You often hear the old "eight glasses of water a day" adage as a way to stay hydrated. But unfortunately, hydration is not as simple as refilling your Nalgene. It's possible to still be dehydrated after drinking water. This may be discouraging for avid H2O drinkers, but if you drink a lot of water and still feel dehydrated, you can pinpoint the source of the problem and become hydrated again.
"Hydration is essential to overall health," board-certified rehabilitation specialist Scott Michael Schreiber, D.C., tells Bustle. "Many Americans are chronically dehydrated, which means they have been drinking less than optimal for a long period of time. When this occurs, you need to slowly rehydrate, as your body has been in survival mode, adjusted to not consuming enough water. In addition, as you drink more, you will go to the bathroom more. This will pass with time as your body becomes more hydrated."
The biggest signs that you're dehydrated include inability to sweat, dry skin, bad breath, dark pee, and urination less than six times a day. It might be confusing if you're experiencing these signs even after drinking lots of water, but drinking water isn't all that it takes to stay hydrated. Here are some reasons you might be dehydrated despite seemingly adequate water intake, according to experts.
If you're experiencing signs of chronic dehydration despite drinking lots of water, talk to your doctor about what might be going on and how to stay hydrated.
Scott Michael Schreiber D.C.
Dr. Natasha Trentacosta M.D.
Popkin, B. M., D'Anci, K. E., & Rosenberg, I. H. (2010). Water, hydration, and health. Nutrition reviews, 68(8), 439–458. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x