Drinking water is hands down one of the best things you can do for your health.
It requires little effort, and there are literally zero negative side effects to drinking plenty of water each day. Water helps bodily processes run smoothly and helps flush toxins as well. Hydration is especially important for outdoor athletes like surfers and snowboarders, as both the ocean and the mountains are incredibly dehydrating environments.
That being said, most of us don’t drink all that much water. We might eat water dense vegetables or fruits or sip on a tea instead to stay hydrated, and that is totally fine. However, if you’re not keeping track of how much water you’re taking in each day, you may be experiencing symptoms of chronic dehydration and not even realize it.
Below are 5 symptoms of dehydration. Some of them might seem obvious, while others might surprise you. Regardless, be mindful of any of these signs. If these symptoms seem all too familiar, consider increasing your water intake.
1. You are Tired
Obviously, this one can be caused by other things as well. For example, maybe you haven’t been getting enough sleep, or you haven’t been sleeping well or your iron value is low. However, if everything else adds up, and you think you should have more energy than you actually do, dehydration may be the cause of your exhaustion.
Instead of turning to coffee first thing in the morning, drink a glass of water first. Oftentimes our bodies are dehydrated first thing in the morning, and adding caffeine to the mix only makes the problem worse.
2. Food Cravings
Experiencing strong food cravings? Although this can also be tied to hormones, dehydration is another cause of cravings. When you are dehydrated, your body has a difficult time using glycogen from the body’s energy stores. As a result, you may crave foods that would provide you with more energy, especially sugary foods.
Instead of reaching for that chocolate bar, grab a water dense snack like vegetables or fruits. These foods provide your body with a small energy boost, and they also help hydrate the body.
3. You Feel a Little Moody and out of Focus
Dehydration is linked to mood. It turns out that mild dehydration can cause an increase in moodiness and a decrease in an individual’s ability to concentrate. If you’re feeling a little low after lunch (especially after a salty meal), grab a cup of water. It may help you get through the afternoon doldrums better than that afternoon cup of coffee.
4. You Have a Headache
This is a classic symptom of dehydration. If you find yourself experience frequent, mild to severe headaches, you may not be drinking enough water. The brain sits in a comfortable sack of fluid, but if you become dehydrated this fluid may become depleted. As a result, your brain may press slightly against the skull, causing a headache.
To stop a headache in its tracks, grab a glass of water as soon as you feel one coming on. It may be able to keep the ache at bay. If the headache continues be sure to drink another glass or two before grabbing an aspirin.
5. You are Irregular
Water is a necessary product for the digestive system to move smoothly. If you find you have trouble going to the toilet, try drinking more water. It not only helps the food moving through, but it keeps the intestines flexible.