You may think the “drink more water” sentiment is getting kind of old, but here’s the thing: many of us are still walking around not drinking enough, or in many cases, think we have it cased, but really are still somewhat dehydrated.
This is especially the case if you are active and end up sweating out more than you realize, or not drinking enough to start with.
Check in with yourself to see if you are exhibiting any of these signs, which may indicate your water intake needs to be amped up:
- Your Skin is Always Dry
No matter what the season, what the moisturizer you use, or how much you obey the cold-water shower rule, you seem to simply have chronically dry skin. Yep, you guessed it, lack of water may be to blame. Water is the universal hydrator in our body, and when it is lacking, things such as our skin, hair and nails often exhibit the first signs before we are thirsty or feel any other symptoms. In this case, provided you are moisturizing adequately, hydration can only come from the inside – drink up!
- You Have a Low-Grade Headache
It won’t go away, and is often compounded by difficulty concentrating or focusing, being easily distracted, and an inability to maintain attention for long periods of time. Headaches like this are the body’s attempt to offer us a signal that something is wrong. They are a symptom of a bigger problem, and when it reaches the persistent headache stage, it may take a while to replenish water stores within the body. This means that it is important to continue to drink ample fluids even after the headache has disappeared to make sure that you have adequately rehydrated all the systems of your body.
- You Crave Salt
Electrolyte imbalance is one of the key side effects of dehydration. Our body is constantly working to maintain the proper balance within our blood between fluid, and electrolytes such as salt, magnesium and potassium. If you are craving salt, it means the balance may be off, as you have likely lost salt and electrolytes in the process of not having enough water (and sweating), and as a result, your body is now craving salt to replenish itself. Opt to have water before you have a salty snack and see if you are able to abate your craving for salty chips!
- You are Hungry
Or at least you think you are. Often we misinterpret thirst and not being hydrated enough as hunger, because our body is telling us it needs something, but we may not know what that is. It is partly related to the balance of electrolytes, in the point above, but also, in that drinking water, helps us feel satiated and all of our bodily systems feel satisfied and as if they have the resources they need to do their job. Without this, our body asks us for something and sometimes we don’t realize it’s asking for water.
Whether you have noticed that you are exhibiting these signs, or simply feel like you could do with upping your H20, grab your bottle, and fill it up. Chances are you will feel better for it, and your body will thank you!
Check out these 7 foods packed with water to help you stay hydrated!
By: Laura Peill, RHN, BScH – Viand Nutrition