You Drink Less Than the Recommended Amount
How much water are you drinking? More than likely, not enough. Doctors recommend that men get 13 cups a day and women get 9. Of course, this varies from person to person, but you’re likely not getting anywhere near that. If that’s the case, try grabbing another glass or two throughout your day.
You're Always Thirsty
Being thirsty is obviously a sign of needing water, but it’s also a sign of being dehydrated. According to the Baylor College of Medicine, it could also mean you’re already dehydrated, although if you are only thirsty, you have probably only experienced a small loss of hydration, not serious dehydration. Be sure to drink even when you’re not thirsty to prevent any dehydration.
Your Breath Stinks
You probably don’t notice how bad your breath is, but if you find people cringing when you talk to them, it might be bad. Dehydration can commonly cause it too. As your body is deprived of the water it needs, your mouth dries out. You have less saliva, so your mouth is rinsed less. As the food builds up, so does the smell. Luckily, you can take a drink and set yourself right.
You Have Trouble Thinking and Focusing
Are you having trouble focusing? Struggling to keep a train of thought from getting derailed? It’s probably because you haven’t had enough water. Your brain is 70% water, so as it loses that water, the synapses and neurons in there can’t fire correctly. You’ll see a loss of brain function, poor memory, and slow reaction times. If your head just isn’t in the game today, sit down and drink.
You Stay Physically Active
If you’re more active than most people, you’ll need more water than most people too. For your muscles to function, they need water. If you want to work out effectively, your body needs to cool itself. You can’t do any of that without proper hydration. Try drinking some water a few hours before your workout, about 30 minutes before, lightly during, and then some after. This should keep you functioning well.
It's Hot Outside
If there’s ever a time when water sounds like the most amazing thing on the planet, it’s when it’s hot out. Whether you work outside or are just walking to your car, you’re going to be sweating. This increased level of sweating means you need to increase the amount of water you drink. So next time the weather says it’s going to be “Miserably Hot,” remember to grab a water bottle on your water out the door.
Your Skin is Dry
It may not be as obvious as summer, but your body probably isn’t getting the water it needs in the winter. As the temperature drops, the air can’t hold as much water. You’ll breathe in less water, so make sure to add another cup or two to your daily routine.
You're in High Elevation
Chances are you don’t live in high elevation, but you’ll probably visit the mountains as some point. Be sure to drink more water as you go up in altitude. There air is thin that much above sea level. This means it holds less water, and you take more breaths than you normally would. You can lose up to twice as much water as you do at sea level. Make sure to take a water bottle on your day out.
You Come Down With Something
It’s always helpful to drink more water, but even more than normal when you’re sick. Your body is doing its best to flush the sickness out of your system, so it needs all the water it can get. Even if you don’t feel like it, make sure you have a glass with your chicken noodle soup.
You're Pregnant or Breastfeeding
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding need to drink more water. They’re hydrating for two people, so they need to make sure they’re doing everything they can to stay hydrated. Aim for about 10 cups a day.
You Consume A Lot of Alcohol
Any alcohol — from some casual beers to a Friday night rager — could leave you dehydrated. It prohibits a crucial hormone that lets your body absorb the water, sending fluids to your bladder instead. They’re flushed out instead of being absorbed. Make sure you drink water before, during, and after consuming alcohol.
You Have a Headache
If you’ve got a headache, it’s likely it could be from dehydration. These headaches can come in any form, from small pains to full migraines. This is because your brain doesn’t have enough water in it, causing it to temporarily shrink and pull away from your skull. If that sounds scary, it’s because it is, so make sure you’re hydrated.
You Get Dizzy When You Stand
Have you ever stood up after laying or sitting down only to get dizzy? Sometimes it’s even hard or impossible to see? This could be the result of dehydration. Dehydration causes your blood volume and pressure to drop. When your blood isn’t up to par, even slight changes like standing up can force your body to struggle to adjust.
Are you a snacker? Knowing you’ve eaten enough for the day but still wanting more food? You might just need water. The signals your brain and body are trying to send you are very similar. Your body gets a lot of its hydration from its food, so sometimes when it signals for food, it really needs water. Next time you reach for the chips, take a swig of water instead?
Your Urine is Yellow
Urine turns yellow with waste, but the more water you have in your system, the more diluted your urine. If yours is strong smelling or dark yellow, make sure you immediately go drink some more.
You're Frequently Fatigued
If you’re frequently fatigued, there’s a lot of things that could be wrong. You might not be getting regular consistent sleep. You might be fighting off some sort of sickness. You might just need more water in your daily routine. Not having enough water in your system can prevent nutrients and hormones from flowing through your system. It can prevent enzymes from working. Not having enough water prevents basic human function.
You Get Muscle Cramps
If you find yourself getting muscle cramps, it’s probably from dehydration. This is more common in people who exercise, but muscle cramps can happen to people who stand or sit or long hours as well. They aren’t exclusive to anybody. They often occur in the legs when they aren’t getting the circulation — and therefore nutrients — they need. The circulation needs water to function correctly.
Your Skin is Dull and/or Saggy
If your skin isn’t glowing like you’d like, it may be because you aren't drinking enough water. Your skin is your biggest organ, and it’s 30% water. Dehydration affects it a lot, making it saggy and preventing it from cooling us off like we’d like. Drink water if you want to keep looking young.
You're Not Able to Go As Hard at the Gym
You’re stronger than that, right? If you find yourself performing worse than you think you should, you might need water, not another supplement. Even slight dehydration will affect your workout, and moderate dehydration will drastically hinder it. If you want to look, feel, and perform your best, make sure you're hydrating properly.
You're Uncharacteristically Irritable
We aren’t sure why, but dehydration can make people grouchy. Even slight dehydration has been proven to make people irritable. You’ll barely feel thirsty, but the people around you will definitely notice something’s up. Don’t put them — or yourself - through that.