Every day, your body needs a certain amount of water just to function. Water can wake you up, help you think, and help your body do all the things it's meant to do. Although you may know the eight glasses a day recommendation, some days it's difficult to make that happen. Whether it's because you're drinking other things (coffee all day, every day) or you're just busy and it's not a priority, sometimes your water intake is bound to lag. And, as it turns out, there can be some weird signs you're not drinking enough water. In fact, you may experience these signs regularly, but not know what's causing them.
You should consult your doctor in order to know how much water you should be drinking daily, according to Harvard Health Letter, because the exact amount can vary from person to person based on a person's health status as well as their age and gender. Generally speaking, healthy people should be OK drinking four to six cups of water daily, as noted by the aforementioned Harvard Health Letter article. And although fruit juice, milk, fresh fruit, coffee and tea do count toward your daily fluid intake, according to WebMD, they come with additional calories and sugar which isn't ideal. If you start to (or already do) exhibit any of these signs and symptoms, get thee to a water fountain - you just might need good old H2O.
1. You're Confused
Find yourself feeling a little dizzy or disoriented? It might be because you're dehydrated. Dr. Sanford Vieder told Self that confusion can be a sign that you haven't had enough water. Although unexplained confusion can point to a number of different potential issues, if you haven't had a drink in a while, that's a good place to start.
2. You're Breath Stinks
If you notice that your breath is worse than normal and you're not sure why, you might need a glass of water. Dr. John Higgins, chief of cardiology at Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital, told Everyday Health that if you don't have enough saliva in your mouth, bacteria will grow, resulting in bad breath.
3. You Don't Sweat During Workouts
According to Prevention, sweat helps you regulate your temperature and send blood to power your muscles. If there's not enough fluid in your body to do both, something's going to have to give, meaning you may notice that you barely break a sweat if you're dehydrated. Although it may seem like a blessing, sweating is important. Make sure you hydrate after workouts or strenuous activity, but hydrating is especially important if you notice you're powder dry.
4. Your Skin Is Suffering
Not drinking enough water? Your skin may look dull or dry, you may notice more breakouts or feel like you're looking a little tired. According to the aforementioned Self article, a loss of skin elasticity is a sign that there's not enough moisture.
5. You Have A Headache
I used to get chronic headaches and, without fail, every doctor I saw asked how much water I drank. According to Cooking Light, if you're not drinking enough water, blood vessels in the brain can dilate, meaning swelling, inflammation, and seriously uncomfortable pain.
6. You're Hungry
Feeling so hungry you could eat the entire contents of your kitchen? If you just ate and you're still hungry, you might actually need water, according to Glamour. Instead of a snack, try a drink first.
7. You're Crabby
According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, even mild levels of dehydration can make people crabby, with women especially vulnerable. If you're feeling irrationally mad at everyone and can't come up with a reason why, try downing a few glasses of water. It might not work, but it's worth a shot.
8. You Have Muscle Cramps
Muscle cramps are truly annoying. They hurt with a capital H and all kinds of exclamation points. As mentioned in the previous Cooking Light article, when sodium and fluid levels drop during difficult workouts, available fluids are often designated to the hardworking circulatory system, leaving muscles susceptible to cramps and spasms. Ouch.
9. Your Lips Are Chapped
Chapped lips can, of course, mean things like "it's cold and windy outside," but if you find yourself constantly reaching for your lip balm, you might need more water. According to Healthline, chapped lips can be a sign of dehydration.