Did you know that 25% of kids and teenagers don’t drink ANY water as part of their fluid intake?
A surprising number of adults don’t drink enough water, as well, with one study finding that half of Americans don’t get their recommended daily intake of water. Many people down numerous caffeinated beverages throughout the day in order to stay awake, but forget to drink the one liquid that is absolutely vital to our survival. Not drinking enough water can pose serious threats to your health, including digestive issues, urinary tract infections, premature aging, and anxiety.
Water makes up anywhere from 55-65% of your body, which means you need a lot of it to stay hydrated. The water in your body becomes depleted when you exercise and do other activities, so replacing it is crucial. Water aids in almost every bodily function, so it quite literally gives us life.
As the water epidemic continues to grow, people have been searching for ways to drink more water, such as bringing a gallon with them to work, or making smoothies with water as the base. However, even with these attempts to drink more water, it’s important to be able to recognize the signals from your body that you need more water.
Here are 5 signs that you need to drink more water:
1. Your mouth, skin, and eyes feel dry.
One of the biggest signs you need to drink more water appears on your skin, believe it or not. If you don’t drink enough water, you won’t sweat out all the toxins that have accumulated on your skin, which means you will be prone to clogged pores, which results in breakouts. Sweat also helps get rid of internal toxins, and since the skin is our largest organ, many toxins can be removed through it.
Also, if you have trouble producing tears, a lack of water could be the culprit. This could be especially uncomfortable for those who wear contacts, so make sure you bring a bottle of water with you on errands or to work if you have trouble drinking enough water. Obviously, getting that dry mouth signals to your brain that you need more water, also. Water does so much for our bodies, and in general, that parched feeling you get in your mouth can be felt in other areas of the body, too.
2. You’re not using the bathroom often, and when you do, your urine is dark yellow or brown in color.
This one is a huge sign that you need to drink more water. Frankly, many people do not use the bathroom enough times throughout the day, which means that toxins are just sitting in their bodies. Water helps flush out these toxins, not to mention, keep your renal system running smoothly. If you make trips to the bathroom only a couple times a day, you should really consider drinking more water.
Also, the color of your urine will paint the true picture of how much water you’re consuming. If your urine isn’t clear at the end of the day, this shows that you need to guzzle down some more water. Yellow or brown urine is a big sign that you’re dehydrated, and means that your body is retaining fluids in order to maintain vital bodily functions.
3. You have frequent back and joint pain.
Since your body’s cartilage is composed of nearly 80% water, replenishing water after sweating is essential for keeping bones and joints healthy. Water keeps joints lubricated in order to lessen the effects of strenuous activities or unexpected exertion, such as falling or tripping. In addition, back pain could indicate a kidney infection due to dehydration, so if you have frequent back aches, drink more water throughout the day.
4. You feel overly tired and have wild mood swings.
Water brings oxygen into the body. The more oxygenated your cells, the more alive you will feel. However, if you don’t drink enough water, the body must get oxygen from your blood, which creates a deoxygenated environment in your body. When your body doesn’t get adequate oxygen, it starts to operate at a slower pace, which will means it must work harder to keep functioning. This will inevitably make you more tired, moody, and downright lethargic.
5. You’re insatiably hungry, even if you’ve just eaten.
This might seem confusing, since hunger pangs usually indicate that you need to eat more food. However, it can also mean that you haven’t had enough water. Dehydration tricks the body into thinking it needs to eat, when really, you just feel thirsty. Hunger and thirst cues come from the same part of the brain, which could explain this confusion. The best way to differentiate hunger from thirst is to try drinking a glass of water, and seeing if the pain goes away. If it persists, it probably means you need to eat something, as well.
If you want to know exactly how much water you should drink, consult this short video for more information: