Published:  12:18 AM, 10 October 2018

Signs you aren't drinking enough water

Learn ways to identify imbalances and prevent dehydration before it begins

Signs you aren't drinking enough water

Megan Meisner

Do you ever experience frequent yawning while struggling to keep your eyes open? 
You probably need more sleep.
Do you ever feel crabby and then notice your stomach grumble? 
You probably need to eat something.

Your body is constantly sending signals to your brain, indicating what you need more of in order to function efficiently and feel your best. If you're neglecting your sleep or experiencing nights of restlessness, chances are you'll feel less productive and attentive during the day. Likewise, if you've skipped breakfast or are trying to get by with a side salad and diet pop for lunch, it won't be long before your tummy is rumbling and feelings of hanger start to kick in.

When it comes to hydration, how do you know whether you're drinking enough water and consuming enough water-rich foods? While most of us know we need to drink when we're thirsty, there are other ways to identify imbalances and prevent dehydration before it begins.

Muscle Cramps

Muscle cramps can result from a variety of scenarios, dehydration being one of them. When exercising in hot weather, the muscles work harder and levels of sodium and potassium can change. All these factors can lead to muscle cramping - a sign that you may not be adequately hydrated. 

Lack of Sweat or Urine

If you notice that your body is not properly expelling water from itself, you may be mild to moderately dehydrated. You'll experience a decrease in urine frequency, and it may be more yellowish than normal. 

Dizziness

Signs and symptoms of dizziness caused by dehydration can include lightheadedness, feeling faint and experiencing spinning motions. This is generally a mild to moderate sign of dehydration.

Dry Skin

Without sufficient water, your skin will become dry and less elastic. Pinch some skin on the back of your hand and let it go. It should quickly return to its normal position. Anything longer than a couple of seconds may be an indication that you're dehydrated.

Feelings of Irritability and Confusion

Symptoms such as irritability and confusion can be indicators of more severe dehydration. When electrolytes are imbalanced, irritability and disorientation can result. You can usually reverse mild to moderate dehydration by drinking water or electrolytes, but severe dehydration - as indicated by the following - needs immediate medical treatment.

* Vomiting u Diarrhea u Fever and sweating

Preventing Dehydration

Dehydration can cause minor to severe consequences and should not be taken lightly, particularly when your activity levels have increased in warm weather. Exercise intensity and duration will play a role in your hydration strategy. 

Dehydration occurs when water loss exceeds water intake and can generally be avoided by consuming approximately 2 liters of water per day. This also can be achieved by incorporating plenty of water-rich fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon, cucumber and tomatoes, into your diet.


The writer is a certified personal trainer


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