You know how important it is to stay hydrated, but do you know all of the ways your body is trying to tell you it needs more water? Feeling thirsty is the most obvious sign, but there are other important signals that you need to increase your fluid intake.
1. Bad Breath
Dehydration can lead to a lack of saliva, and a dry mouth is the perfect environment for bacterial overgrowth. That’s why morning breath can be so unpleasant. If you feel like morning breath stays with you all day long, forget the mints and reach for a glass of water.
2. Muscle Cramps
A lack of fluid causes the body to heat up and the muscles to work harder. Changes in electrolyte levels can also lead to muscle cramps. If you’re experiencing cramping, especially after workouts, consider rehydrating with sports drinks that have added electrolytes.
3. Food Cravings
You may blame it on your sweet tooth, but those cravings for sweet or salty snacks may be caused by your body’s difficulty breaking down glycogen. Dehydration makes it hard for your organs to release glycogen which, in turn, sends signals to your brain that more glycogen is needed.
Before opening the aspirin bottle the next time you have a headache, try drinking a glass of water. Even mild dehydration can trigger headaches, including migraine headaches.
5. Fever and Chills
Heat illness, which is caused by dehydration, may present as fever and chills. Cooling down as quickly as possible is crucial, and increasing fluids is the best way to accomplish that. In addition to getting out of the heat and applying ice packs or cool cloths, drink extra water to help cool your organs and internal systems.
6. Dry Skin
Dry skin can be the result of unlucky genetics, but it is also a symptom of dehydration. If you’ve noticed your skin is feeling dry and itchy, increase your water intake and schedule a consultation for a regenerative medicine facial.
Most adults should drink at least eight glasses of water per day, not including coffee, tea, or other caffeinated beverages. Remember that sports drinks and other flavored drinks may include sugar and other ingredients that can be harmful to your health if overconsumed. Try adding fresh herbs like mint or slices of citrus fruit to your water for variety.
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