Did you know that water makes up around 60 to 80 percent of your entire body mass? So, it makes sense that when you don’t gulp down enough H20, your body suffers. Basically, your body needs to be properly hydrated to function at its best. And if it doesn’t get what it needs, it starts sending all kinds of warning signs. So how will you know if you need to up your water intake? Read on for 10 common warning signs that you’re chronically dehydrated.
Your head is constantly pounding
As well as quenching your thirst, water provides your body with essential mineral salts like sodium and potassium. When your hydration levels take a drop, so does your mineral count. This triggers a chemical reaction, which dilates your blood vessels and restricts oxygen flow to the brain. Your body then reacts with a headache, and the more water you lose the worse it gets. So instead of reaching for the Panadol, why not try drinking a glass of water instead?
You’re chronically constipated
Everyone gets a little clogged up from time to time, but a tell-tale sign of dehydration is constantly feeling constipated. Water plays an essential role in helping food waste move through your bowels, so if you don’t have enough H20 things can get quickly get clogged up. If you hate All Bran, maybe a glass of water could keep you regular?
Feeling dizzy and lightheaded
No, you didn’t just get up too fast. Without enough H2O in your system, your blood pressure and volume drops. This can make you feel dizzy or lightheaded when you stand up, sometimes to the point where you feel faint. If this sounds like you, it could be time to start carrying around a water bottle.
You’re always peckish
If you always seem to be hungry, try swapping snacks for a simple glass of water. When you’re dehydrated your body increases its hunger cues in an attempt to signal that supplies are running low. All too often, these cues are mistaken for hunger pains. When actually, all you need is a glass of water.
Your urine is dark yellow
One of the most obvious signs of dehydration is dark yellow urine. This is your body’s way of telling you that your body is over concentrated with waste, and that you need more water to effectively flush out toxins. When you’re properly hydrated, it should turn a light yellow or even white.
You’re always tired
Are you constantly tired, even when you feel like you had a great night’s sleep? When you’re dehydrated, water can’t efficiently move from your cells to your bloodstream. This lowers your blood pressure and reduces oxygen content, which slows the muscle and nerve functions and triggers that dreaded feeling of fatigue.
More than just menopause, hot flushes can be a side-effect of dehydration. Your body needs water to regulate its temperature, and uses sweat as an evaporative cooling technique. Without enough H20 your body can’t do this, which means you can quickly overheat.
Hydration and electrolytes are an essential part of muscle contraction, and without healthy levels you could end up with painful cramps and spasms. Hydration can drastically improve your muscle health, so drink up!
A dry mouth
Your body is surprisingly good at relaying information, and a dry mouth is one of its biggest cues. If your mouth feels parched or your tongue feels swollen and dry, it’s probably time to down a glass of water. If you’ve had a few glasses of wine or a big night of drinking, waking up with a dry mouth is a tell-tale sign of dehydration.
You can use all the wrinkle creams you like, but without water your skin simply won’t bounce back. Try the age old ‘pinch test’ to check your levels. If your skin snaps back to normal you’re hydrated. If it turns white and stays that way for a few seconds you’re probably dehydrated.
It’s so simple, yet upping your water intake can have an enormous impact on your health, your appearance and your mood. So learn to love tap water, invest in a stylish water bottle or start experimenting with new ways to enjoy H2O.