It’s a well-known fact that our bodies need water to not only keep up alive but to keep all of our systems functioning properly. Thirst is how our brains signal that we are becoming dehydrated and need water. Unfortunately, when we are feeling thirsty, it means that our bodies have already entered the beginning phases of dehydration.
Preventing dehydration can be as easy as setting a drinking schedule. There are multiple signs that indicate when your body is dying of thirst. If you notice that you experience any of these signs, it might be time to make adjustments to your daily liquid intake.
1. Thirsty Even After Drinking
If you’re drinking but still feels thirsty, try having more water until your body can regulate all the appropriate systems and turn off your thirst cravings.
2. Being Tired
If you find that your energy levels are tanking, you might blame a lack of sleep and make changes in that area. But a lack of internal fluid might also be the culprit.
3. Dry Skin
This sign is one of the more obvious signs of dehydration. Our skin is an external system that needs moisture both inside and out to look and feel good. Your body will dry out and become flakier or wrinkly as your water levels drop. This is especially common in colder months.
4. High Temperature
Without the proper water levels, your body loses its ability to regulate your temperature. This means that along with the other symptoms of dehydration, you’ll also feel warmer.
5. Joint Pain
The cartilage, a supportive membrane found throughout our bodies and acts a cushion, is made primarily of water. During stages of dehydration, it becomes less effective at reducing the stress of friction as bones move against each other and this cause joint pain.
6. Feeling Lightheaded or Dizzy
If you stand up and feel immediately dizzy, you could be thirsty. The rush comes from your body being unable to regulate blood pressure and volume.
7. Cognitive Interruption
If you find it harder than usual to concentrate, it might be that your brain doesn’t have enough liquid to process information.
8. High Cholesterol
During dehydration, your body will cling to whatever water it still has. This causes your cholesterol levels to spike.
9. Dry Eyes
If your eyes are bloodshot and your ability to cry has lessened, you could be thirsty. Without water, our tear ducts malfunction and stop producing tears.
10. No Appetite
Dehydration can cause you to feel nauseous and severely decrease your appetite.
11. Poor Mood
There are many causes for a poor mood, but dehydration can cause feelings of irritability, too.
12. Reduced Skin Elasticity
The appearance of our skin isn’t the only thing affected by dehydration. The condition causes the skin to become droopy and not spring back when pulled.
13. Muscle Cramps
After hours of physical activity, it’s expected for our muscles to become tired and possibly a little sore. But unexpected and sudden muscle cramps can be a sign that your body is thirsty. Unusual stiffness when you wake up or at odd points throughout the day can be indicative of dehydration.
14. Fever and Chills
Severe dehydration may cause you to experience fever and chills. The higher the fever, the more dehydrated you’ll become.
15. Lack of Urination
You might think not losing fluid to peeing is a good thing, but it’s actually the opposite. On average, you should have over 5 daily trips to the bathroom. Anything less is a sign of dehydration.
16. Weight Stagnancy
If you can’t lose weight, it might be a result of dehydration slowing your metabolism.
17. High Blood Pressure
As we lose water and enter dehydration, our blood becomes thicker and harder to move. The heart also has trouble pumping it continuously.
Supple, glowing skin and controlled appetites aren’t the only things affected by dehydration. Without proper internal lubrication, you can feel backed up in your digestive system. When this happens, bowel movements are restricted, extremely difficult or worse, non-existent.
19. Less Effective Workout
Without proper hydration, it’s harder to reach your fitness goals. Dehydration puts additional strain on your heart which then struggles to maintain your blood pressure.
20. Rapid Heart Rate
As the body tries to adjust to the lack of fluids, you might feel heart palpitations.
21. Strange Cravings
A desire for food shortly after you’ve eaten means there’s been a change in your hunger hormone levels, and you need water.
22. Impaired Driving
Dehydration negatively impacts our ability to make quick decisions and think clearly. These effects are similar to those cognition abnormalities caused by drinking alcohol.
23. Aging Faster
One of the signs of getting older is not being able to retain as much water. Dehydration speeds up this process, causing damage to both internal and external organs, like skin.
24. Lack of Sweat
When our bodies become hot but stop producing sweat, this is a clear sign that it is thirsty. It’s also a crucial time to get water as it signals that our body has lost the ability to cool itself.
25. Dry Mouth
That sticky, uncomfortable and generally gross feeling in your mouth is a sign of dehydration. Water is the best lubricant to keep the surfaces of our mouths moist and stimulate the production of saliva.
26. Weight Gain
Because the body will not use stored fat during dehydration, we gain weight. Dehydration also triggers feelings of hunger.
27. Dark Urine
The color of your pee is a good indicator of your hydration levels. Darker yellows and even bright, mustard-like yellows are a sign of dehydration.
28. Shrinking Muscles
As you lose water, your muscles will shrink. This is due to our muscles being mostly made of water and needing it to stay robust and healthy.
One way our bodies save water is the tightening of airways, which can cause breathing problems.
30. Damaged Digestive Tract
Our bodies use water and other fluids to help move toxins out of our bodies. The resulting burning sensations are commonly grouped together as indigestion and heartburn.
31. Weakened Immune System
If you have a cold or picked up a cough that you just can’t shake, you might be dehydrated. This is because our internal systems need moisture in order to flush out toxins as they accumulate.
32. Foul Breath
Our mouths are packed with odor-causing bacteria. Without enough moisture to wash them away continuously, they can build up and smell awful.
33. Low Blood Pressure
Without fluid, our blood volume drops which can also make us feel extremely tired.
Before reaching for the aspirin, consider that your headache is being caused by your dehydration. Eating a piece of fruit can also provide quick pain relief as it provides rehydration.
35. Fatigue or Sleepy Feeling
If all you can think about is sleep, it may be time to up your water intake. When you’re dehydrated, your blood pressure drops, reducing the amount of oxygen in the blood. Lack of oxygen slows the nerve and muscle functions, causing fatigue.
If you notice the signs early enough, you can keep your body from experiencing the discomfort associated with dehydration. The subtleties of thirst can sometimes be overlooked. But to avoid life-threatening situations caused by thirst, you should be careful and monitor your fluid intake. Because each body is different, you should learn how much your body needs specifically. Water is one of the most basic natural resources, and we need it to live.