With all those delicious beverages out there, such as soda and coffee, it’s easy to overlook plain old water. Many adults don’t drink the amount of water their body needs each day, which is about nine glasses a day for the average woman and thirteen cups for the average man, per the Mayo Clinic.
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If you’re not getting enough water, chances are your body is already letting you know even if you don’t recognize it. Check out the following eleven signs that you need to get more H2O into your diet today.
1. You Have A Dry Mouth And Skin
Having a dry mouth is an obvious sign of dehydration, but you may not be aware of the ramifications. A dry mouth can lead to serious dental issues, per WebMD. Avoid sugary drinks that can make the problem worse in the long-run when your mouth feels like a desert, and grab some water instead. Water helps lubricate the membranes in your throat and mouth, which will keep your mouth moist for longer.
Dry skin is actually one of the first signs that you need water. Without water, you won’t sweat as much as you need to, and this can lead to more oil and dirt being stuck on your body. Drink enough water each day so you can avoid that scenario, which can lead to skin problems like breakouts.
2. You’re Super Thirsty
Being incredibly thirsty goes beyond just having a dry mouth. Anyone who’s ever dealt with a hangover knows that when you wake up, you just can’t drink enough water. This is because alcohol dehydrates your whole body, and drinking water sends the “Yes” signal to your brain until your fluid levels get back to normal. Listen to these types of signals from your body, as it knows what it needs!
3. You Have Dry Eyes
A lack of water can lead to bloodshot, dry eyes because your body needs that fluid to keep your tear ducts lubricated. Not having enough fluid in your eyes can actually harm them, especially if you’re a regular contact-wearer. Dry eyes can lead to blurred vision, and according to the National Eye Institute, it can also result in burning, stinging eyes and a decreased ability to do tasks that involve visual focus. Make sure you get enough water daily so your eyes have what they need to protect themselves!
4. You’re Having Joint Pain
According to Cedars-Sinai, your spinal discs are about 80 percent water when you’re born, and your cartilage is largely composed of water, too. Keep your body hydrated to help reduce bone friction when you move, so your joints can better absorb shock from sudden movements, such as jumping.
5. You’re Losing Muscle Mass
As noted by the USGS Water Science School, your muscles are about 79 percent water. Less water in your body means less muscle. Drink water before, during and after exercise to help bring water to the places where it’s need the most after your workout. Being properly hydrated after exercise can help reduce the chances of certain types of workout injuries, such as muscle stiffness after weightlifting.
6. You’re Sick For Longer
Water helps your body remove toxins. Your organs work to filter out specific waste products, but without enough water to fuel that process, it doesn’t work properly. When you’re dehydrated, your organs will pull water from areas where it’s stored, such as your blood, leading to even more problems. To feel better and help decrease your illness times, make sure you bump up how much water you drink each day.
7. You’re Tired And Lethargic
As covered above, your body will “borrow” water from blood if it needs to. But without properly hydrated blood, you’ll end up with a lack of oxygen throughout your body. This can lead to fatigue and sleepiness; you may notice you’re feeling your afternoon crash earlier and earlier. Remember that coffee, while tempting, will actually dehydrate you more, so go for water instead. Caffeine may be a quick fix, but to treat fatigue related to dehydration, you’ve got to address the root cause.
8. You’re Experiencing More Hunger Pangs
Your body may think you need more food when you’re actually dehydrated. This can happen during the day and night. But eating more creates more work for the body, whereas drinking water supplies your organs with the fuel they need to handle all your other body processes. If you’re feeling hungry suddenly and aren’t sure why, try drinking a glass of water before you try to eat anything.
9. You’re Having Digestive Troubles
Mucus isn’t just in your throat and mouth, but in your stomach too. Without enough mucus in your stomach, the acid there can do some damage to your insides and saddle you with heartburn and indigestion. Your body needs water to produces mucus, so be watchful about your intake. If you’re experiencing chronic heartburn, speak to your doctor, as you may have a condition.
Another digestive area water is involved in is waste elimination. If you’re dehydrated, your colon will use the water that should have been used by your intestines in the next step of digestion, leading to constipation. Try drinking more water to improve your digestion. If you find that you’re constantly constipated despite increasing your water intake, speak to a doctor.
10. You’re Urinating Less
According to New Health Advisor, you should be urinating about eight times a day. Drink more water if you’re going less than that. A well-hydrated body will produce clear or light yellow urine, while a dehydrated body may produce dark yellow urine. In some extreme cases, dehydration can result in a urinary tract infection that needs professional medical treatment.
11. You’re Aging Faster
As you get older, your body retains less water. Given that, it’s obvious you should increase your water intake as you age. Premature aging may be more obvious on the outside, but the damage it does inside will be felt as time passes. Help keep yourself looking and feeling younger by drinking more water every day.
Getting more water into your diet on a daily basis may be challenging at first, but it’s actually pretty easy. You can try replacing some of your regular drinks, such as soda, with water instead. Another method is setting goals for yourself each day. For example, you may decide you’re going to drink seven glasses of water each day. Make it easy to drink water, either by having bottled water on hand or buying a sports bottle to take to work and other places.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you stick with it. Being properly hydrated can make all the difference when it comes to your health and well-being!