Feeling hungry? Head hurting? Before you reach for a power bar or a pain reliever, consider this: You might actually just be thirsty.
You’ve likely heard it before, but it’s worth re-stating: more than half of our bodies are made up of water. In fact, it’s close to 60 percent depending, on age and gender. And 100 percent of the body relies on water to do its job well. Our bodies are like well-oiled machines, except that oil is water and when we don’t consume enough of it, our body can suffer in big ways. Even if you may not necessarily feel “thirsty,” your body needs h-two-oh to properly do its thing.
Dehydration can sneak up on you, especially if you’re in a warmer climate or exercising. It often happens very quickly and can manifest in some pretty surprising ways. So take a swig and start reading about a few telltale signs your bod needs some life blood—AKA water.
You have bad breath.
Gross, but true. We can all tell when that dry, cotton mouth feeling takes over. Maybe you’ve been giving a presentation and talking nonstop, or maybe you’ve been sipping on kombucha cocktails without water in between. Regardless, bad breath is a classic sign of dehydration. Next time you’re in a pinch and can tell your breath is less than fresh, chug a glass of cold water and it will help flush out the bacteria. You can also try squeezing a lemon or lime, or simply using Liquid I.V.’s Hydration Multiplier, a non-GMO electrolyte drink mix which hydrates 2-3 times more effectively than water alone. (Plus the added flavor might make you want to drink more!)
You have a relentless sweet tooth.
Your body gets fuel from glycogen. So where does all this glycogen come from? Glycogen is derived from glucose, a type of sugar you get from fruits and carbs. Your liver helps process glucose to turn that sugar into energy. But in order to do that, it needs water. Without it, the whole system starts troubleshooting. This is when your sweet tooth can come on with a vengeance, as your body starts sending alerts to your brain to give it sugar so it can keep the process running smoothly. The thing is, when you reach for a piece of chocolate instead of a glass of water, you’re only making it worse—get your sip on before you get your sweets on!
You’re craving salty foods.
Water weight is a condition we’ve all fallen victim to. Retaining water may make you want to drink less to try and offset the puffiness you’re seeing in the mirror. But this can actually exacerbate the problem. When you’re dehydrated, your water and electrolyte levels can be thrown off. The body craves sodium as a way of trying to equalize the imbalance. But going for a bag of potato chips or french fries will be a futile effort, only leaving you wanting more. Go for the hydration instead.
Your head hurts—bad.
Ranging anywhere from a low grade pain to a full blown migraine, headaches are a classic (and terrible) sign of dehydration. Scientists estimate around 75 percent of the brain is made up water. And when your body is running short on the stuff, the brain can shrink, and as it does so it begins pulling away from the skull. Sounds like some sort of medieval torture, right? That pain you’re feeling is your brain going into recluse. Instead of popping a pain reliever, try chugging some water. It will offer a solution to the problem, rather than masking it.
You don’t gotta go.
Your body’s output tells you a lot about what’s going on inside. Ever been slamming email after email or dancing on tabletops with your girls and noticed you haven’t had to pee in hours? This is because you’re dehydrated. And when you finally do go, you’ll probably notice it’s a much darker hue than normal—not very cute. Dehydration also leads to feeling a bit backed up, as your intestines need ample amounts of water to get things moving. You’ll probably really notice this after a long flight, when your whole system is feeling dry. Just down a few glasses of water to get things going—especially when out on the town or traveling! Liquid I.V. is awesome in these instances, as their packages are easy to slip inside your purse or backpack. Next time you’re on a camping trip, consider bringing a box along.
You’re feeling super sleepy.
You think you’ve hit that 2:30pm slump and feel as though you need caffeine, but it turns out you might just be thirsty. Blood requires water to move through the body smoothly. When you’re dehydrated, your blood has less water and therefore becomes thicker, and hence moves slower through the body and also demands more on your heart to pump the thick stuff. As your blood pressure and levels drop, you will start to feel very fatigued. So if you’re feeling tired, light-headed or dizzy, skip the iced coconut milk cold brew and go for water.
Muscle spasms and cramps.
Exercise junkies (we see you on your SoulCycle bike) are especially susceptible to this symptom. As you sweat, your body is losing both water and electrolytes. If you’re not properly replenishing both, you will start to feel it in your muscles in the form of cramps and spasms. It’s best to stay hydrated well before you experience either of those, but if you do, be smart and replenish your fluids quickly. Cue Liquid I.V.’s Hydration Multiplier.
You’ve got dry skin and pruney fingers.
Ever notice your fingers looks pruned even when you haven’t been soaking in a pool or hot tub? It’s because it’s thirsty. Skin is over 60 percent water, and it needs to get its fill, otherwise it will start to reduce elasticity. A good test if you’re not sure if you’re dehydrated or not is to pinch the skin on the back of your hand. If it stays tented for a bit afterward, you need water. If it bounces right back to its original shape, you’re good—but it also might not hurt to fill up your bottle.
If you couldn’t tell, we’re huge fans of Liquid I.V.’s Hydration Multiplier. It makes it easy for those of us who aren’t so great at downing water (raises hand) to stay on top of their hydration game. For more information on how Liquid I.V. works, check out their Science page—they’ve got some pretty cool advancements in the water world that we’re happy to support. Receive 20% off of Liquid I.V. products with code: WANDERLUST20
What’s your fave way to stay hydrated? Tell us in the comments below!
In partnership with Liquid I.V.
Liquid I.V.’s Hydration Multiplier is a great-tasting, Non-GMO electrolyte drink mix that utilizes the breakthrough science of Cellular Transport Technology (CTT)™ to deliver hydration to your bloodstream faster and more efficiently than water alone. 1 Liquid I.V. can provide the same hydration as drinking 2-3 bottles of water.