Have you had enough water today?
The human body is about 65% water. It only makes sense that it is absolutely vital to stay properly hydrated. For some of us, it’s hard to drink the recommended 8oz per day and some of us even ignore our thirst signals all together! Well I’m going to tell you 5 signs that you aren’t drinking enough water and why you should consider increasing your intake.
You haven’t peed yet today
If you aren’t giving your body enough water to carry out all normal metabolic and cellular functions throughout the day, it will extract and hold onto the water from your food. This can be an issue especially if you’re trying to lose weight as it results in constipation and water retention.
When you pee, it looks more like concentrated orange juice than light to clear lemonade
This one is kind of a sub category of the former point, but also remember that even if you are excreting fluid, the color will tell you a lot about your current water content. Dark urine is a sign of major dehydration and could be caused in part by excess consumption of soda, coffee, alcohol, and fruit juices.
You have constant headaches and mood swings
Our brains, made of 80% water, are one of the first major organs that suffer greatly from dehydration. In fact, some research shows that being dehydrated actually shrinks your brain! When we fail to replace fluids lost through sweating and urinating, our body pulls water from the plump cells in the brain and uses them for other essential processes. This shriveling or shrinking of the brain pulls on its surrounding structures causing a headache.
You feel easily tired
Drinking water is a great way to elevate your heart rate and get blood pumping throughout your body making you feel ready to take on the day. Blood is about 53% water by volume. Improper hydration will lead to an increase in the viscosity of your blood which in turn decreased blood flow. This will immediately make you feel easily fatigued. In a chronic state of dehydration, high blood viscosity will cause your heart to work harder to increase blood pressure to insure proper circulation of blood throughout the body. This stresses out the heart and blood vessels. In other words, you feel tired because the heart is having trouble meeting the demands of the body.
You’re often unreasonably hungry
We often mistake our body’s signal of thirst as hunger. Well let’s think about that one for a second, your body is saying it needs something, it needs you to put something in its mouth right away.. Hmm garden veggie burger with extra tomatoes or a boring ol’ glass of water?… Uhm, yeah. Well, research shows that this common mistake often leads to over-eating! Before you stuff that meal in your face, try drinking a glass of water first and then have a small meal if you’re still hungry.
“OK, ok I get it”
I have a couple easy tricks to insure you stay hydrated. The first is always carrying a water bottle with you! This one is easy and you can pick up a cute, trendy BPA-free bottle at your local grocery store for a reasonable price (I recommend Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op). This not only helps to reduce waste but then you will be sure to keep water with you on the go. The second trick is to try infused water. There are lots of fun recipes online but my favorite is to just through a couple frozen berries, cucumber slices, or lemon in my water before I head out for the day. This keeps things interesting and takes the place of those calorie dense juices and drinks.
No, but seriously
I recommend drinking a tall glass of morning every morning as soon as you wake up. This will help get the blood flowing more freely and help you feel more alert. As for daily intake, 8oz is a bare minimum. Author of The Plan, Lyn-Genet Recitas, recommends drinking at least half your body weight in ounces per day. This means, if you weigh 150lbs you should drink 75oz of water per day or about nine and a half 8oz glasses per day. If you’re exercising, you should have one or two more glasses depending on how much you sweat. I know it sounds like a hard task but drinking enough water and staying properly hydrated will help you stay fit, healthy, energetic, bright, and it’s easy on your wallet too! I hope you guys enjoyed this article and remember to pay attention to these signs of dehydration, we’ve gotta keep the body movin’!