Water is vital to maintaining a healthy body. I know we’ve heard it time and time again, drink more water! But do you know why exactly that is? Did you know there is a list of negative side effects that you may not like if you don’t drink enough water? The average male’s body is made up of 60% water, whereas a woman’s body is made up of 55% water. That fact alone shows how important water intake is for us. Not only that but our bodies are constantly losing water just by existing. We lose water from sweating and we lose it in our urine, this is why it is so important to constantly be refuelling our bodies with water.

In recent studies, you can find out you can go about three weeks without food whereas you can only go about three to four days without water before utter dehydration and I would hate to say it, but possibly death. Although the daily recommendations vary from study to study, on average it is recommended we drink at least 10 glasses of water a day. Not only will this help us survive but water is what lubricates our bodies and help to energize our muscles so we have the energy to conquer our everyday tasks.  We have researched and compiled 15 signs that you’re not getting enough water. Be reminded, we are not professional doctors so make sure if feeling uneasy about any of these symptoms to always consult your professional right away. So let’s grab a glass of water, take a sip and let’s dig in.

1. Dry Mouth, Eyes and Skin

These may be the most obvious symptoms of needing more water but are just as important to know. Sometimes that one cup of coffee turns into two or three or maybe four depending on the day, but if you’re not drinking enough water alongside your coffee that can actually dehydrate you. As soon as you feel like your mouth is becoming dry it may just be an immediate symptom you need to put more water into your body.

Following, dry eyes can be another symptom of not enough water. You could have been just staring at your computer for too long but when in doubt drink more water. lastly, the least obvious of the three water can affect your skin. Your skin is your largest organ so we really need to take care of it and most obviously it needs water to stay hydrated. Drinking more water can help prevent wrinkles as well as save you from a few breakouts.

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2. Headaches

Not only are our bodies vastly made up of water but so is our brain, 80% to be exact. When you become dehydrated that results in water loss around the brain tissue. This can then cause brain shrinkage and then pain that surrounds the brain-also known as your headache.

Being dehydrated also decreases the blood flow as well as oxygen to our brains. Medical News Today says that dehydration headaches can occur at the front, side, back, or all over the head. So consider drinking a glass or two of water before immediately going for a bottle of painkillers. If hydrating doesn’t relieve the pain consider consulting your doctor.

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3. Dark Urine Color

The color of your urine is an easy indicator to show whether or not you are drinking enough water. A good rule of thumb is to keep in mind the lighter the color of your urine, the more hydrated you are and vise versa.

Water is what helps your kidneys flush out toxins and waste. In contrast, the darker the colour such as dark yellow, like orange juice, the more dehydrated you may be, sorry if we just ruined orange juice for you! The next time you visit the restroom make sure to make note of the color of your urine, you may need to pick up a glass of water after you return.

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4. Low Energy

Having low energy levels can prevent people from being productive. That’s partly because when our bodies are low in energy we often feel lethargic and fatigue. Perhaps your children kept you up all night or you binged watched the latest Netflix show which is resulting in your tiredness. Or, perhaps your low energy is caused by dehydration.

When your body becomes dehydrated it starts to store its energy by decreasing blood circulation. When that happens that also results in less oxygen being delivered to our muscles and therefore when the blood isn’t flowing properly it causes us to feel lethargic and lacking energy.

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5. Disorientation

There’s nothing like the feeling of disorientation to mess up your entire day. Feeling disoriented includes confusion, lack of concentration and dizziness. These are all examples of what a lack of water can do to your mind and body. As we know now, our bodies lose water from sweating and urinating as well as other bodily functions.

The loss of fluids can result in a poor imbalance of electrolytes. We need electrolytes to keep our bodies and minds functioning properly which is why the feeling of being disoriented could be a good indicator you need to drink more water. Healthline says to consider an electrolyte water if you’re being active, working in hot weather, or feeling ill.

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6. Frequent Muscle Cramps

Sweating, especially a vigorous workout session can cause a significant loss of body fluids. You only have so much in your body before it’s best to refuel with a bottle of water. If our bodies are lacking water, our bodies are smart enough to delegate where the water should go. Our circulatory system is more important than our muscles, so that will get first priority.

When our muscles don’t have enough water surrounding them they can become very sensitive. This can then cause spontaneous muscle contractions and spasms. Furthermore, sweating isn’t the only way to deprive the muscles of water, lack of water consumption as a whole can cause muscles spasms too. So whether you workout or not make sure to drink your water so you don’t get a Charlie Horse in the middle of the night.

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7. Constantly Hungry

Have you ever considered when the hunger arises that it could possibly be dehydration talking? As we discovered earlier lack of water can cause disorientation and may confuse the brain. This could cause your brain to send you signals that you’re hungry when in reality you’re actually just craving a tall glass of water.

Everyday Health says that dehydration makes it hard for the organs to release glycogen and other energy source components, making you think you’re hungry. The next time your tummy starts to rumble consider it as a signal that your body wants more water. If the thoughts of food don’t go away after a little while then consider making yourself a snack.

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8. Joint Pain

Joint pain can be an utter annoyance that causes discomfort and can even sometimes restrict your mobility. Cartilage is what lines and cushions our joints. Did you know it’s estimated that cartilage is made up of as much as 70 to 80 percent water? Considering that it is clear that it is important to stay hydrated.

Water acts as a lubricant for our body, especially when it comes to our joints. If we do not keep the cartilage lubricated it will deflate and will result in a decreased cushion for our joints. This then can lead to inflammation as well as pain and stiffness in our joints.

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9. Decrease In Muscle Mass

I’m sure we have all heard if you want to increase your muscle you need to introduce higher quantities of protein into your diet. That is important but possibly even more important is we need to regulate our water intake more closely if we want to see a muscle increase.

Our muscles are made up of 70% water which is a leading factor into why water consumption is so important to maintain muscle mass. When training, water is directed from the blood into our muscle which helps gives you the pump sensation. When our bodies are dehydrated water is taken out of the muscle and back into the bloodstream to help preserve our circulation and keep our blood pressure at a proper level. Dehydration, over a long period of time can deprive the muscle and may result in decreased muscle mass.

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10. Bad Breath

There may be an underlying factor that is causing your bad breath that a stick of gum or mint cannot fix. A lack of drinking water can cause chronic bad breath.

Dry mouth, also known as Xerostomia is a result of lack of saliva production in the mouth. This can be caused by tobacco use, some medical conditions but also can be caused by dehydration. Saliva plays an important role in regulating the population of microorganisms that live in our mouths. Whereas dehydration causes our saliva to lack and then allows bacteria and yeast to develop in and around our teeth, gums and tongue.  This can then turn our mouth into a very bad smelling one. Listen to your mouth, and consider drinking more water the next time it starts to smell bad.

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11. Digestive Issues

As we just discovered a lack of hydration in the mouth can affect the mouth but can also affect your digestive system too. Dehydration can cause the amount and strength of mucus in our stomachs to decrease. If we have less mucus in the stomach it can then lead the stomach acid to cause some serious damage to the insides of our bodies. This can then lead to what we call heartburn and indigestion.

Following, dehydration can also lead to constipation! This is caused by lack of lubrication in our intestines. We can all imagine what happens if there is nothing to keep the intestines from moving along. If this doesn’t make you take another drink of water then I don’t know what will!

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12. Impaired Concentration And Memory

Like disorientation, lack of water can impair our concentration and our memory. The same applies here, lack of water can decrease the blood flow to your brain. This steals the proper oxygen and nutrients your brain needs to function properly. In fact, research shows that even less than two percent of body mass loss caused by dehydration can lead to cognitive problems and alter your mood.

Drinking water throughout the day can help prevent your brain from going into a major fog. Keep drinking your water so you can stay on track with your daily tasks, as well as not forget to pick up the kids after school.

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13. Irritability And Mood Swings

Have you ever found yourself snapping at someone over nothing? Perhaps it was caused by the culprit, lack of water! Like being hungry, the need for water can make us easily irritated. Considering all the negative side effects lack of water can have on your entire body, there’s no wonder why it could cause a mood swing too. Studies show that even mild dehydration can impact our mood and emotions.

Following, chronic dehydration could also cause a hormone imbalance which could result in worse than mood swings, depression or anxiety. Make sure to drink more water to keep your moods intact, both when you’re eating meals and throughout the day.

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14. Food Cravings

Before eating out of boredom or binge eating, ask yourself how long it’s been since you’ve had a glass of water. Just like many organs in your body, your liver also needs water to work properly. The liver uses water to break down fat cells and uses stored energy to fuel our bodies all the while maintaining balanced blood-glucose levels.

A lack of water consumption can cause your liver not to function properly. When this happens that can cause us to crave foods that we probably shouldn’t be eating such as salty and sweet foods. Consider your next food craving as a cry for more water.

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15. Difficulty In Losing Weight

Anyone trying to lose weight needs to prioritize drinking water throughout the day and whenever you exercise. Dehydration impacts everything from your energy levels to your digestion to craving unhealthy foods. All these factors can prevent you from achieving your weight loss goal.

Your body cannot break down stored fat without proper hydration. Even if you exercise, this could be what is stopping you from seeing progress. Consider how much water you are consuming on a daily basis when you feel like your weight loss progress is in a rut. The sooner you start drinking more water, the sooner you’ll get to reaching you weight goal.

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Clarissa Vanner

Clarissa loves experimenting with food of all cultures to make unique healthy dishes. When she’s not browsing Pinterest for new recipe inspiration she likes to pick up a DIY project and use her creative hands to make art or crafts. In her down time you can find her watching the latest documentaries on Netflix or going for nature walks.

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