The human body is made of 2/3 of water, so it cannot survive more than 72 hours without this amazing liquid.
Namely, every single part of our body, every tissue, cell, and body organ significantly depends on water. These are the benefits of drinking water:
– It helps digestion.
– It controls calorie intake.
– It keeps the balance of body fluids in check.
– It regulates and maintains body temperature.
– It lubricates your joints and eyes.
– It protects your tissues, spinal cord and joints.
– It helps your body eliminate waste products and toxins.
– It keeps your skin hydrated and youthful.
Without water, your body would stop functioning properly. Hence, it is important to keep your body hydrated. To stay hydrated, drink fluids and eat foods rich in water content.
At times, your body may lose water more than usual. This can occur due to vigorous physical activity, excessive sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, diabetes and frequent urination.
This causes an electrolyte imbalance in your body, leading to dehydration and making it difficult for your body to function at its best.
Many people are unaware when their body lacks adequate water. Understanding the signs of dehydration will help you know when you need to boost your water intake.
Here are the top 10 warning signs that indicate your body lacks water.
1. Headaches and dizziness
Some of the possible signs that your body lacks water are headaches and dizziness. A drop in your body’s hydration level might lead to a reduced amount of fluid surrounding your brain, which protects it from mild bumps and movement.
Furthermore, dehydration decreases the flow of oxygen and blood to the brain.
One recent report published in the Handbook of Clinical Neurology highlights the possible triggers of migraines and tension-type headaches, and dehydration is one of them.
Instead of reaching for a pill when suffering from a headache, drink a glass of water. If the headache is because of dehydration, it will go away soon.
2. ‘Brain Fog’ or poor concentration
The human brain definitely shows signs when dehydrated because it is made up of approximately 90 percent water. Lack of water in the brain can influence your decision making, memory and mood.
Dehydration can be the reason for symptoms of brain fog, such as forgetfulness and difficulty focusing, thinking and communicating.
According to a 2013 study published in Clinical Autonomic Research dehydration is one of the most frequently reported brain-fog triggers, along with fatigue, lack of sleep, prolonged standing and feeling faint.
In a 2011 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition it was found that mildly dehydrated people performed worse on cognitive tasks and also reported difficulty making decisions. There were also adverse changes in mood states of fatigue and anxiety.
There is another 2011 study that was published in the Journal of Nutrition. According to this study, it is concluded that degraded mood, increased perception of task difficulty, lower concentration and headache symptoms resulted from a 1.36 percent dehydration in females.
3. Bad Breath and dry mouth
In a state of dehydration, your body produces less saliva, which has antibacterial properties. This leads to bad breath because there’s bacteria proliferation in the oral cavity.
Another symptom is a dry mouth because water is a lubricant that keeps the mucus membranes in the throat hydrated, thus preventing dry mouth.
4. Constipation and other digestive issues
Water hydrates all cells and tissues in the body, which also applies to the digestive system. In fact, water keeps the gastro-intestinal tract supple and clean. Also, it stimulates regular your bowel movements and prevents constipation.
Constipation is a common symptom of dehydration leading to hardened stool due to excessive loss of fluid. Diarrhea and vomiting often lead to dehydration. This condition can even cause acid reflux and indigestion.
A 2003 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that proper hydration is the key to prevent constipation and maintain proper body function.
5. Sudden food cravings
In numerous cases, we can mistake our thirst with hunger. Namely, we crave for food when our body needs water. Hence, if you suddenly feel the need to eat something, you should first drink a glass of water before you get something to eat.
Furthermore, in the case of water loss and loss of electrolytes, the body has a great need for a salty food. In these cases, you should consume a sports drink which has sodium, or you can drink the mixture of some fresh lemon juice, a teaspoon of salt and a glass of water.
Moreover, you can also experience food cravings when the production of glycogen is difficult, so you need to eat some sweet, but also rich in water, fruits, like papaya, berries and watermelon.
6. Decreased need for urination and changed urine color
Your body may be dehydrated if you do not feel the need to urinate every few hours. In the case of properly hydrated body, the need to urinate appears around 4-7 times a day. If you do not urinate this frequently, your body will have increased levels of toxins.
Moreover, the color of the urine changes in the case of dehydration. Namely, if your body is well hydrated, your urine willbe clear and light. Yet, if it lacks water, your urine will dark yellow or amber-colored.
7. Fatigue and Lethargy
If you are feeling fatigued and lethargic, it can be due to your dehydrated body. 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.
Furthermore, when you are dehydrated, your body has to work much too hard to ensure proper blood circulation, transporting nutrients and even breathing. Expending extra energy obviously makes you tired faster than usual.
Staying hydrated is one of the easiest ways to stay alert and energized, so keep your water bottle handy.
8. Joint and Muscle Pain
Water is a vital component of healthy joints and cartilage. In fact, they contain about 80 percent water. When your body lacks water, your bones start grinding against each other, causing pain in the joints.
When your body is well hydrated, your joints can handle sudden movements, such as running, jumping or falling awkwardly, without any pain.
Furthermore, depletion of fluids through perspiration can cause muscles to contract, leading to cramps. A 2008 study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology notes that body water status is an important consideration in modulating the hormonal and metabolic responses to resistance exercise.
9. Scaly, dry skin and lips
Another indication that your body lacks water is dry skin that lacks elasticity. The skin requires a good amount of water to remain in good condition because it is the body’s largest organ.
A low water level is the reason for less sweating, which means the body is not able to wash away excess dirt and oil accumulated on the skin throughout the day. Furthermore, because water aids in flushing toxins from the body, dehydration increases the risk of acne, eczema and psoriasis.
Another indication of dehydration is dry and chapped lips.
Hence, along with moisturizing your skin with a good moisturizer, by drinking an adequate amount of water you have to make sure you are hydrating your skin from the inside out.
10. Accelerated heartbeat
The proper body hydration affects your heart rate and performance. Namely, the lack of water in the body leads to more viscous blood and decreases the volume of the plasma, which leads to a circulation of the blood and accelerated heart rate.
A study published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research in 2014 confirmed this, as the researchers discovered that due to dehydration, there is an average change of the heartbeat of three beats per minute for every 1% change in body weight.
Despite hypotension, the lack of water in the body can lead to alterations in the electrolytes levels in your body. This accelerates heart palpitations as a result of the extra stress on your body. Moreover, this situation can be the reason for fear, panic and anxiety.
If you experience these symptoms, you need to sip some water slowly, in order to check if your condition improves. If not, you need to consult your doctor.