6 Signs That Indicate You're Dehydrated
75% of American are chronically dehydrated. Chances are, you're one of them.
Are You getting Enough Water?
Dehydration is much more common than you think —chances are, you've been dehydrated more than once. It can cause a range of problems, from slowing you down a little to making you feel physically and mentally terrible.
Want to know if you're dehydrated? Here's how to tell...
This is your body's first indicator that you need more water. Feeling thirsty? Give your body what it wants!
It should be noted that caffeinated and alcoholic bevarages act as diuretics, which means they can dehydrate you further — so try to not quench that thirst with an ice coffee or a beer.
If you're not sure whether you're dehydrated or not, take a look at your urine.
If you're well-hydrated, your urine should be a clear, pale yellow and nearly odorless. If you're a little dehydrated, your urine will be a medium-yellow color. If your urine is cloudy, dark yellow, and strong smelling, that is a sign that you are dehydrated. Basically, the more concentrated your urine is, the more water you need to dilute any waste or toxins your body is trying to get rid of.
If you are urinating less frequently than usual or not at all, this could be a sign that your body does not have enough water.
Fatigue can be caused by a number of factors (intense exercise, heat, insufficient sleep), and dehydration is one of them.
In a recent study, young, healthy women who were restricted water for 24 hours experienced decreased alertness, fatigue, and sleepiness. All symptoms improved afterwards, when they were allowed to drink water freely again.
So if you're feeling a bit tired, down a couple glasses of water — it may not always fix you but it certainly won't harm you.
Confusion or Irritability
Dehydration can seriously affect brain function: mild dehydration can cause irritability, anxiety, moodiness, and difficulty concentrating, while severe dehydration can cause confusion and incoherence.
On the bright side, drinking water can fix these symptoms and improve mental clarity. So if you're feeling a bit slow or moody, reach for some water.
Dehydration can trigger cravings, particularly for sweets. So if you're craving chocolate, reach for some fruit. Many fruits and vegetables are made up of 90% water, and can supply you with that extra energy boost and hydrate you along the way.
Dehydration can trigger headaches and even migraines in some people. If your head is aching, pounding, or feeling heavy, have a few glasses of water.
The good news is that drinking water provides great headache relief: one study found that 22 out of 34 people felt better within 30 minutes, while the other 11 felt better within three hours.
How To prevent Dehydration
The remedy for dehydration is pretty simple, cheap, and widely available: water! But how can you make sure you don't get dehydrated in the first place?
- Drink when you're thirsty: Don't ignore your body, guys... This one's a no-brainer.
- Replace the fluids you lose: If you're sweating from physical exercise, heat, or anxiety — or maybe you're just a sweaty person — make sure to replenish those fluids that your body's losing! The same goes for if you have diarrhea or have been vomitting.
- Anticipate fluid loss: If you know you're going to be losing lots of fluids (maybe you're going on a long hike), cut dehydration off at the pass — drink plenty of water before, during and after.
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