Dehydration occurs when you are not taking in enough water and other fluids. At its worst, you might need to be admitted at a hospital with a drip to help you replenish the fluids. Water is vital to many body processes. After all, more than half your body, that is 55-65%, is made up of water.

Signs that you are not drinking enough water include:


1. Lightheadedness

Without water, it is rather easy to get lightheaded. There isn’t enough blood circulation since plasma has water as one its key ingredients. If blood does not circulate as it should, it means that oxygen is not adequately flowing to the brain.

This can easily cause fainting. When you realize that you have been feeling extremely lightheaded in the past few days, it could be an indicator that you have not been drinking enough water.

An adult is advised to drink at least six to eight glasses of water in a day. Before you scare yourself by reading about all the diseases or conditions lightheadedness could be a sign of, try to increase your water intake and monitor if the situation improves.

If there is no change after a day or two, then you can proceed to see a doctor as it could also point to a number of other medical conditions.

2. Headaches

Have you ever had a migraine or a severe headache from nowhere? You find that you are always having headaches and that there is no medical explanation?

It can be extremely frustrating especially after going to the doctor only to find out that there is nothing physically wrong with you. However, you still get piercing headaches that seem to get stronger with every passing moment.

Opening your eyes becomes gruesome because the light makes the headache worse and you cannot seem to concentrate. The natural response is to get some over the counter medication to ease the pain.

Before reaching for those painkillers, first try increasing your intake of water. Studies show that dehydration triggers headaches. If you would like to avoid severe headaches then you should drink a lot of water every day.

Drinking water not only prevents these headaches but also helps to alleviate the pain and eventually get rid of it completely.

3. Muscles Cramping

One of the most painful things you can experience is a sudden muscle cramp. It feels as though electricity is coursing through your muscles which are paralyzed, stuck in one position and in extreme pain. It is not a nice feeling.

Most people respond to muscle cramps with massaging the affected area, which is often effective after a while. The question remains how you would be able to prevent these cramps in the first place.

Results from studies about the relationship between muscle cramps and dehydration are contradictory. However, some offer an explanation. When the body is dehydrated, blood circulation is not optimal.

Blood flow is therefore concentrated on vital organs to keep them running. This means that other muscles are not a priority. The reduced blood flow then causes these muscle cramps.

An effective way to avoid or just reduce the occurrence of muscle cramps is to have a healthy intake of water, that is, about seven glasses on average every day.


4. Constipation

Constipation is embarrassing. You have your bowels blocked up but you cannot excrete normally. It is not easy to talk about and is considered too much information. There are numerous solutions for constipation.

Some people opt for laxatives and other medication. Others prefer natural remedies by using certain spices or increasing their intake of fiber-rich foods. However, did you know that constipation can be avoided if you just drink water faithfully? Water is needed by the digestive tract.

This is true especially when it comes to excretion since water helps in the expulsion of any waste material from the body. If you do not take enough water that means your excretion system is not lubricated enough to function optimally.

This ultimately means that you will feel ‘backed up’ and struggle in the ‘can.’ If you often suffer from constipation and haven’t been diagnosed with any medical condition, then you should try upping your intake of water to see if it improves.

5. Gaining Weight

One would think that decreasing water intake would mean losing weight. After all, if your body is primarily made up of water, it means that you can lose weight if you drink less of it. Wrong! Water plays a critical role in the digestive system as well as for your metabolism rate.

The more water you drink, the higher your metabolic rate. The contrary also holds. Additionally, your body might register dehydration as hunger. You end up eating more food to fill this void which leads to weight gain.

Every dietician and weight loss expert always insists on increased intake of water for weight loss. If you take a glass or two before a meal, the water fills the void and you will not need to eat a lot or at all if the problem was actually dehydration. It also

6. Dry and Chapped Lips

If you have ever tried to apply Vaseline, petroleum jelly or lip balm to your lips but you immediately go back to dry lips, this is a sign. You might be suffering from dehydration. Drinking water in the right amounts keeps your body, including your lips, hydrated.

If you do not drink water, your lips turn white and start to chap and crack. This can be very painful and at its worst can lead to lip ulcers. If you tend to be extremely thirsty often, this could also be a sign of dehydration.

It goes hand in hand with dry and chapped lips. The best way to ensure that your lips are always hydrated and prepared for that lipstick or any other lip make up is to take in fluids.

With an average of six or seven glasses a day, you will never have dry or chapped lips in the future.


7. Excessively Dry Skin

Most people tend to forget that the state of their skin is directly linked to their health as well. While there are dermatological conditions that contribute to the state of your skin, your health and the condition of your body influence how your skin looks and feels.

For example, if you eat fast food and other fatty foods, chances are that your skin will break out with pimples. In the same way, if you drink a lot of water, your skin is hydrated and healthy.

If you do not drink enough water, the skin becomes dry, cracked or even scaly in extreme conditions. It will start to peel and feel flaky. You know that this is dehydration when applying lotion does not help at all.

You only feel moisturized for a very short period of time before you have to slather on more lotion to keep your skin moisturized. Before you panic and visit the dermatologist, audit your water intake.

8. Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infections are extremely uncomfortable. They can come about through a number of ways. The most obvious cause of UTIs is bacteria that are transmitted through sexual intercourse.

Did you know, however, that dehydration can also cause these infections? Water usually helps the urinary tract expel bacteria. If you have any bacteria, it is flushed out of the tract when you urinate.

If you do not take enough water, your trips to the bathroom become fewer and this encourages bacteria retention. It is therefore important to drink more water as a way of preventing UTIs.

When you are not taking enough water, it can also be seen in the color of your urine. The urine tends to be a deep yellow and it might even burn a little.

This is because the materials being excreted are in a more potent form since there is no water to dilute your urine.

9. Fatigue

There are moments when you get your full eight hours of sleep at night and still find time to rest and relax. Yet somehow, you are still tired and fatigued all the time. This could be a sign that you are dehydrated.

Dehydration slows down bodily function and causes you to feel sluggish. The effects of fatigue are not pleasant. First, you are not able to be as productive as you should be. Your work or studies suffer because of the sluggishness.

Your brain is not functioning optimally and so tasks become more tedious and hard. As if that is not enough, you are easily clumsy which could lead to bodily injuries as well as damage to any device, tool or equipment you might be handling.

The simple solution to all this is to fight the fatigue through adequate intake of water. Keep a bottle by your side to sip on some water throughout the day.


10. Irritability and Moodiness

Do you ever wonder where irritability and moodiness come from? Everything seems to annoy you or get on your nerves for no particular reason. You try your best to feel better but nothing seems to work?

Guess what? This might be a sign that you are dehydrated. According to certain studies, a low intake of water causes changes in your neurological functions. This then impedes your ability to focus on tasks and people which can lead to severe irritation.

The cure to your moodiness might just be a glass of water. Regular intake of water in the recommended amounts can help you keep the mood swings and irritable nature at bay.

Failure to be as serious about your regular water intake might be detrimental since these studies show that all it takes is just one percent less than what your body normally needs to mess with your neurological functions.