Two-thirds of your body weight is composed of water, and more than a few days a person cannot survive without water. Every cell, organ and tissue in the body depends on water. It plays very important roles like:
Balances body fluids
Regulates body temperatures
Lubricates eyes and joints
Protects tissue, spinal cords and joints
Helps control calorie intake
Keeps skin good and healthy
The body stops functioning when it’s missing water, it’s extremely important to keep your body hydrated. Make sure to drink fluids and consume foods that contain water to stay hydrated
There are times when the body loses more water than usual. This is due to extreme physical activities, excessive sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, diabetes and constant urination.
This can cause electrolyte imbalances in the body, which then lead to dehydration making it almost impossible for the body to function properly.
Many people don’t know the signs that the body sends when they are lacking water. Understand the signs that the body is warning you of dehydration and help you know when you need to boost your water intake.
Here are the top 10 warning signs that indicate your body lacks water.
- Headaches and Lightheadedness
One sign that your body missing water is headaches or feeling lightheaded. When your body’s hydration level is low it reduces the amount of fluid that is surrounding the brain, which protects it from bumps and movements.
This usually leads to migraines as dehydration lowers the amount of oxygen that blood to the brain.
In 2010 a report that was published in the Handbook of Clinical Neurology explained how dehydration is one main reason for migraines and tension headaches.
Next time you go for pain medicine when you have a headache try drinking a glass of water because it’s very likely that the headache is from dehydration.
- Brain Fog’ or Poor Concentration
The human brain definitely shows signs when it’s dehydrated because it is made up of approximately 90% of water. Lack of water in the brain can affect your decision making, memory and mood.
A 2013 study published in Clinical Autonomic Research has proved that dehydration can cause symptoms of brain fog, forgetfulness and difficulty focusing, thinking and communicating.
In a 2011 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition there were also reported adverse changes in mood states of fatigue and anxiety.
That degraded mood, increased perception of task difficulty, lower concentration and headache symptoms resulted from a 1.36% of dehydration in females concluded another 2011 study published in the Journal of Nutrition.
- Bad Breath and Dry Mouth
When your body is not receiving enough water your breath begins to smell. This occurs because the body isn’t producing enough saliva, which has antibacterial properties. Bad breath usually leads to a great amount of bacteria growth in the mouth.
You may also have a dry mouth along with bad breathe. Water is a lubricant to the body; it keeps the mucus membranes moist in the throat to prevent the mouth from drying out.
- Constipation and Other Digestive Issues
Water also lubricates the digestive system and keeps the digestive tract flexible and clean this allows the bowel movements to be regular and prevent constipation.
The stools and become hard from excessive fluid loss from diarrhea or vomiting which will cause constipation. Not having enough water in the body also is the cause of heart burn and indigestion.
A 2003 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition notes that fluid loss and fluid restriction increase constipation. To prevent constipation it is very important to maintain hydration.
- Sudden Food Cravings
The following time you have sudden hunger or food cravings, drink a glass of water before grabbing a snack. Your body sends false signals to your brain that you are hungry when dehydrated, but actually you are thirsty.
When you don’t consume enough water the body craves foods that are salty. To give you what you want and hydrate you can always drink a sport drink that contains sodium, or for a healthy choice you can make your own by mixing juice from one lemon with a glass of water and one teaspoon of salt.
There are other people who crave sweet food when they are lacking water and this occurs when the body is having a hard time producing glycogen. When this occurs to you the best foods you can eat are watermelon, papaya or berries to get the sweet taste your craving and also receive the water your body needs.
- Reduced Urination and Change in Color
Believe it or not your body is probably lacking water if you are not using the restroom every few hours. Regular urination results in a healthy amount of water intake, about four to seven times a day. Not urinating at regular intervals can be problematic as your body releases toxins through urination.
You should pay attention to the amount of times you use the restroom and what color is your urine when you do go. This one thing clue is the easiest to notice and is an important way to see your hydration level. A person that is well hydrated will have clear or light color urine, a person who has dark yellow to an amber color urine shows that the body is full of toxins.
- Fatigue and Lethargy
Your dehydrated body may show signs that you are feeling fatigued and lethargic. Lack of water causes low blood pressure and inadequate oxygen supply throughout the body, including the brain. Lack of oxygen causes sleepiness, fatigue and a lethargic feeling.
When the body s dehydrated it has to work twice as hard to ensure that the entire body has blood circulation.
The best way to stay alert and get a boost of energy is by keeping the body hydrated.
- Joint and Muscle Pain
To keep the joints and cartilage healthy the body needs water as it’s an important component to keep them working properly. When the body isn’t receiving enough water the bones will rub against each other, which cause pain.
The joints in our body go through a lot from sudden movements, like running, jumping or falling but all of these can go without pain when the body id hydrated.
Not having enough fluids in the body can lead to cramps. A 2008 study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology explains that body water status is an important consideration in modulating the hormonal and metabolic responses to resistance exercise.
- Scaly, Dry Skin and Lips
Dry skin usually lacks elasticity which is another sign of the body lacking water. The skin need a health amount of water so it will stay in good condition as it is the largest organ on the body.
Low water intake doesn’t allow the body to sweat as much, which won’t allow the body to remove any dirt or oil that gets on the skin through the day. Furthermore, dehydration increases the risk of acne, eczema and psoriasis as water helps flush toxins from the body.
Dry and chapped lips are a sign that you can identify easily.
Drinking a good amount of water will insure that the skin is hydrated from the inside out and by applying moisturizers to your skin can also help with this.
- Accelerated Heartbeat
Dehydration has a direct impact on heart rate and performance. Dehydration causes a decrease in plasma volume making the blood more viscous. This affects blood circulation and increases your heart rate. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research says that dehydration negatively impacts performance.
Researchers found that the heart rate changes an average of three beats per minute for every 1% change in body weight resulting from dehydration.
Dehydration can change electrolytes in the body which will lead to low pressure. Heart palpitations work faster from stress in the body which can lead to anxiety and stress.
By slowly drinking a cup of water you should feel a lot better when you feel like your heart is racing. Consult your doctor immediately if the problem persists.
Tips to Prevent Dehydration:
Try to drink plenty of water and other fluids every day. The amount of water you need to drink usually depends on a number of factors, such as the climate in which you live, how physically active you are, and your overall health.
First thing in the morning drink one large glass of water at room temperature and before eating every meal do the same.
If you’re the type of person that’s running everywhere because you’re always busy you can always set yourself an alarm a couple times a day and keep a water bottle with you so you won’t have a reason why you’re not drinking enough water.
Add water rich fruits and vegetables to your daily diet to give you another option besides drinking water.
Avoid drinks that can cause dehydration, such as alcohol, energy drinks and others that contain caffeine.
Increase your fluid intake to prevent severe dehydration when suffering from a fever, vomiting or diarrhea.
See a doctor immediately if you have symptoms of extreme thirst, dizziness or haven’t urinate in more than eight hours and if you have a weak or fast pulse.