Since many of us relate hydration with thirst, it's easy not to forget about your H20 intake if you're not feeling parched. A sudden wave of thirst will have you spontaneously reaching for your tall ice frappe, but true dehydration may require a bit more care and attention. Let’s look at some signs that point to you already being dehydrated. And don't worry—we'll let you know how you can fix it too.
You Have Bad Breath
Coffee breath now has a whole new meaning! “If you’re not producing enough saliva in the mouth, you can get bacteria overgrowth and one of the side reactions of that is bad breath from chronic dehydration,” says John Higgins, MD, associate professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Texas in Houston. Being hydrated can help with saliva production, so the more water you chug, the better.
You Get Headaches
Headaches are a symptom of many ailments, but if you’re experiencing headaches alongside other dehydration symptoms, consider this a sign that you need more H20 in your life. "The more water you lose, the more your blood volume drops, which causes less oxygen flow to the brain. That causes your blood vessels to dilate, which can make your headache feel even worse," says Greg Justice, an exercise physiologist and author of Mind Your Own Fitness.
Your Pee is Bright Yellow
A random, but very true fact. Monitor the toilet bowl and note when your pee appears extra yellow. If you're not taking a B vitamin or antibiotic, this can be a direct sign of dehydration, reflecting an over-concentration of waste, which is more easily flushed out when you’re fully hydrated. Simply put when it comes to pee, the clearer the better.
Not the most fabulous topic of conversation, but still a very serious sign that you’re dehydrated. A properly hydrated digestive system allows for waste to easily pass through your body—not enough fluids makes this simple task much more difficult on your body.
Tips for Rehydrating
If you’ve noticed any of the previous symptoms, you’re most likely dehydrated. But don't worry, it can be reversed. Be careful to notice when you experience them, this way you can take some proactive steps to keep your body feeling good and looking great.
Here are some helpful tips to get hydrated and stay that way:
Drink more water, but not too much! Drinking too fast may cause stomach upset and drinking too much water can cause you to expel large amounts of urine, slowing the rehydration process.
Eat foods high in electrolytes and water. Vegetables and fruit are great for rehydrating.
Be sure to get a healthy dose of sodium and potassium. Try coconut water for an alternative source of electrolytes and bananas are always a potassium staple.
Stay away from alcohol and caffeine, both of which make it difficult for your body to retain fluids.
Whether you're a firm believer in 8 cups of water a day or a connoisseur of bubbly water, we can undoubtedly agree that it's important to stay hydrated. Before your next sweat sesh, remember these tips and ensure hydration is part of your daily wellness.