Being dehydrated can have all kinds of symptoms that extend well beyond being thirsty. It’s why many health professionals recommend sipping water consistently throughout the day to help ensure your body always has an adequate supply of water.
Dehydration happens when you’re using more water than you’re taking in. That might not sound like a big deal until you consider how vitally important water is to every one of your cells and organs. Without it, your body simply cannot function.
Think about it: humans can survive for weeks without food. Water, on the other hand? You’re looking at 2-3 days.
One organ that needs water is your liver. This vital organ can’t properly process nutrients or expel toxins without enough of it.
So how do you know if you’re dehydrated? Here are some of the signs:
Cramping: When you’re low on fluids, the nerve signals moving from your brain to your muscles don’t work well, so they react by cramping. Low fluids also create electrolyte imbalances that promote cramps.
Cravings: Craving sweet things, like candies or baked goods, is another sign of dehydration. Your liver needs water to release glycogen into your body, and when it is not getting enough, you’ll feel the need to get it from somewhere else, like sugary food.
Dizziness: Fluids also help regulate blood volume and blood pressure. When fluids are low, blood moves more slowly and becomes thicker, which can contribute to dizziness or light-headedness.
Peeing Less: When fluids aren’t going in, they aren’t coming out. If you usually pee every three or four hours, and now it’s eight to 10, you’re likely dehydrated. This is dangerous because it means your body is not getting rid of toxins.
Constipation: Fluids also help soften stool to keep it moving through your digestive system. Without enough water, the stool gets hard and stays still, struggling to make its way out.
You can keep tabs on hydration by monitoring the frequency and color of urine and ensuring to sip water throughout the day. Drink even more on hot or dry days, particularly if you’re sweating a lot.