Picture a tall glass of icy-cold, refreshing water. Imagine a detailed image of it in your mind’s eye. Does the thought make you thirsty? If so, it’s likely you’re not drinking enough water. That’s because thirst is an early indicator of dehydration.
Too often we unintentionally ignore thirst. With our fast-paced and busy lifestyle we often don’t realize we’re thirsty until severe dehydration hits.
To make matters worse, a lot of people try to quench their thirst with soda or other sugary drinks which only causes the body to lose more water.
The result is chronic dehydration.
Over time, this can lead to a wide range of symptoms that can make life downright miserable.
Here are five surprising signs that you may be chronically dehydrated and need to reach for a few more glasses of H20 every day.
Your skin is the body’s largest organ and is made up of 64% water! As a result, it needs generous amounts of water to stay healthy and hydrated.
When your skin doesn’t get enough water, it will become dry, itchy, and breakouts will be more common.
In fact, dry skin is one of the earliest signs of severe dehydration. If this is something you experience, try increasing your intake of filtered water.
An early symptom of dehydration is fatigue and lethargy.
Dehydration causes the enzymatic activity in the body to slow down which results in that miserable sluggish feeling we all have struggled with.
Most people assume they feel tired from working hard, a poor night’s sleep, or they just naturally have low energy levels. While this can be the case, more often than not, it’s caused by dehydration.
Try starting your day with a glass of lemon water to feel refreshed.
Without enough water, the digestive system slows down dramatically. The result is constipation and gut discomfort.
Your colon, along with other regions of the digestive system, draws in water to help move waste along. When you’re dehydrated, it’s much like trying to go down a steep waterslide with no water… ouch!
Water also allows your gut to absorb water-soluble vitamins. So when you’re dehydrated, it’s possible to be deficient in vitamins B and C.
Thirst can be easily mistaken for hunger. Sometimes when you’re slightly dehydrated, your body will make you feel hungry instead of thirsty.
It’s a fiendish trick that can result in constant overeating which, of course, leads to weight gain.
“People just think that when they start to get a little weak or they have a headache, they need to eat something, but most often they need to drink [water],” said Grace Webb, Assistant Director for the Clinical Nutrition at New York Hospital.
Drinking more water can help you feel full more often, which in turn can result in better eating habits.
To distinguish the difference between real hunger and thirst, drink a glass of water before you raid the pantry for a snack. If the hunger pangs subside after a few minutes, you’ll know it was just thirst playing a trick on you.
Our joints are made up of cartilage, fluid to reduce friction, and soft membranes. They prevent our bones from grinding against each other every time we move.
Without water, these joint structures can’t do their job well. So to help keep your joints moving without discomfort, make sure you get enough water.
With busy lifestyles, it’s easy to forget about the simple things that make a big impact on our everyday life. It’s possible you can significantly improve your life just by drinking a few more glasses of H20 every day.