Water is more essential than food, although people place more emphasis on meals than their daily intake of water. It’s possible to live without food for up to three weeks, but the body cannot survive without water for more than three or four days. If the body doesn’t receive the water it needs, it becomes difficult to absorb nutrients and remove waste. Hydration is necessary if you want to live.
What Is Dehydration?
The body enters a state of dehydration when it loses more fluid than you take in. Without a sufficient water supply, the body cannot carry out its normal functions. The body starts to lose water and electrolytes, like potassium and sodium, during a state of dehydration. These electrolytes and water help us move, talk, breathe, and do everything else. Babies, children, and the elderly are the most at risk of being dehydrated.
The body is an intelligent, complex system, and it lets you know when it needs more water. Whether or not you pay attention and recognize these signs is another story altogether. That’s why knowing about the warning signs of dehydration can only benefit you in the long run. Being thirsty is a telltale sign that the body needs water, but what about other indicators? Continue reading to learn about other common warning signs of dehydration.
5 Warning Signs Of Dehydration
This is a widely known symptom of dehydration. If your urine is dark yellow, medium yellow, or even orange, the body is likely dehydrated. The darker color indicates that urine is more concentrated. There isn’t an abundance of water, which turns urine a lighter shade of yellow, or even clear. That’s the color urine should be. You can learn a lot about your health through your urine. Click here to learn more.
If you are in a state of dehydration, you may notice that the mouth doesn’t produce as much saliva as it typically does. Saliva contains antibacterial properties that help to discourage bacterial overgrowth in the mouth. If there isn’t enough saliva in the mouth, bacteria can easily grow. This creates a foul stench, which results in bad breath. You’re familiar with morning breath, right? The body doesn’t receive water during sleep, and saliva production slows. That’s why you wake up with an unpleasant taste in your mouth. That’s also why it’s beneficial to hydrate first thing in the morning before you eat.
Body cramps don’t always indicate that the body is in a state of dehydration. Muscle fatigue is a likely culprit, but it is possible to experience cramping from a sodium deficit. If the body loses fluid or sodium, full body cramping is quite common, and so is exertional heat cramping. When you work out, the body loses water and salt via sweat. That’s why you always have to hydrate post workout. For optimal electrolyte replenishment, consider drinking fresh coconut water or another natural electrolyte drink. Click here for a natural electrolyte drink recipe.
Cravings For Sweets
When the body is dehydrated, it’s hard for the liver or other organs to release glycogen. These organs use water and release other components of the body’s energy stores. This can ultimately lead to food cravings, specifically for sweets. If you have a craving for chocolate or a salty snack, the body is telling you that it needs help breaking down glycogen to release glucose into the bloodstream. That is the body’s fuel, so the next time you crave sweets, drink a glass of water because you are most likely in need of water.
It’s no secret that hydrated people tend to have regular, healthy bowel movements. The reason for this is because water helps to lubricate the digestive track, and it assists with moving food through the digestive tract. If bowel movements are hard or difficult to pass, it can be a sign that you are dehydrated. This is also a common symptom of unhealthy eating or lacking fiber in the diet.
To ensure that the body does not enter a state of dehydration, try your best to consume half your bodyweight in ounces of water per day. If you weigh 150 pound and divide that by two to get 75, you should drink 75 ounces of water every day. You may need to adjust the water intake if you engage in physical activity.