There are few things more refreshing than an ice cold glass of water. Despite this, many of us still fail to drink enough water on a daily basis. By regularly coming up short, we can cause our organs serious damage, but our bodies want us to drink enough water, so they give us plenty of warning signs. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, a simple glass of H20 could improve your situation.
1. Your skin is dry
Dry skin is one of the earliest signs of dehydration. Your skin is an organ, so if it feels dry, your other organs could be in trouble, too. Test your skin by pinching a small area on your hand or cheek. If you see it stay or linger in the pinched shape rather than bouncing back quickly, you need some water.
2. You feel like you need a drink
Okay, this one is obvious, but if your mouth feels dry or sticky, reach for water. Sugary drinks won’t cut it quite as well, plus they’ll load you down with unnecessary calories, carbs, and possible dehydrating ingredients. Water lubricates the mucus membranes in your mouth which will help keep your mouth, nose, throat moist and comfortable.
3. You have bad breath
Halitosis. It’s one nasty side effect of dehydration. It goes like this: Saliva has natural antibacterial properties that stave off foul smells. If you don’t drink enough water, you can’t produce enough saliva, leaving you with wickedly bad breath.
4. You’re constipated
Water flushes out backed up bowels. It helps regulate healthy bowel movements, which reduces the risk of constipation. If your body isn’t getting the water it needs, it will withdraw it from your stool, leaving you with some unpleasant and quite painful side effects.
5. Your urine is dark
It’s a myth that urine needs to be clear, but a well-hydrated body should produce light yellow, semi-transparent urine. Water helps flush toxins from your kidneys. A dark yellow bowl means your urine is carrying too much waste and needs to be flushed more frequently.
6. You’re dizzy
Dehydration can lead to low blood pressure and poor circulation. This means your brain isn’t getting the rich oxygen it needs resulting in your feeling lightheaded.
7. You have a headache
Not all headaches are caused by dehydration, but many are, particularly in hot weather or after you’ve participated in a dehydrating day (we’re looking at you hangovers!). When your brain doesn’t get enough water, it can actually shrink a bit — albeit temporarily — and pull away from your skull, which can be as painful as it sounds.
8. You have muscle spasms
Your body will always be more invested in protecting your vital organs than your non-essentials. This includes your muscles. When your main organs like your brain, kidneys, heart, liver, or lungs aren’t getting the fluids they need, your body will start to pull it from your muscles leaving you more prone to cramps or spasms.
9. You feel lethargic
As we just mentioned, when your body isn’t hydrated, it will “borrow” water from your other nonessential organs, and this could include your blood. A lack of oxygen in your blood could cause you to feel sleepy, meaning that 3 p.m. crash is coming for you.
10. You feel hungry
Feeling hungry can mean just that, of course, but it could also just be your body telling you it needs water. Before you eat that midnight snack, try drinking a glass of water and see if that doesn’t satiate you.
Get this glow-in-the-dark cup for late night sips.
Also see, 10 benefits of drinking water.