How To Know If You Need To Drink More Water

by Isadora Baum, CHC

Sometimes the day flies by, and you forget to take time to refill your water bottle and hydrate. Unfortunately, such days can be bad for your health, and knowing when your body needs water to function properly and to help you feel energized and balanced. Since your body is made up of mostly water, and you tend to lose water through sweat and urination, you need to constantly replenish lost stores.

As a certified health coach, I work with clients on replenishing their bodies and balancing hormones to have a stable mood, energy level, and physical competence during the day. When my clients are not drinking enough water, their bodies can become tired or prone to cravings, which can lead to weakened progress in meeting their health goals. If you're realizing that you're not refilling your water during the day, it should be something to work on incorporating into your daily practice. Setting an alarm to drink a glass of water or to fill up a bottle every two hours is an idea, or you can create a goal of glasses of water to drink each day. Here are 11 ways to know that you need to drink more water stat.

1. You Have A Headache

"If you find yourself with a mild headache, it could very well be a sign that you are dehydrated," advises Eric Berniker CMO of CORE Nutrition, LLC over email with Bustle. "Try drinking a glass of water before popping an aspirin, or if you struggle with drinking enough water, try a fruit-infused option like CORE Organic. It will immediately help to rehydrate your body," Berniker recommends.

2. Your Pee Is Dark Yellow

Over email with Bustle, healthy lifestyle coach Liz Traines explains that simply looking at the toilet after peeing could be an immediate sign. Your pee should be clear or a super diluted yellow color, says Traines, and if you see a bright or mustardy yellow, it means you're dehydrated.

3. You Have Bad Breath

You can't always blame the garlic and onions. Drinking and engaging saliva can break up bad mouth odors, so if you're dehydrated, a foul breath can occur due to the inability to cleanse the palate, explained a study in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, as reported in U.S. News. The bacteria in the mouth can become stinky if it's dry for too long, as explained.

4. You Can't Poop

Traines advises that constipation or a difficulty making regular bowel movements can be a sign that you're dehydrated and in need of a tall, glass of water. Being constipated can be hard to deal with, as it's painful and can make you feel lethargic, advises Traines, and drinking more will help loosen things up.

5. You're Tired

Over email with Bustle, running coach and personal trainer Susie Lemmer advises that if you're tired in the day, while still getting adequate sleep, it could be due to dehydration. Drinking will awaken the senses and provide energy, advises Lemmer, so drink up if you start to feel sluggish.

6. You're Craving Food

Traines says that if you notice cravings, especially for sweet or salty foods, or unexplained hunger (i.e. you had lunch or a snack not too long ago), it could be due to a lack of liquids and shift in appetite hormones. When we are thirsty, our bodies can interpret it as hunger, explains Traines. Drink first, and then see if you're still hungry.

7. You're Not Performing As Well

If your workouts are not as awesome as they usually are, or you find yourself not having enough stamina or muscle strength to get through moves that you should be able to do for your level and experience, it could mean that you're not drinking enough water, and your joints and muscles haven't repaired as well, advises Lemmer.

8. Your Skin Is Dry & Wrinkly

If you notice dry and wrinkly skin, it could mean that your body is craving water in order to hydrate its pore and achieve a fuller, clearer glow on the skin. When you're dehydrated, your body becomes drier and flakier (especially in the winter time), and it's important to drink a lot in order to have freshly plumped skin.

9. You Get Lightheaded When Standing

According to health expert James Colquhoun, with Food Matters, on his website, standing up and feeling dizzy or lightheaded can be a sign that you're not drinking enough water. If this is the case for you, try drinking more in the day to see if anything changes. A few sips could really make a difference.

10. Your Muscles Cramp

Lemmer says that muscle cramps and tension, especially at random points in the day or first thing in the morning, can be a sign of dehydration. If you notice any extra stiffness, drink water ASAP in order to loosen up the stress and see if your muscles start to feel more relaxed and rejuvenated.

11. Your Body Is Hot

As explained over interview with Prevention, J. Timothy Lightfoot, PhD, director of the Huffines Institute for Sports Medicine and Human Performance at Texas A&M University, said that when you're not drinking enough, your body can't regulate its body temperature and cool you down. If you're hotter than usual, drink some cool water.

If you notice any of these signs, take a moment to grab something to drink in order to rehydrate and feel more energized, alert, and happier. Not drinking enough can mess with your mood, digestion, and temperament, so be careful to sip enough during the day.

Images: Pixabay (12)