10 ways to know you’re dehydrated -
and the last 3 will shock you!
How one simple habit can transform your life
Why is it important to stay hydrated?
Benefits of drinking water. We all know that water is good for us. right? We’ve been told that staying hydrated is good for our skin, our hair… that it improves our performance. Athletic and otherwise. But do we really know why? A quest to understand hydration took me on a virtual journey from the halls of Harvard Medical School to world-renown medical centers like the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic. Seeking cold-hard-hydration-facts, I came to a simple conclusion: Getting enough water throughout the day is important for everything in our bodies to function. From heart to brain, digestion, muscles, skin, and bones... it all starts with being adequately hydrated.
To break it down, some obvious benefits of staying hydrated are:To break it down, some obvious benefits of staying hydrated are:
- quenching thirst,
- keeping your skin healthy,
- flushing waste, toxins, and bacteria from your system,
- helping digestion and preventing constipation, and
- regulating your body temperature
Less obvious, yet equally important, benefits to getting enough water go beyond what we see and feel.
Our bodies need water to:
- deliver oxygen and nutrients to cells,
- maintain blood pressure and stabilize heartbeat,
- protect joints, organs, and tissues, and
- balances essential minerals like sodium, calcium, and potassium which are vital to key body functions.
So, what does all of this mean? Simply put, when we drink enough water, all the systems in our bodies are more likely to work properly. Our immune system is prepared to defend us. Our brain functions, like memory and concentration, stay sharp. Alert. When we don’t drink enough water, we risk dehydration.
Signs of Dehydration
Fortunately, our bodies have a way of telling us when something is wrong. Out of whack. Physical signs and symptoms of dehydration are:
- Infrequent, dark urination. Paying attention to the color of your urine is the easiest way to know if you’re dehydrated. Pale-to-clear urine means you’re hydrated. Dark urine means you need to drink more water.
- Thirst! Thirst is a sure sign that you’re dehydrated but it’s NOT the best hydration indicator because if you’re thirsty- you’re already dehydrated. Thirst is your body’s way of telling you to drink up!
- Dry mouth. Dry mouth happens when the salivary glands in your mouth don’t produce enough saliva. This usually happens because there isn’t enough fluid in your body, a.k.a, you’re dehydrated.
- Constipation. Water is critical to removing waste from the body. As digested food travels from our stomach, our large intestine soaks up water. Without enough water, the process slows.
- Headaches. Dehydration is a known trigger for headaches. If you suffer from them, try increasing your water intake.
- Frequent sickness. Drinking enough water is one of our body’s top defenses against illnesses like the flu, viruses, and common colds. A worn-down immune system needs plenty of fluids to re-arm itself.
- Dull, dry skin. Our skin relies on water to purge toxins from the body. When skin gets dehydrated it can become uneven. Blemishes and premature wrinkles can appear.
Dehydration can also rear its ugly head in mental and emotional ways. Believe it or not, if you’re dehydrated you may also be:
- 8. Feeling tired, notice increased fatigue, irritability, and overall low energy levels
- 9. Experiencing memory loss and
- 10. Having difficulty concentrating. Those zoom calls aren’t all boring… your lack of focus maybe something else like a lack of water.
Dehydration for prolonged periods of time can contribute to countless health issues. Painful urinary tract infections, kidney stones, high blood pressure, fatal heart disease, and strokes, can all be attributed in part to dehydration in the body. Yikes. Staying hydrated starts with drinking the right amount of water, each day.
How much water should I drink?
That brings us to the very important question of just how much water should we drink? How much water is enough? Or too much? Unfortunately, there is not a one-size-fits-all answer. Everyone is different. It depends on things like your height and weight. Your gender. Your lifestyle. Maybe you’re an athlete committed to running ten-miles every day, rain or shine. The amount of water your body needs to replace the sweat lost will be different from someone whose daily release comes from a yin-yoga and meditation practice. Or, perhaps you’re a new mom. Your birthing and breastfeeding chapters of life will cause you to have totally different hydration needs than your life before baby! Your hydration needs change dramatically as you progress from adolescence into adulthood. You get the idea. Not only does everyone have different hydration needs, but those needs change throughout our own lives! That’s why it’s extremely important to use a hydration tracker. Especially if you’re not sure how much water your body needs-- and if you’re experiencing any signs of dehydration.
A daily hydration tracker will ensure you’re staying hydrated
A daily hydration tracker lets you input characteristics specific to you. Physical traits and activity levels. With that, it calculates how much water you need to stay adequately hydrated. The best hydration trackers are based on scientific-research and able to sync with popular health apps like Google, or Apple health. Integrating with apps you already use enables a hydration tracker to dynamically update as your activity levels change. One to consider is made by REBO. In addition to using a scientific algorithm AND syncing with health apps… it can send you notifications during the day. Reminding you to drink-up to prevent risking dehydration.
Download the REBO Hydration Tracker for free and see how maintaining proper hydration changes your life!