Unfortunately, a shocking 25% of kids and teenagers are lacking water throughout the day.
Most kids obtain their water through sources such as fruit juices, sugary beverages, and other subpar options. A recent study showed, however, that this just doesn’t cut it; children and teens need at least two to three quarts of water per day. So, unless they eat a ton of fruits and vegetables, they probably need to drink a lot more water.
The problem becomes even more widespread when you consider adults – one study found that half of American adults don’t drink the recommended amount of water per day. When your body is lacking water, this can cause a range of problems including digestive issues, urinary tract infections, fatigue, anxiety, and brain fog.
Unsurprisingly, 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated according to a report by CBS.
Did you know that water makes up 60% of our bodies, 75% of our muscles, and 85% of our brains? With that said, most people don’t take hydration seriously enough. It doesn’t help that most of us drink energy drinks, coffee, and soda instead of drinking what our bodies actually need.
If you think you might not drink enough water on a daily basis, these signs will let you know for sure. Being on the lookout for these symptoms can help you take steps to make sure you stay hydrated and healthy.
Here are 10 signs Your Body Is Lacking Water
Your skin, mouth, and eyes feel dry.
If you want to know whether you’re lacking water or not, look to your skin for the biggest clues. Being chronically dehydrated means you won’t sweat out as many toxins when you exercise, and this can lead to clogged pores and acne. You might also have dry, cracked skin.
If you don’t produce many tears, you might suffer from dehydration as well. However, this could point to a different eye problem, so you should talk to your doctor if you experience this issue. Obviously, it goes without saying that if you have a dry mouth and lips, you probably don’t drink enough water either.
You don’t pee very often, and when you do, your urine is dark yellow or brown.
If you don’t pee much throughout the day and notice that when you do use the bathroom, you have dark urine, you definitely need to drink more water. Water helps to eliminate toxins and keep the renal system functioning correctly. If you don’t drink enough water, all the toxins will just accumulate in your body, and you’ll feel the effects in the form of exhaustion, brain fog, and other complications.
Also, pay attention to the color of your urine. If you have dark yellow or brown urine, you need to drink more water throughout the day. You may not want to consume a lot of water close to bedtime, however, because you’ll probably have to keep waking up to use the bathroom. Yellow or brown urine signifies that your body is holding onto water in order to carry out vital functions.
Try bringing a refillable water bottle with you to work or school so that you can get your recommended water intake.
You have frequent back and joint pain.
Your body’s cartilage contains nearly 80% water, so replenishing fluids after you sweat will keep your bones and joints lubricated and healthy. Water helps to protect your joints and bones during strenuous activities or unexpected events, such as when you exercise or if you happen to trip or fall. Back pain could mean your kidneys aren’t working properly; if your body is lacking water, some studies show that this could lead to permanent kidney damage.
Dehydration causes a buildup of muscle proteins called myoglobin in the kidneys, which can cause kidney stones and urinary tract infections.
If your body is seriously lacking water, you might experience back and joint pain often.
You experience frequent fatigue and mood swings.
Water carries oxygen into the body, so the more water you drink, the more vibrant and rejuvenated you will feel. However, if your body is lacking water, it turns to your blood to obtain oxygen, which can leave you feeling depleted and fatigued. Because your body lacks oxygen, all your systems will slow down to compensate.
Inevitably, you will feel moodier and more exhausted, which will make it hard to carry out necessary tasks during the day. In fact, studies have shown that decreasing water intake in people who normally drink a lot of water leads to feelings of discontentment and anxiety. However, increasing water intake for those who usually drink very little leads to less fatigue and confusion.
You feel hungry, even after you eat.
Most people associate a growling in their stomach with hunger, but thirst cues originate in the same part of the brain. If your body is lacking water, it may trick you into thinking you’re hungry when you really just need a glass of water (or two!) Next time you feel hungry, try drinking water instead of eating. If you just ate something, you’re probably just dehydrated.
However, if the pain persists, you probably need to put some food in your belly as well.
You suffer from high blood pressure.
When you don’t drink enough water, your blood becomes thicker, resulting in slower blood flow and a buildup of sodium in the blood. Dehydration combined with a high-sodium diet and sedentary lifestyle can lead to high blood pressure, which can cause some of the other health problems we mentioned in the article.
You have high cholesterol.
Water retention is another thing that happens when your body is lacking water. Essentially, it holds onto any water it can find in order to keep you alive. In this study, 15 people were told to fast in two different conditions: once without replacing fluids, and another with supplementation of salt and water.
Researchers found that when the participants fasted without fluid replacement, they had much higher total serum cholesterol levels than when they supplemented with salt and water. While most people don’t fast, most people do suffer from dehydration, and therefore, are prone to high cholesterol.
You have digestion problems.
Water helps move waste through your body, so if you lack water, you may suffer from digestive issues. Water gets toxins out of the body, but if you don’t drink enough of it, your waste will move much slower, which can result in constipation and stomach pain.
When your body is dehydrated, the large intestine holds onto excess water from the foods you eat. As we said before, the body does this as a survival mechanism; it senses that you don’t have enough water in your system, so it retains water from any source it can find. Because your waste will move slower due to the lack of water, you may notice digestive issues and an overall feeling of fatigue.