Did you know that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated? I think there is a cultural perspective that one can’t be dehydrated unless they have cracked lips or are on the verge of passing out. That simply isn’t true! In fact, you may be operating at a mild level of dehydration every single day and not even notice. Remember: Unless you are chugging water 24/7, your body is constantly using fluid. The symptoms can be subtle, but they are there. Here are a few warning signs you can look for to see if you need a little extra water in your diet.
1. Dark urine
Your urine can tell you SO much about how your body is working. When you use the restroom, check the toilet to see what shade your urine is. What you want to see is a light yellow or clear color. The darker your urine is, the less water in your system. If you ever see orange or brown, you are severely dehydrated–contact your doctor.
Kind of gross, I know, but you might be dehydrated if you aren’t having regular bowel movements or if your bowel movements are hard to pass. Your ideal bowel movement should be smooth and easy to pass, like a brown banana.
When you get dehydrated, the fluid levels decrease, which means your blood volume decreases, which means your brain is getting less oxygen than it is used to. This will cause headaches. If you suspect dehydration to be the cause behind your headache, hold off on over-the-counter meds like ibuprofen, which can make dehydration worse. Just settle down somewhere quiet and sip on some water until you feel better.
4. Muscle cramping
When you sweat, you lose valuable electrolytes, sodium, and potassium from your muscles. If you aren’t drinking enough water and replenishing these things, then your muscles will seize up and cramp. So, if you are finding yourself particularly sore lately, consider upping your fluid intake.
In conclusion, it takes a LOT of water to run that body of yours. Because it is running constantly, this is something you must always be vigilant about. Look for symptoms from your head to your toes and, next time you go on errands, bring a water bottle with you.