10 Warning Signs that Your Body is Lacking Water
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:
It helps maintain the balance of body fluids.
It regulates and maintains body temperature.
It lubricates your joints and eyes.
It protects your tissues, spinal cord and joints.
It helps your body remove waste products and toxins.
It aids digestion.
It helps control calorie intake.
It helps keep your skin looking good and youthful.
Your body would stop functioning properly without water, so it is very important to keep your body hydrated. Drink fluids and eat foods rich in water to stay hydrated.
Sometimes, your body may lose water more than usually. 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 actually 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.
- Headaches and Lightheadedness
Some of the possible signs that your body lacks water are headaches and lightheadedness. A drop in your body’s hydration level leads to a reduced amount of fluid surrounding your brain, which protects it from mild bumps and movement.
This triggers migraines as well as nagging headaches. Furthermore, dehydration reduces the flow of oxygen and blood to the brain.
A 2010 report published in the Handbook of Clinical Neurology shows that dehydration is one of the possible triggers of migraines and tension-type headaches.
Instead of reaching for a pill when suffering from a headache, drink a glass of water. If the headache is due to dehydration, it will pass soon.
- 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
Another sign that your body lacks water is bad breath. Your body produces less saliva due to lack of water, which contains antibacterial properties. Causing bad breath leads to an excess growth of bacteria in the mouth.
You can have a dry mouth along with bad breath. Water works like a lubricant, which keeps the mucus membranes moist in the throat and in that way it’s preventing dry mouth.
- Constipation and Other Digestive Issues
Water helps lubricate the digestive system and keeps the digestive tract flexible and clean. This helps you keep your bowel movements regular and prevent constipation.
The stool can be hard because of excessive fluid loss due to diarrhea or vomiting and lead to constipation. Lack of water in the body can even cause heartburn 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.
You can crave a salty treat due to loss of water and electrolytes in the body. Simply drink a sports drink that contains sodium, or prepare your own lemon water by mixing the juice of 1 lemon in a glass of water along with 1 teaspoon of salt.
Some people experience cravings for something sweet. This happens when your body experiences difficulty with glycogen production. Opt for fruits like watermelon, papaya or berries that are sweet, but also high in water in this case.
- 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 also keep an eye on the color of your urine. It is an important indicator of your hydration level. A well-hydrated body indicates clear or light-colored urine, while dark yellow or amber-colored urine indicates concentrated urine and that usually indicated 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.
Your body has to work much too hard to ensure proper blood circulation when you are dehydrated. Expending extra energy obviously makes you tired faster than usual.
One of the easiest ways to stay alert and energized is staying hydrated, so keep your water bottle near you.
- Joint and Muscle Pain
A vital component of healthy joints and cartilage is water. In fact, it contains about 80% of water. Your bones start grinding against each other causing pain in the joints when your body lacks water.
Your joints can handle sudden movements, such as running, jumping or falling awkwardly, without any pain when your body is well hydrated.
Depletion of fluids through perspiration can cause muscles to contract often 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.
- Scaly, Dry Skin and Lips
Dry skin that lacks elasticity is another sign that your body lacks water. 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 causes less sweating, which means the body is not able to wash away excess dirt and oil accumulated on the skin throughout 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 another obvious sign of dehydration.
By drinking an adequate amount of water make sure you are hydrating your skin from the inside out along with moisturizing your skin with a good moisturizer.
- 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 .
Furthermore, dehydration causes changes in electrolytes present in your body leading to low blood pressure. Heart palpitations become faster due to extra stress in your body. This can be frightening and cause anxiety and panic.
Try sipping water slowly to see if you feel better when you feel your heart beating faster. 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.
Start your day with a large glass of water on room temperature and drink one full glass of water before every meal.
If you are busy, you may set a reminder to drink a glass of water a few times a day.
Carry your own water bottle no matter where you are going.
Start including water-rich fruits and vegetables in your nutrition along with plenty of 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.
Consult your doctor immediately if you are having symptoms such as extreme thirst, dizziness, not urinating for more than eight hours, and a rapid or weak pulse.