Dehydration occurs when the amount of water we consume is less than what we lose through urine, sweat, respiration or feces. The most well-known sign of dehydration is thirst, in many cases being the only one we associate with the need to drink water. Unfortunately, as the body gets used to low fluid intake, thirst may not occur, so we will mistakenly believe that we drank enough water, when in fact the body is completely dehydrated. Therefore, knowing the symptoms that may be associated with dehydration is one of the most effective ways to keep us healthy and hydrated. Dry mouth, weakness and fatigue are associated with dehydration, but there are other lesser known but very common signs that it is good to keep in mind in order to avoid unnecessary medication or worries about our health state.
Saliva has antibacterial properties, but dehydration can prevent the body from producing enough saliva. This increases the number of bacteria in the mouth, and one of its effects is bad breath. This is one reason why you can wake up with “bad morning breath”, given that the production of saliva slows down during sleep. So, the next time your mouth looks dry and your breath isn’t fresh enough, it may be time to rehydrate.
Dry skin and lips
Very dry skin, prone to wrinkles and cracked lips is a stage of dehydration that should not be ignored. This is because the skin contains 64% water. Another key symptom that can identify dehydration is when skin loses its elasticity. If after being pinched, the skin needs some time to return to its normal and flat appearance, this may indicate a lower water content.
One symptom to consider are the muscle cramps, which can occur during exercise, especially when temperatures are high. The higher the body temperature, the higher the risk of muscle cramps. Loss of electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, can also lead to muscle cramps. This happens when we lose a large amount of water in a very short time, such as during intense physical training, when temperatures are very high or after prolonged episodes of fever. Even in winter, dehydration is possible if yor don’t drink enough fluids while exercising.
Dehydration affects the functioning of organs, such as the liver, which uses water, to release glycogen and other components that play an important role in triggering appetite, whether we are talking about fast food or the craving for sweets, the latter being more common. Dehydration is probably the most common cause of sugar cravings. Lack of water consumption is often confused with sugar cravings and hunger pains. Lack of fluid intake can make it more difficult for the body to metabolize glycogen for energy. The body will start to want sugar to give us a quick source of energy, but in reality, what it needs is just more water.
A person can survive only about one week without water, because the human body is made up of 75% water. Eliminating toxins and waste becomes a difficult task when we do not drink enough water. Unable to remove these debris, the body is more prone to infections. Dehydration can also lower energy levels, which will reduce the ability to do physical workouts, which also leads to a weakened immune system.
It’s not just thirst that tells us we need more water. We are mostly water, the brain contains 83% water, so are the kidneys, lung is 85% water, blood 84%, muscle 75%, eyes 95% and heart is 75% water, therefore any body needs it to be able to function properly. Signs of insufficient water consumption are everywhere, and can easily be confused with other conditions. That is why it is very important to make sure that we drink enough water throughout the day. Take your daily inspiration from our Instagram page!