We’ve all heard the old adage about eight glasses a day. But what if I told you that the amount of water you need a day depends on what your body asks for? Sometimes it might tell you to drink more, or sometimes less. Everyone is different. We are all different shapes and sizes, we participate in different activities, some of us sweat more than others… and truth be told, there’s no one size fits all. Experts say you can tell if you’re dehydrated by looking out for key indicators like dry mouth, dizziness, or not having to pee. Dehydration can creep up on the best of us. Hot, summer days are for relaxing by the pool with a chilled (or frozen) cocktail, and water can fall to the bottom of your priority list.
If you notice any of the signs I listed above though, you should make water your drink of choice — whether it’s a bottle of cold water, or an electrolyte-rich sports drink designed to refresh you after an intense workout. Here are some health issues caused by dehydration that could be affecting your body:
1. Your brain’s performance feels a little slow
In other words, dehydration can make you dumber. Your capability to complete mental tasks can become impaired even if your dehydration levels are only at 2%. If your mind feels slower than usual or just not totally there, ask yourself how much water you drank that day.
2. You’re suffering from headaches more than usual
If headaches or migraines tend to follow you on the regular, it may be caused by not consuming enough water. According to The Pain Center, dehydration is usually a common cause of headaches, and while it’s not entirely clear as to how the two are connected with one another, it’s believed that blood volume drops when dehydration is present. This can decrease the brain’s oxygen supply because blood is not reaching the brain at the rate it should be and dilated vessels.
3. You don’t have the energy to do anything
Do you constantly feel tired and you just can’t even? Like you lowkey want to take an afternoon nap all the time? Drinking more water throughout the day can calm the urge to nap. Fitness Magazine says being dehydrated decreases your blood circulation, which can make your body want to save any of its energy. Incorporate more water in your daily routine and rest if you need to.
4. You always feel hungry
Before you go in for seconds, try to take a few sips of water. Sometimes if you’re dehydrated, it’s hard to tell the difference between hunger and thirst — the hypothalamus in the brain regulates both cues for the appetite and thirst and can trick you into believing you’re craving that sweet treat or need that extra bowl of pasta. After you’ve taken those sips of water, see if your hunger subsides. If it doesn’t then enjoy, love.
5. You’re dizzy
If you’re not feeling particularly steady on your feet, dehydration may be the culprit. When you don’t drink enough, your blood pressures takes a dive and can cause you to start feeling dizzy if you get up too quickly.
6. Your skin is dry
When you’re dehydrated, your whole body dries out, including your skin, your lips, and your hair. Your body needs hydration in order to feed those areas. I’m sure you’ve also heard water is the fountain of youth. There is no topical product that can substitute for inner hydration and achieve youthful skin.