Many people claim that they don’t like water, or that they drink other beverages and get water that way. But that is not an excuse.
Water is essential to human life and development. Although you may be quenching your thirst when you guzzle back some soda, you’re not actually giving your body the proper hydrating it needs.
Check out these steps to determine whether or not you are dehydrated, and learn a little bit more about the importance of drinking water and just how much you should be drinking each day.
There are a few common signs that may point to light and average levels of dehydration. There’s the obvious feeling of thirst, but this can extend to having a dry mouth and even feeling tired.
You may also find yourself more irritable or nervous. On top of that, you might notice changes in the bathroom—like in your bowel movements or in the color—and even constipation.
You may find yourself experiencing bad breath or sugar cravings. Depending on the severity of your dehydration you can experience muscle cramps, as well as headaches and dizziness.
In case all of that already didn’t sound bad enough, the signs and symptoms of severe dehydration get even worse. Keep reading to find out more.
If you are severely dehydrated you might feel strong signs of thirst and an increase in heartbeat and breathing. If you notice these symptoms on an ongoing basis, consult with your doctor.
You can see the symptoms of dehydration on your skin. You may notice that your skin is extremely dry or brittle and that you do not sweat no matter how hot you get.
It can get really bad if you don’t take care of yourself. At severe dehydration, you will experience dizziness and might even lose consciousness. Your blood pressure will begin to lower and you might develop a hollow stare.
There are ways to check if you are heading towards dehydration before any of these severe side effects begin to kick in. Unless you’re stranded on a desert island, you should be able to reverse it.
How can you check if you’re dehydrated or not? An easy way that you can check your levels of hydration is to give the skin on the back of your hand a pinch.
If the skin fold smooths back out right away, then you’re fine. But if it stays in that position, even just for a second, it means that you’re dehydrated.
This is not a good thing. The human body is made up of about 60-80% water. This means that if we aren’t taking enough in, the water in our bodies slowly begins to disappear.
How bad is this? Our blood can lose up to 8% which can lead to narrow blood vessels, blood clots, raised blood pressure, as well as increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Loss of water from the intercellular space can lead to heightened acidity levels, gout, kidney stones, brittle bones, and lower immunity. And loss from our cells can lead to higher cholesterol, poor metabolism, and accelerated aging.
So how much water should you be drinking? A common assumption is that adults should be drinking around 8 glasses 8 ounces of water a day. This is known as the 8×8 rule.
Other sources suggest that it actually goes by weight. So if you weigh 9kg you should drink 0.25 l of water a day compared to if you’re 72kg, then you should be drinking 2 liters of water a day.
So stop making excuses and go get yourself a glass of water! Your body will surely thank you now and in the future.