Less Obvious Signs of Dehydration


For many busy people, replenishing vital H20 is on the back burner of priorities. After all, actively staying hydrated is no easy task, considering the human body needs at least 8 cups (nearly 2 liters!) for optimal function. Even a slight dip in this daily recommended intake can cause unpleasant side effects to creep in.

  • Headaches

Did you know that your brain is practically an absorbent sponge? Water makes up roughly 75% of its overall matter. As explained by Dr. Jaffer, its guestimated that your brain's lining experiences the firing of pain receptors due to the transfer of fluids out of the brain in response to dehydration.

  • Lowered Workout Performance

Even if you've consumed enough calories in the day, feeling unusually sluggish early into your workout routine may be a subtle sign of a needed H20 boost. As an example, for someone with an endurance performance of two hours, dehydration can cut that short by over half (roughly 55 minutes). What happens as a result of being dehydrated is quite substantial; these include reduced blood circulation through the skin, elevated core temperature, poor sweat regulation, decreased blood volume, and high use of glycogen in the muscles.

  • Decreased Mental Functioning

Water to the brain is like gas or electricity to a car - it's a vital fuel source that allows our mental functions to perform smoothly. Quickly brushed off as fatigue from a hectic day, 'brain fog' (decreased cognitive performance and overall mental fatigue) resulting from dehydration is notorious for being subtle. Dr. Jaffer explained to Bed Threads Journal, "This is due to the disruption of homeostasis in our body. If you think about it, every body cell is affected internally. Consequently, our body is performing at a suboptimal level." Effects of mental performance due to dehydration include poor reaction responses and decreased focus/concentration.

  • A False Sense Of Hunger

Did you know that dehydration falsely tricks your brain into believing you're hungry? An American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson by the name of Alissa Rumsey, RD, explained to Health, "Mild dehydration is often masked as feelings of hunger when your body just needs fluids,"

Thankfully, getting your appetite back on track is relatively easy. Start the day with a glass of water in the morning, and upon sensations of thirst throughout the day, gradually drink more continually. In addition, when you experience hunger, consume a glass of water 15 to 20 minutes before eating, and assess whether the water helps curb your appetite. Although if you are starving, water is not meant to be an alternative to calorie consumption. If hunger persists even after consuming water, ensure you eat a proper meal or a snack at the very least.

  • Constipation

Water acts as a lubricant for the digestive tract and is critical in ensuring healthy bowel movements - this is particularly true if you're consuming a high-fiber diet. Like your brain, your large intestine is also highly water absorbent, mainly when stool passes through it. In the event of inadequate water intake, your intestines will remove additional water from the stool to prevent waste.