It’s no secret that staying hydrated is essential for good health. But what if you’re not sure whether or not you’re drinking enough water?
In today’s blog post, we’ll outline the top seven signs that you’re dehydrated and what to do about it. Because dehydration is more than just being thirsty. If your body is routinely not getting enough fluids or electrolytes, a more serious case of dehydration can take hold. This can have many symptoms, such as fatigue, headache, and constipation. It’s important to be aware of these signs and take corrective action if necessary.
What is dehydration and why is it important to stay hydrated?
Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluids than it takes in. This can happen due to sweating, urinating, vomiting, or diarrhea. When your body is dehydrated, it doesn’t function as well as it should. You may experience symptoms such as fatigue, headache, and constipation. Over time, dehydration can also lead to serious health problems, such as kidney stones.
When you’re dehydrated, your body can’t sweat as effectively either, which means you’re more likely to experience heat exhaustion or heat stroke. You may also become dizzy or lightheaded and have a hard time concentrating.
If you think you may be chronically dehydrated, it’s important to see a doctor or other healthcare provider right away. They can perform a physical examination and order tests, such as a blood test, to check for dehydration. Treatment for dehydration will vary depending on the severity of your condition.
If you’re mildly dehydrated, you may be able to treat it by drinking more fluids, such as water or an electrolyte drink. You may also need to take electrolyte supplements. If you’re severely dehydrated, you may even need to be hospitalized and receive fluids through an intravenous (IV) line.
But how do you look out for dehydration?
Let’s take a look…
7 signs that you’re dehydrated
There are many signs that can indicate you’re dehydrated. These include:
Thirst is a daily occurrence that many of us take for granted. We often don’t think about it until we feel the annoying pang of a dry throat. But have you ever wondered how thirst works?
It turns out that thirst is regulated by the brain in a rather complicated way. Sensors in the hypothalamus monitor the body’s fluid levels and send signals to the brain when they get too low. The brain then triggers the release of a hormone called vasopressin, which signals the body to conserve water. At the same time, the brain also stimulates areas of the body that trigger the feeling of thirst, such as the mouth and throat. As a result, we start to feel thirsty and seek out a drink of water.
So next time you’re feeling parched, remember that it’s all thanks to your amazing brain!
2. Dry mouth
When you become dehydrated, your body starts to conserve water by reducing saliva production. Your mouth feels dry because there is less saliva to moisten it.
The decreased saliva production is due to the reduced blood flow to the salivary glands. When you’re dehydrated, your blood vessels constrict in order to minimize fluid loss. This reduced blood flow means that the salivary glands don’t receive as much blood, and they produce less saliva as a result.
In addition, the composition of saliva changes when you’re dehydrated. It contains more concentrated electrolytes and less water, which also contributes to a dry mouth.
While dehydration is the most common cause of a dry mouth, there are other potential causes as well. For example, certain medications can reduce saliva production, and medical conditions like Sjogren’s syndrome can also cause dryness.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to combat a dry mouth. Drinking plenty of fluids is the best way to stay hydrated and prevent dryness. But if you think something else may be the cause of your dry mouth, chewing gum or sucking on hard candy can also help stimulate saliva production and relieve dryness.
If your mouth continues to feel dry despite these measures, you should see a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
There are several mechanisms that are responsible for the fatigue and sluggishness that people often feel when they are dehydrated.
Firstly, hydration plays a critical role in maintaining fluid balance within the body. When dehydration occurs, extracellular fluid levels drop, leading to changes in blood volume and cardiac output. This can result in reduced blood flow to the brain and other organs, causing feelings of lightheadedness, dizziness, and sleepiness.
Moreover, dehydration affects various bodily functions that help us perform at our best. For example, the production of energy-intensive compounds like adenosine triphosphate (ATP) are compromised without sufficient hydration, meaning that we tire more easily and experience reduced endurance levels.
Finally, not getting enough water also takes a toll on our mood and mental functioning. Constant feelings of fatigue can lead us to become stressed or even depressed over time.
So as you can see, there are many different factors involved in why dehydration causes fatigue. If you want to stay alert and energized all day long, it’s important to make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water!
One common trigger is dehydration, which can cause the blood vessels in the brain to constrict. This can lead to inflammation and pain, as well as a feeling of pressure or tightness.
Headaches are one of the most common complaints among people of all ages, and there are many different factors that can contribute to their development.
Dehydration can also lead to imbalances in electrolytes, which are essential for proper nerve function. When these levels are off, it can result in headaches or migraines.
In addition, dehydration can cause the body to release cytokines, which are molecules that contribute to inflammation.
Staying hydrated is important not only for overall health, but also for preventing headaches.
5. Dizziness or lightheadedness
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of dizziness or lightheadedness, as it can lead to fluctuations in blood pressure and reduced oxygen delivery to the brain. This occurs because dehydration makes it more difficult for the body to regulate circulation and maintain homeostasis.
When we become dehydrated, our heart has to work harder in order to pump enough blood throughout the body. Additionally, our blood vessels constrict in order to maintain stable blood pressure levels. However, these changes in blood flow can cause mild dizziness or lightheadedness by disrupting our normal balance mechanisms and causing a mismatch between what we see and what we know we should be feeling.
Fortunately, there are several preventative measures that you can take to reduce your risk of dizziness or lightheadedness from dehydration, including drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day and avoiding hot weather or strenuous exercise if you are already dehydrated. By taking such precautions and staying well-hydrated, you can help keep this pesky experience at bay!
Constipation can be a frustrating and uncomfortable side effect of dehydration. This is because when our bodies become dehydrated, several mechanisms throughout the digestive system can start to be affected.
For example, the movement of water through the tissues that line the large intestine is slower when we are dehydrated. This decrease in hydration leads to reduced lubrication within the large intestines, which makes it more difficult for waste to pass through.
Additionally, certain hormones that regulate bowel function also become less effective under these conditions.
Ultimately, what all of this means is that constipation often becomes more common as we become dehydrated, making it important to stay properly hydrated at all times.
By drinking plenty of water and using other strategies for maintaining a healthy digestive system, such as eating high-fiber foods and exercising regularly, we can help prevent constipation caused by dehydration.
7. Dark urine
When your body is dehydrated, your urine becomes dark because it is concentrated. The kidneys work to conserve water when you are dehydrated, and they do this by sending less water to the bladder to be excreted. This makes the urine more concentrated, which can cause it to appear darker in color.
This means that your body is struggling to filter out and excrete waste from your body.
However, it’s worth mentioning that there are other causes of dark urine. For instance, the breakdown of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. When red blood cells break down, they release hemoglobin into the bloodstream. Some of this hemoglobin is excreted in urine, and it can give the urine a reddish or brownish color.
Additionally, certain foods and medications can also cause dark urine. Foods like beets and blackberries can tint urine, while some medications can cause it to appear orange or red.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, and a day or two of heavy water drinking doesn’t lead to any improvement, it’s important to see a doctor so that they can evaluate the severity of your dehydration or if you’re being affected by another ailment altogether.
How much water should you drink per day to stay hydrated?
The amount of water that you need to drink per day depends on several factors, including your activity level, the climate that you live in, and your overall health.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that men consume about 13 cups (or about three liters) of fluids per day, and women consume about nine cups (or about two liters) of fluids per day. However, these recommendations include all fluids, including those from food and other beverages.
If you are looking for a recommendation more specific to exercise, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) recommends that men consume about 17 additional ounces (or about 0.51 liters) of water per hour of exercise, and women consume about 11 ounces (or about 0.33 liters) of water per hour of exercise. These recommendations are for people exercising in moderate to hot conditions. If you are exercising in cooler conditions, you may need less water.
The best way to determine how much water you need is to listen to your body and drink when you are thirsty – or preferably before you get thirsty. You can also check the color of your urine. If it is clear or light yellow, you are likely properly hydrated. If it is dark yellow or amber, you may be dehydrated and should drink more fluids.
Tips for staying hydrated throughout the day
There are several things that you can do to make sure that you are staying hydrated throughout the day.
First, carry a water bottle with you so that you have easy access to fluids.
Second, drink water with every meal and snack. This will help to ensure that you are getting enough fluid intake throughout the day.
Third, eat foods that contain a lot of water, such as fruits and vegetables. These foods can help to increase your fluid intake while also providing other nutrients that are essential for good health.
Finally, avoid diuretics, such as caffeine and alcohol. These substances can cause you to lose more fluids than you take in, leading to dehydration. If you are going to be drinking these, be sure to balance it out with an additional glass of water!
Stave off hydration (and poor energy levels)
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of dehydration, it’s important to take corrective action. The best way to prevent dehydration is to consistently drink water throughout the day, and to drink even more if you’re active or in a hot environment.
There are also many great apps and devices that can help you track your water intake. By being proactive about your hydration, you can avoid the negative effects of dehydration and keep your body healthy!
Another way to make sure you’re keeping your body hydrated is to ensure you have adequate levels of electrolytes. These are minerals that help regulate hydration in your body, among other things.
Our sister company, Purality Health, includes FOUR important electrolytes in their Active B-Complex formula.
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All SEVENTEEN of these nutrients are in a highly absorbable form!
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