It’s easy to remember to drink water in the middle of summer when temperatures rise to unbearable levels. Drinking bottle after bottle is incredibly important, as the body sweats a lot of it out. But water should be your close friend all year round.
Not getting enough water causes many problems, other than the ones you’re probably familiar with. Here’s a short list of some of the subtle and not so subtle ways your body can revolt if you are not drinking enough water each day.
1. Dry Mouth
If your mouth is dry, you’re at least mildly dehydrated, and it’s time for a drink. Keep a bottle of water with you everywhere you go, and sip from it often. Keep in mind that some medications can also cause dry mouth, so if you’re experiencing just this one sign that you do not drink enough water, it could just be a side effect from a drug, not from actual dehydration.
2. Dry Skin
Your skin is your body’s largest organ, so of course it needs to stay hydrated. In fact, dry skin is one of the earliest signs of full-on dehydration, which can lead to much larger problems.
A lack of water means a lack of sweat, which leads to a body’s inability to wash away excess dirt and oil accumulated throughout the day. If you want to stave off breakouts, your first recourse should be to drink more water.
A mild to moderate headache, especially when combined with one or more of these other symptoms of dehydration, can be another sign you do not drink enough water.
If it seems like you’re always suffering from a slight headache, your body is probably trying to tell you to drink more water!
4. Dry Eyes
By now it should be clear that drinking water affects more than just your mouth and throat. A lack of water intake leads to dry, bloodshot eyes.
Without water in the body, your tear ducts dry up. If you’re thinking “So what if I can’t cry?”, realize that this could cause much more harm to your eyes, especially if you wear contacts on a daily basis.
5. Joint Pain
Although drinking water might not cure arthritis or other causes of joint pain, increasing the amount you drink can help treat some of the painful symptoms of these conditions.
You might see fluid retention in your ankles and fingers when you’re not consuming enough water. It’s important for lubricating joints, so having water can help with joint pain.
6. Decreased Muscle Mass
Your muscles, also, are comprised mostly of water. Obviously, less water in the body means less muscle mass. Drinking water before, during, and after a workout not only keeps you hydrated and comfortable, it also brings water to the right places in your body, and decreases the chance of developing inflammation and soreness related to exercise and weightlifting.
Dizziness or vertigo is another sign you do not drink enough water. Again, this symptom of dehydration can be caused by other things, like medication or sleepiness, but if you feel it in combination with other symptoms on this list, you could also be dehydrated.
8. Hunger Pangs
When you’re dehydrated, your body might start to think it needs some food. This happens throughout the day, and overnight when you wake up craving that midnight snack.
However, eating food creates more work for your body, whereas drinking water purifies and your organs and supplies it with the fuel it needs to go through the other processes a body goes through.
9. Weight Gain
If you’re trying to lose weight, your initial theory might be that less is more. That isn’t the case when it comes to water.
Adding more water, not less, can help you lose weight. Water can replace other fattening drinks such as pops, and has also shown the ability to keep total calories down.
Lethargy and overall sleepiness is another sign you do not drink enough water. This is your body’s way of slowing down to conserve water, so listen!
To perk up, and give your body what it needs, drink a cool glass of water, slowly, and see if that helps.
11. Digestive Problems
Without proper hydration, the amount and strength of mucus in the stomach lessens, allowing stomach acid to do some major damage to your insides. This leads to heartburn and indigestion.
12. Being Tired
Being tired can be a sign that you’re not getting enough water. Try to work in some extra water to make a difference in your energy levels. Mild dehydration can cause fatigue, tiredness and low energy.
So the next time you’re tired it’s probably a better idea to grab some water instead of another cup of coffee.
Staying hydrated helps lubricate the digestive system. During the process of dehydration, the colon uses up the water that would have been used by the intestines in the next step of the digestive process.
14. Being Overly Thirsty
Of course, the most logical sign you do not drink enough water — you’re thirsty! If you’re well-hydrated but always thirsty, it could be a sign of diabetes, but if you’re always thirsty and you know you don’t drink enough water, drink up!
15. You’re Reading This
If you suffer from more than two of these signs you do not drink enough water, then you may really be dehydrated, so grab a glass and get hydrated, now! None of these symptoms are pleasant, so why torture yourself?