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Dehydration - 13 Important Signs You Need To Drink More Water

Not drinking enough water is serious. Fortunately, there are certain signs you can watch out for to catch yourself before it does you any more harm.

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Dehydration - 13 Important Signs You Need To Drink More Water
hans
By Hans Boodhun
August 26, 2019

Sometimes, nothing really beats a cold and refreshing glass of water. Unfortunately, a lot of us right now aren’t getting enough daily intake of the liquid.

You might be too busy that you forget. You might not feel that you need to drink yet. Or you might just not like water in general.

Remember, though, the human body is made up of up to 60% water. And you need to have enough of it to maintain healthy body function.

The most common thing that can happen when you don’t drink enough water is dehydration.

But, in addition to that, there are plenty more things that can happen when you don’t drink enough water.

Asian Businessman holding glass of water with pills

Some of the more annoying ones include headaches, cranky moods, and feeling groggy.

You also risk gaining more water weight. This is because when your body doesn’t get enough water, it holds on to every drop it can.

On a more serious note, dehydration can also start many health problems.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, dehydration can help the formation of kidney stones and urinary tract infections. It also increases your risk of stroke.

Not only that, but dehydration also forces your heart to work harder to get the blood flowing all throughout your body.

Not drinking enough water is serious. Fortunately, there are certain signs you can watch out for to catch yourself before it does you any more harm.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, better get yourself that good old cup of water.

Signs and Symptoms That You Need To Drink More Water

1. Dark Pee

urine color

Normal and healthy urine color is around the pale yellow to clear range. Sometimes, pigments from the food you eat can also cause your urine color to change.

But, when your urine color becomes dark yellow to amber, you may be dehydrated.

In addition to that, dehydration can also cause decreased urination. This is because the kidneys try to store up as much water as they can to function well.

2. Constipation

diarrhea vector illustration

Aside from your peeing habits, dehydration can also have an effect on our entire digestive system. Water keeps your stool soft and helps it move smoothly through your digestive tract.

Without enough of it, your feces will become harder and more difficult to push out.

This leads to your stool coming out dry and in small clumps. And it also leads to irregular and infrequent bowel movements.

3. Thirst and Hunger

people drinking water icons set

Thirst is the most basic sign that you need to drink more water. It’s your body’s way of sending you an alarm that it is in urgent need of hydration.

This is why when you’re hungover or just finished exercising, you can’t get enough of water.

Besides that, your body can also easily mistake thirst for hunger. And you may have cravings for foods filled with sugar and carbohydrates.

In one medical review, researchers found adults who were dehydrated to have higher body weight. They also found that water has significant impacts on weight management.

4. Headaches

It’s definitely annoying when a headache suddenly springs up in the middle of a busy day. But, instead of immediately taking a painkiller, you might want a glass of water first.

thoughtful pensive serious male feeling head pain

A study found that even mild dehydration can trigger headaches. This is because your blood isn’t thinned enough, and less oxygen is getting to your brain.

5. Fatigue

When your body isn’t getting enough water, it adjusts. And by adjust, it means getting water from your blood.

And without enough water in your blood, your heart has a harder time distributing oxygen and nutrients to the rest of your body.

fatigue vector icons

This results in fatigue, tiredness, and lethargy even when you’re well-rested. Unfortunately, your favorite cup of coffee wouldn’t make you last longer as well as a few cups of water.

6. Dry Skin

Dry skin couldn’t just be solved by lotions and such. It also needs to be nourished and hydrated from the inside. When you’re dehydrated, your skin becomes your earliest indicator.

dry skin of a woman rubbing cream on it

You may notice roughness, cracking, and redness. You can also feel it tightening and becoming less plump. Not getting enough water also means less sweat.

And with less sweat, your body can’t get rid of the excess dirt and oil in your skin, which can lead to breakouts.

7. Bad Breath

If you’re on top of your oral hygiene and still get bad breath, it may be because you need to drink more water.

Close-Up Of Woman Drinking Water While Standing Against Wall

Water helps in the production of saliva. Saliva helps wash away bacteria to keep your teeth and gums safe.

Without enough of it, your mouth becomes dry, and bacteria build up in it, which leads to bad breath.

If your bad breath still persists, although you’re drinking enough water and have good oral hygiene, visit your doctor to check for any underlying cause.

8. Frequent and Long Illnesses

Water helps you flush out toxins, bacteria, and waste from your body. This enables you to fight disease and strengthens your immune system.

But, if you don’t give your organs the water fuel they need to flush out all these harmful things, you may get sick more often.

sleepy man with cup of tea or coffee

Your sickness can also last longer if you don’t drink enough water. And it can also cause you to feel less energetic, sleepy, and lethargic while you’re at it.

9. Joint Pain

Water is essential for your bones and cartilages to continually rebuild themselves. Water also keeps them from grinding against each other. This is where some people get their knee pain.

man exercising for knee injury recovery

By ensuring that you’re hydrated, you make sure that your joints can take the wear and tear of everyday activities. And you make sure that they’re protected from the shock of sudden movements.

10. Loss of Focus

When you start losing focus in the afternoon, it may be because it’s time for you to drink water.

young man driving car and drinking water from bottle

Your brain is made up of 70% water. And without the essential fluid, you can start to lose focus and concentration. It can also affect alertness and memory.

In one study, participants made more mistakes on memory and visual tests while dehydrated. Then, in another study, researchers found that even mild dehydration can cause driving blunders.

It equals that of doing so in a sleep-deprived state or driving at the legal alcohol limit.

11. Muscle Cramps

Water helps you cool your body after strenuous activities like working out or hiking.

But, if you are not drinking enough water, your body may not be able to cool itself down. Sometimes, this can lead to muscle cramps.

man fill ankle or calf pain during exercise in a day time for sport

It often happens in hot weather. Making sure you are well hydrated in these times can help avoid muscle cramps. It can also help prevent inflammation and soreness from your activities.

12. Quick Heartbeats

When you don’t drink enough water, your blood thickens. Because of this, your heart has to work harder to pump it throughout your whole body.

red color heartbeat low water icon

This can lead to a faster heartbeat and even shortness of breath. In turn, it can cause another entire load of problems like the ones mentioned above.

13. Mood Changes

Last but not least, not getting enough water can also cause mood changes.

A study on both men and women found that dehydration made adults feel gloomier. This includes feeling anxious, tense, and depressed.

sad ill woman taking pills and holding glass of water in bedroom

Participants also found it harder to do their tasks. So, when you catch yourself feeling a little cranky and confused, give yourself a break. And get yourself a fresh glass of water.

Simple Tips To Remember Drinking Water

Before any of the symptoms above occur, it would be wise to get ahead of the game.

Water H20 Drinkable Clean Resource Calendar Day Date Circled 3d Illustration

However, some people do find it arduous to remember to drink water. If you’re one of these people, here are some simple tips that can help you:

  • Drink on a schedule

    If you’re having trouble reminding yourself, then set a plan. Mark it on your phone or set an alarm. For instance, drink water after you wake up, before and after every meal, and before you go to bed. You could also try setting the alarm to remind you to drink water every hour.

  • Keep a bottle of water with you at all timesHaving a bottle of water in sight can help remind you to drink water. To be more eco-friendly, get yourself a good reusable tumbler.
  • Add taste to your waterSome people don’t like the taste of plain water. If that’s your case, try adding a slice of lemon, lime, cucumber, or some other fruits to give it some flavor.
  • Drink when you’re hungryWhen you start to hear your stomach growling, drink a glass of water before you reach for those snacks. This could help you know if you were just thirsty or if you’re starving.
  • Eat your waterWater doesn’t always have to be consumed as just water. You can also get hydrated by eating food like fruits and Jell-O. You can also settle for other liquids like soup, sports drinks, and smoothies.

References and Citations

  1. Hydration: Why It's So Important. (2017, March 27). Retrieved January 18, 2020, from Family Doctor:
    https://familydoctor.org/hydration-why-its-so-important/
  2. Urine Color. (2017, October 27). Retrieved January 18, 2020, from Mayo Clinic:
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/urine-color/symptoms-causes/syc-20367333
  3. Can Dehydration Affect Your Kidneys? (2019). Retrieved January 17, 2020, from National Kidney Foundation:
    https://www.kidney.org/newsletter/can-dehydration-affect-your-kidneys
  4. Dehydration. (2019, September 19). Retrieved January 18, 2020, from Mayo Clinic:
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/symptoms-causes/syc-20354086
  5. Muscle Cramp. (2019, January 3). Retrieved January 18, 2020, from Mayo Clinic:
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/muscle-cramp/symptoms-causes/syc-20350820
  6. Cause of Knee Pain: The Seldom Diagnosed Reason. (n.d.). Retrieved January 18, 2020, from Water Cures.Org:
    https://www.watercures.org/causes-of-knee-pain.html
  7. Davis, j. L. (n.d.). *Top 10 Ways To Stay Hydrated*. Retrieved January 18, 2020, from Web MD:
    https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/top-10-ways-to-stay-hydrated
  8. Dehydration. (n.d.). Retrieved January 18, 2020, from Medicine Plus:
    https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000982.htm
  9. Duczeminski, M. (n.d.). *14 Signs You're Not Drinking Enough Water*. Retrieved January 18, 2020, from Lifehack:
    https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/14-signs-youre-not-drinking-enough-water.html
  10. George, N. (2019, May 29). *6 Unusual Signs of Dehydration You Should Know About*. Retrieved January 18, 2020, from Everyday Health:
    https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/unusual-signs-of-dehydration/
  11. Home Remedies to Cure a Hangover. (n.d.). Retrieved January 17, 2020, from Medical News Today:
    https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324178.php
  12. Iftikhar, N. (n.d.). How Can You Tell If You're Dehydrated? Retrieved January 18, 2020, from Health Line:
    https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-tell-if-youre-dehydrated
  13. Mendez, B. (2019, June 19). What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Drinking Water. Retrieved January 18, 2020, from Eat This, Not That!:
    https://www.eatthis.com/drink-water/