Sometimes we all focus so much on healthy eating, we forget to focus on the biggest necessity of them all: drinking water.
Just as certain nutrients can have an effect on our mood, our skin, and our energy levels, our body depends on water to function, considering every cell, tissue, and organ our body relies on H2O to operate.
We can generally tell we need more water when it’s hot and we feel parched or thirsty, but there are other unsuspecting ways our body is signaling to us that we are dehydrated.
Experts recommend about eight cups of water a day, but it’s important to listen to your body, as different factors such as temperature and exercise can affect how much water you need to be consuming.
If you suspect you may need to up your water intake, consider these six signs that indicate you could be dehydrated.
1. You’re Tired
One of the major seasons of dehydration is low energy. Studies show that even mild dehydration can affect your energy levels, your mood, and your ability to think clearly. As little as 1.5 percent loss in water volume can cause fatigue and difficulty performing tasks.
2. You’re Constantly Hungry
Many people often mistake the sensation of thirst as hunger, as your body’s signals for more water can easily be misinterpreted as the need for food. If you find you’re hungry in between meals, try sipping on more water or hydrating drinks such as herbal tea.
3. You Have Dry Skin
If your skin is feeling a bit rough and moisturizer isn’t doing the trick, you may need to load up on some more water. Dehydration, along with a diet high in caffeine and alcohol, can cause dryness in the skin, which causes a lack of protective oils that keep your skin moist.
4. Your Head Hurts
Dehydration can trigger migraines and headaches, as less blood and oxygen flow to the brain when your body is low on water. Raising your intake of water just four cups a day can help reduce both duration and intensity of head pain.
5. You Get Overheated
Water plays a role in temperature regulation, so if you’re dehydrated, your body isn’t able to properly cool itself down. Sweating is your body’s way of cooling itself down, but if you’re low on water, your body will stop sweating pretty quickly, and your temperature will rise.
6. You’re Cranky
You may be able to blame your bad moods on lack of water. Dehydration can cause anger and mood swings, likely because being thirsty can cause loss of blood flow to the brain along with fatigue and difficulty concentrating.