More than 50% of the human body is water. Are you drinking enough water? On average, you should drink between 1.5 and 2 liters a day. You can find out how much water you need with this calculator:
Experts recommend that you drink regularly throughout the day to avoid feeling thirsty. If you feel thirsty, this means that your body is already a little dehydrated. Older people can quickly become dehydrated, because they lose the feeling of being thirsty. Children should also be reminded to drink water regularly.
The best thirst quenchers are:
- tap water
- (still) mineral water
- unsweetened herbal teas
These are the 9 dehydration symptoms:
1. Thirst – the classic sign
Thirst is your body’s way of sending an alarm signal. Apparently, it hasn’t been “watered” in time and is now in urgent need of hydration.
When we get a headache, we often take a painkiller right away. Frequently, however, it is simply dehydration because the blood is no longer thinned enough and thus less oxygen is transported to the brain. A big glass of water or a hot cup of herbal tea is more natural and better than pills.
Do you forget to drink? Always have a pitcher of water on your desk, set an alarm on your phone or download apps that remind you to drink a sip of water regularly.
3. Trouble concentrating
Our brain is three-fourths water. Without the necessary fluids, we have difficulties concentrating.
4. Dark urine
Dehydration is also noticeable in the urine. Not drinking enough water changes the color of your urine. The problem is not that it is diluted, but rather concentrated. This is why the color changes from straw yellow to deep amber. You’ll know you’re drinking enough water when your urine is almost clear.
5. Dry skin
If your body receives too little water, this can also be seen in your skin. The available fluids are used to supply the vital organs first, the skin must wait its turn and this is why it can turn dry and flaky.
If you have trouble moving your bowels, this can also be a dehydration symptom. The volume of your stool decreases and the stool turns hard – this leads to constipation. Especially when eating fiber-rich foods (like whole-grain products), you should drink plenty of liquids. As the fiber absorbs the liquid, it swells up, making the stool looser and softer. It also promotes bowel function.
The main cause of dizziness is low blood pressure. This can result, among other things, from a lack of hydration. The blood can no longer be thinned properly and is pumped more slowly through the body.
Dehydration leads the body to shut down the metabolism and this makes us sleepy.
9. Muscle cramps
Muscle cramps are caused by electrolyte imbalances. Of particular importance here are magnesium and sodium chloride. If we sweat more and do not drink enough fluids (incl. electrolytes), we tend to get cramps.
Did you just finish a tough workout?
When you really push yourself in a workout (>1 hour) and sweat profusely, you lose valuable minerals your body needs. Replenish these lost fluids and minerals with homemade sports drinks.
Don’t underestimate dehydration symptoms. If you’ve noticed any of the signs of dehydration mentioned above, you should replenish lost fluids as quickly as possible. The healthiest way to avoid developing problems is to keep sipping water throughout the day.