Winter is known to be the main antagonist to our skin and health issues, and it’s imperative now more than ever to dive head-first into a pool of water to replenish and stay hydrated.
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Water, like food, is something that we simply cannot live without. It regulates body temperature, prevents constipation, transports nutrients to other parts of our bodies, and protects our joints. Essentially, drinking water makes everything in our bodies run smoothly. But exactly how much water should we be drinking to feel 100 percent? Well, it depends.
Most bodies are made of about 60 percent of water and health experts suggest drinking about two liters of water a day to maintain healthy functions of our internal organs. However, if you’re pregnant, exercise more than the average person, or have a particular health condition (i.e. diabetes), the amount you should consume may be different for you. The best way to figure this out is to first talk with a health professional and check in with yourself for clues that you may be on the spectrum of dehydration — because even if you’re one of those people who has a water bottle at their desk at all times, you still may not be consuming enough water.
Now that you have water on your mind, go drink a glass of it right now and scroll below to see what kind of signs your body might be giving you to indicate that you need to include more water into your diet.
1. You’re Constantly Thirsty
Let’s get this out of the way, shall we? It’s probably a no-brainer to say that if you’re thirsty, it probably means that you need to drink water ASAP. According to Mayo Clinic, if you’re feelin’ a little parched, it could mean that you’re more dehydrated than you think. However, thirst is not always a clear indicator that your body needs to be hydrated. Another great way to check is by taking note of how many times you go to the bathroom.
Medical News Today mentions that the average person should be going to the bathroom about four to 10 times a day. While this statistic is also contingent on your age and if you’re taking medication, it’s probably not normal if you’re at the office all day and don’t go to the bathroom at least once. Ultimately, if you believe that your body is dehydrated more than the average person, set alarms on your phone to remind you when you should rehydrate.
2. You Have Headaches More Than You’d Like
If you’re the type of person who gets migraines or headaches on the regular, it may be because you’re not consuming enough water. According to Verywell Health, dehydration is usually a common cause of headaches, and while it’s not entirely clear as to why one correlates with another, it’s believed that blood volume drops when someone is dehydrated. This can reduce the brain’s oxygen supply because blood is not reaching the brain at the rate it should be and causes the vessels to dilate.
3. You Have Bad Breath
While your breath may stink because of that garlic-based dish you had for lunch, you may want to down a glass or two of water to increase the saliva in your mouth for fresher breath.
Dr. Harold Katz, a dentist, bacteriologist, and founder of The Breath Company explains on Cosmopolitan that, “Dehydration can cause halitosis because bacteria that live in the mouth tend to multiply as the mouth dries out.” Drinking a few glasses of water in-between meals can help flush out food particles and maintain the right amount of saliva you should have in your mouth. When you’re not drinking enough water, the production of saliva slows down, which has antibacterial properties, and makes bacteria grow faster inside your mouth.
4. You’re Hungry and Crave Sugar All the Time
Before you reach for that extra croissant, you may want to consider that you’re actually thirsty — not hungry. When someone is dehydrated, their hypothalamus in their brain sometimes can’t tell the difference between the two, because it regulates both cues for their appetite and thirst, and tricks them into thinking that they want something sweet or another round of dinner. While you may want to go for seconds, go grab a glass of water and see if your hunger subsides instead. If it doesn’t, then chow down on that next round.
5. You’re Unable to Concentrate and Become Easily Confused
Being confused is pretty common when you don’t get enough sleep, but have you ever considered that you’re not able to concentrate because you’re not drinking enough water? As mentioned before, a lack of water can decrease blood flow to your brain, which prohibits it from receiving the proper amount of oxygen and nutrients it craves to function properly. If you find that you’re having more trouble than usual trying to solve a problem, take a water break and work on your issue later when you’re hydrated.
6. Your Energy Levels Are Low AF
Do you constantly feel tired all the time that you low-key want to take a nap every single day — and would if you could? Incorporating more water into your daily routine can keep your nap time at bay. According to Fitness Magazine, being dehydrated decreases your blood circulation, which can make your body want to conserve its energy. When your muscles don’t receive enough oxygenated blood, it can cause them to cramp when you work out and make them feel fatigued. If you feel this is occurring during your exercise routine, don’t push yourself. Stop, drink water, and rest if you need to.
7. You’re Constipated
Bathroom breaks normally shouldn’t take too long. However, your digestive system might be screaming for help if you’re not drinking enough water. Not only does water help bring oxygen to your brain, but it also lubricates your intestines, which, you know, makes things go. Without enough liquid, your body is not able to process food properly, can make your stool look dry and lumpy, and make you irregular.