail to drink this much water daily and after awhile the negative effects from it all add up. When you’re not taking in enough aqua, your body and health start to suffer internally and externally. Oftentimes we get cranky and really moody, we feel tired and lack energy, even our appearance becomes duller and more worn.
In fact, many people believe that the fountain of youth involves simply staying well-hydrated 24/7. In light of that notion, perhaps Ben Stiller’s now infamous character Derek Zoolander was onto something when he famously said “Moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty.” If you want to feel and look your best, you have to consume lots of water!
When you don’t drink enough water, dehydration sets in. Whether you’re too busy, just don’t think about it, or fail to keep track of your consumption, it’s hard to know for certain whether or not you’re drinking enough of it. Not anymore! Those excuses won’t work after you finish reading this. That’s because your body will always let you know when it needs more water, you just need to know how to read the signs it’s giving you and here are six of those signs:
1. Bad Breath. Perhaps the stinkiest sign that your body needs more water is that your breath will start to smell terrible. Every time you take a drink of water it helps to wash away food particles, bacteria, and other junk that’s hanging out in your mouth. It also stimulates saliva production, which naturally has antibacterial properties to it, and works to prevent bacteria overgrowth. A dry mouth lacking saliva or water to wash things down with will lead to gross, foul smelling breath that nobody wants to deal with!
2. Dark Yellow Colored Urine. This is the clearest visual sign that your body will send you when it’s dehydrated. The darker your pee is, the more water you need to drink asap! Instead, you want to see clear or light yellow in the bowl after you go number one, that’s what is considered normal colored pee. When urine is dark yellow or brownish in appearance that means it’s very concentrated because not only is it lacking water, your kidneys are also working overtime to expel wastes. However, there may be other things causing the change in color, such as vitamins, medications, certain foods, and more serious health issues. If it doesn’t get lighter with time or clear up after drinking plenty of water, you should get checked out by a health professional.
3. Infrequent Bathroom Breaks. If you are not peeing between at least six and eight times per day, everyday, then you are most likely not drinking enough water. If you drink the recommended daily amount then you should be averaging 6 times or more because your kidneys will be constantly flushing it through, rather than having to hold onto as much water as they can, which is what happens when you’re dehydrated.
4. Dry Mouth. When your mouth feels like dry paper, it’s telling you to take a drink of water! This is obvious and yet we tend to ignore a dry mouth until it becomes super uncomfortable or just unbearable. Try to be conscious of this and sip water continuously throughout the day to help keep your mouth wet and moist and the saliva flowing!
5. Cravings For Sweets. Our brains respond to thirst and hunger in the same type of way, so much so that we don’t know the difference between the two. When you’re dehydrated you’ll often be tempted to eat a snack because you’re mistaking your thirst for hunger. We usually reach for sugary junk food when this happens and that can lead to weight gain over time. Instead of eating, drink a glass of water and wait fifteen minutes. If you’re still hungry, go ahead and eat something, but if the hunger pains have passed, you simply needed some water.
6. You Feel Tired. Having low energy and feeling fatigued is a direct sign of being dehydrated. Our bodies borrow, or rather take, water from our blood when it’s needed. This leads to decreased blood volume and an overall lack of oxygen being pumped through our systems, which in turn leads to us feeling lethargic, sleepy, and drained of energy. Rather than turning to a stiff cup of coffee or sugary soda, drink a tall glass of water and see how you feel Your body will thank you for it!
While the points covered above are the most common signs that your body will give you when you’re dehydrated, there are many additional ones which are not listed. They include headaches, muscle cramps, joint pain, prolonged sickness or illness, weight gain, dry skin and wrinkles, wooziness, constipation, and more. Please pass this information along to friends and family and let them know the basics about recognizing dehydration and the importance of staying hydrated. Who knows, a health problem of yours may simply be due to not drinking enough water, so stay hydrated and healthy!
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