Water serves a number of important functions to keep us healthy, but dehydration is one of the most common problems in adults, and one of the easiest to combat. If left unchecked, dehydration could lead to kidney problems, constipation, pain in the back and joints, and problems with digestion. It’s also a common misconception that when we think we’re hungry, we could actually just be thirsty.
There are some easy to spot signs that we could be dehydrated (and some not so easy ones too). Here are out top picks:
This is caused by brain shrinkage. Literally. When we don’t take enough water on board, the cells in our bodies start to dehydrate, and shrink through lack of water. It can feel rather like a hangover, which as some of us know is not a great way to start the day! Of course pain killers may help, but the easiest and most natural way to alleviate the pain of this kind of headache is to fill up with water!
As well as headaches and lethargy, you might feel dizzy from time to time when you’re dehydrated. It is important to refuel, but many of us reach for a calorie dense, high energy snack, when the first thing we should really do is drink some water to rehydrate. A healthy snack will help to balance out your blood sugar levels in a much kinder way than junk food.
- Concentrated Urine
Dark is bad! You may notice that your urine is darker in colour and stronger in smell first thing in the morning; this is because we don’t generally drink anything while we’re asleep. Throughout the day, when we’re drinking more, our trips to the toilet are more frequent, and our urine is paler in colour. If however your urine stays dark in colour, it’s a sure sign of dehydration. Drink more water!
- Dry skin and lips
Our skin is the biggest organ of our bodies. It literally is the thing that holds us together! We should look after it. With skin cancers and their associated problems being such a hot topic, we wouldn’t think of going out in the sun for prolonged amounts of time without our factor 30 on, but we don’t always think about the good hydration does for our skin. Dehydrated skin can look older, with more visible wrinkles, our eyes can seem ‘baggy’, our noses and cheeks can have an unattractive redness and our lips can become dry and cracked. Drink more water!
- Fatigue and/or anxiety
If you’ve ever been hit with an overwhelming sense of sleepiness and a lethargic feeling, you may just need to drink some water. Our muscles all need water to work properly and without it, we’ll literally feel weak at the knees! We can also have a lack of focus, dryness in our mouths and shortness of breath, which can all lead to, or be signs of anxiety. Drink more water!
If any of the above symptoms persist after adequate hydration, you should contact your doctor.