The fact that the human body contains a surprising amount of water is common knowledge. So is the understanding that we need to consume water on a continual basis in order to survive and stay hydrated. What we often don’t understand is how we can actually tell whether we’re getting enough.
Despite the fact that we’re all told we’re supposed to drink at least eight glasses a day, the average person only drinks two. Even those that drink water often may need more, depending on various circumstances.
Therefore, monitor yourself for the following signs and symptoms. You could be chronically dehydrated without even realizing it.
1. You have dark-colored urine.
Although eight glasses a day is a great rule of thumb to follow when it comes to drinking water, it’s important to realize that you may need more if it’s hot, if you’ve been active or if you’ve been ill. It’s not a bad idea to pay more attention to your urine.
Dark-colored urine is one of the earliest signs that you haven’t been drinking enough water lately. A healthy, well-hydrated person secretes urine that’s light yellow in color. Any color darker than that means it’s time to up your water intake pronto.
Reduced urine output is another sign that you might be dehydrated. Healthy people that are adequately hydrated urinate around 6-7 times a day. If you urinate less than this, you could probably stand to drink more water.
2. Your skin is dry.
So many of us spend a small fortune on beauty creams and anti-aging serums to keep our skin looking supple and wrinkle-free. However, we fail to realize that we have one of the best, most effective youth elixirs right there in our trusty water bottle.
When you’re not getting enough water, it can show in the way your skin looks. Chronically dehydrated people tend to struggle with dry skin, pronounced wrinkles or ongoing irritation. If you feel like you’re skin’s been looking older or dryer than usual, try consciously drinking more water before simply running to the beauty counter. Switching to filtered water is a great way to make sure your water is of the best possible quality for your skin.
3. You always seem to be hungry.
Being thirsty a lot of the time is, of course, a sign that you might need to be drinking more water. However, so is gnawing hunger that never seems to go away. The human body sometimes has trouble distinguishing hunger from thirst. As a result, your hypothalamus may prompt you to reach for a snack when what it really needs is a glass of water.
The next time you feel the munchies coming on even though you “just ate”, try having a glass of water first. Wait 10-15 minutes. If the urge to head to the kitchen passes, you can rest assured you were actually thirsty, not hungry.
4. You suffer from chronic headaches.
Water is absolutely essential when it comes to numerous bodily functions. If you’re not drinking enough water, you leave your body no choice but to repurpose the water it has to the best of its ability. Among other things, the body will try to preserve water by reabsorbing it from various body tissues, up to and including your brain tissue.
As your brain tissue loses moisture, it shrinks. Pain receptors are triggered in the process, leading to headaches. Dehydration also leads to reduced blood volume, which in turn lowers the amount of oxygen your brain receives. This can cause blood vessels to dilate, resulting in even more headaches.
5. You feel like you’re tired all the time.
Your brain and body tissues aren’t the only things that need to be properly hydrated in order to function properly. Without enough water, your metabolism slows to a crawl. Also, your muscles will lack the nourishment and moisture they need to function properly. Persistent fatigue is often the result.
Try cultivating better hydration habits for a while and see if that helps put more pep in your step. Keep your water bottle close at hand throughout the day. Many people find it easier to make sure they drink enough when water is constantly within sipping distance.
You may also want to consider purchasing a water filter or two for your home. Water filters can drastically improve the taste and smell of your water by removing numerous impurities. (Reverse osmosis filters are especially good at this.)
Explore the possibilities today! You’ll be feeling better in no time.