Dehydration is very common in a lot of people. People become dehydrated and don’t even know they are. 60% of our body is made up of water and, therefore, it will show signs if running low. Often times people think just because they drink some sort of liquid throughout the day they will stay hydrated. This is never the case unless it’s strictly water. Drinking coffee, tea, soda, and gatorade will not hydrate you to the point that your body needs. Here are some signs of dehydration that you will pick up on quickly.
1. Muscle cramps: Have you ever seen a football player down on the ground holding the backs of his legs in agony? Then you see a trainer stretching out their legs? Well they have muscle cramps due to dehydration. As your body gets hot you lose water naturally by sweating. If you don’t replenish that water you will develop cramps. As you sweat you also lose electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. These are what start the cycle of a muscle activating to move. If these are off your muscle will not work properly and cause you to cramp.
2. Urine Color: Check the color of your pee. If it’s a dark yellow you are dehydrated. You want the color to be clear to light yellow.
3. Dry Skin: People think people that are dehydrated are sweaty, but often times they have dry skin. Your body has decreased blood volume when you are dehydrated and your skin reacts by getting dry.
4. Bad Breath: Your saliva has antibacterial properties in it, but you lose production of saliva when you are dehydrated. When you have decreased production of saliva you can have bacterial overgrowth, and one side effect is bad breath. This is more of a chronic dehydration symptom, but it is good to know.
5. Food Cravings: When you are dehydrated it can be hard for some organs to use water to release glycogens and other energy stores. This in turn will leave you feeling hungry. Here is a hint…reach for a snack that is high in water content like fruit. This will help crave that as well as give you some of that water content that your body is desparetely needing.
The general rule of thumb to stay hydrated throughout the day is to drink half your weight in ounces of water. Now, some people say that they hate drinking water. If you can find a flavor powder that doesn’t have chemicals or sugar in it then you can use something like that to sweeten it up. Also you can put lemon in it. You can also eat fruit to supplement some of it such as cantelope and water melon. Generally any fruit will have water in it, but you want to also watch your sugar intake. Knowing if you are dehydrated is a good tool. Knowing how to cure it is even better. Look for the above signs and you will be ahead of the game.