February 4, 2023

Partly cloudy skies this morning. Thunderstorms likely during the afternoon. High 87F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%..
Thunderstorms during the evening will give way to mainly clear skies after midnight. Low 78F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
Updated: September 22, 2022 @ 6:14 am
We reside in an active island community, where a lot of the residents walk, bike or run as a way to both stay in shape and get around the island. What most Key Biscayners – as most people – do not realize is that they spend their days unknowingly dehydrated, and only realize it when they feel thirsty.
But what if you knew that a lot of other health issues you have could be traced back to your lack of water intake? There are specific signs to look out for when identifying how dehydrated–or hydrated– your body is.
For human beings, staying hydrated is one of –if not the most– important habits to keep up. Since, on average, 60 percent of our bodies are made of water, people need it more than they might think. Board-certified family physician and founder of Unlimited Health Institute Tamika Henry, MD, MBA, explains that of the many things water helps human bodies with, some include removing waste and toxins, lubricating joints, and regulating body temperature.
While we go through a normal day, we usually lose water through sweat, exhaling, and other normal bodily functions. To replenish our 60%, however, we cannot produce the material ourselves. Usually, people do not think about potentially being dehydrated until they feel thirsty. “If you’re thirsty, you’re already mildly dehydrated,” Dr. Henry says.
Here are Real Simple’s 7 mental and physical signs of dehydration that aren’t thirst. To read Karen Asp’s entire article, click here.
1. Your breath doesn’t smell good.
Although bad breath can have many different explanations, dehydration very commonly causes this. Since saliva has antibacterial properties and saliva needs water to be created, a lack of water can cause the germs in your mouth to stay active and cause bad breath.
2. You feel hungry.
Oftentimes, feeling hungry means just that –you’re hungry. However, some cases, especially when you crave very salty foods, point to a different issue. To differentiate between the feelings next time, drink a cup of water and wait around 15 minutes to see how you feel.
3. Your head hurts.
Headaches can be caused by many things, but dehydration is a common reason why people experience them. There is no exact reason why this correlation exists, but “A working theory involves pain receptors in the brain that are attached to the meninges (membrane layers that protect your brain and spinal cord),” Dr. Henry says. Basically, not drinking enough water causes a lack of liquid in the brain, pressuring parts of your brain and activating your pain receptors.
4. You can’t concentrate.
Again, not focusing can be caused by many different issues. However, it might be a good idea to drink a glass of water next time you feel you can’t concentrate on whatever you’re working on. Not having enough water in your system can cause “trouble focusing” as well as “short-term challenges in performing tasks related to motor and visual skills,” Dr. Henry warns.
5. You haven’t gone to the restroom.
When you have less than three bowel movements a week, you are officially constipated. One of the most common reasons for this issue is dehydration. Dr. Henry explains that water helps the human body process and digest food. Therefore, not drinking enough of it may cause your body to have more trouble than you could prevent.
6. You’re irritated.
Although feeling irritable can be attributed to many causes, dehydration is a common reason why your mood can feel unfavorable. Dr. Henry says that “dehydration can cause neurological effects that lead to irritability.” So next time you feel unexplainably frustrated or annoyed, drink a cold glass of water and see if that does the trick.
7. Your skin doesn’t feel elastic.
Use two of your fingers to pinch and let go of the skin on your lower arm, abdomen or the top of your hand. If your skin goes back to the way it was immediately, that means you’re hydrated. However, if you are dehydrated, your skin might feel and look less elastic, taking longer to snap back into place.
So now that you know this, you might be thinking: well, where do I start ? How much water should I drink ? And the answer to that is that it depends.
Some doctors suggest that you drink half of your body weight in ounces (so if you weigh 140 pounds, you should drink around 70 ounces of water a day), and others suggest you drink 0.5 to 1 ounce of water per pound you weigh. Other experts disagree with these methods completely.
Since there’s no real “exact” amount of water you should be drinking, a good rule of thumb is to stay hydrated as you see fit, but just make sure to drink water throughout the day. Although only drinking water when you feel thirsty might be the easiest thing to do, it definitely is not best for your body to function healthily.


Leave a Reply