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.
As all body functions depend on water, proper hydration is the key to overall health. And in order to stay hydrated, it’s important to drink lots of fluids and eat foods high in water.
However, there are conditions when your body loses more water than usual. Some of these include hard physical activity, excessive sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, diabetes and frequent urination.
Dehydration can have a negative impact on your body function as it leads to an electrolyte imbalance.
Unfortunately, dehydration can often go unnoticed as most people are unaware of this condition. Knowing how to identify the symptoms of dehydration can help you take timely action and protect your health.
Here are the top 10 warning signs that indicate your body lacks water:
1. Bad Breath
Saliva protects your teeth from decay, disease and cavities by forming a protective barrier around them and helping clear food particles on and between your teeth.
When you become dehydrated, you do not produce as much saliva. The reduced cleaning action of the saliva allows bacteria to grow, causing bad breath.
Dry mouth also makes you more likely to develop rapid tooth decay and gum (periodontal) disease
2. 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.
3. Abrupt 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.
4. Painful Joints and Muscles
Did you know that the cartilage in your joints is made up of 65% to 80% water? Well yes, and when the joints aren’t properly hydrated – it can cause the bones (in which they connect) to grind. This process will cause joint pain and inflammation. You should also know that low magnesium, caused by dehydration, can also cause muscle cramps and pain in the leg muscles. This is why you should eat more dark leafy greens and avocado. These foods will help you replenish both your water and your minerals levels.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Dry skin and lips
Water provides skin elasticity, so if your body is dehydrated, your skin will be dry. Also, you will sweat less if your body lacks water, which will inhibit the elimination of oil built up excess dirt on your skin.
Furthermore, water discards toxins from the body, so if you lack it, it will lead to the appearance of psoriasis, acne and eczema. Another common signs of dehydration are dry and chapped lips.
8. Accelerated heartbeat
Last, but not least, proper hydration influences your heart rate and performance. Dehydration makes the blood more viscous and reduces plasma volume, which affects blood circulation and increases your heart rate. This was confirmed by a 2014 study published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research.
The researchers found that the heart rate changes an average of three beats per minute for every 1 percent change in body weight resulting from dehydration.
In addition, dehydration not only leads to hypotension, but also causes changes in electrolytes levels in your body. This makes heart palpitations become faster due to extra stress on your body. This can often be frightening and cause anxiety and panic.
9. Fatigue and Lethargy
Fluid loss causes your blood volume to drop and your blood pressure to rise. Your heart has to expand more energy to feed your brain, skin, and muscles with oxygen and nutrients . This can leave your feeling tired and sleepy.
In one study, women who weren’t sufficiently hydrated after exercise scored lower on questionnaires assessing mood.
They also found it harder to work and experienced more fatigue and confusion than when they were properly hydrated. Men had similar results.
10. Brain Fog
Water, or lack thereof, can produce changes in mood and cognitive functioning.
Mild dehydration can diminish short-term memory, perceptual discrimination, arithmetic ability, visuomotor tracking, and psychomotor skill in people of all ages .
It can also cause mood swings between exhaustion, confusion, anger and high energy.