Signs You’re Dehydrated And Didn’t Know It

Flickr/Myrtle Beach TheDigitel

Feeling thirsty? Even if your answer is “no,” you might still be dehydrated. Sure, cracked lips and a sandpaper tongue might be telltale signs, but there are a few that can sneak up on you. Here’s what to look out for:

1. You have bad breath.


Your saliva fights and flushes out bad bacteria. If you’re dehydrated, you won’t create enough saliva to keep your mouth clean, which allows the stinky germs to populate more quickly, giving you bad breath.

2. Your scalp is flaky.

Your skin is an incredible indicator of how healthy you are, and your scalp is no exception. If you have an unusually dry scalp, try adding a few more glasses of water to your daily routine. That may be all you need for some relief.

3. You keep getting sick.


Along with a proper diet and exercise, hydration is key to regulating your bodily fluids, organ function and immune system. If you’re drinking enough water, you’re less likely to get sick. When your immune system is strong, it can fight infection and bad bacteria more effectively.

4. Your urine is dark or smells weird.

To put it simply, healthy urine is generally pale in color unless you’re taking vitamins that affect its appearance. It also usually has a mild smell. If you’re noticing a dark color or strong scent though, you’re likely dehydrated.

5. You’re always hungry.

Your stomach has more room to fill when you’re not hydrating with water throughout the day. Before you search for a snack that will satiate a rumbling stomach, try sipping on a glass of water instead. Getting enough H2O will make you feel more satiated.

6. You’re constantly reaching for sweets.


When your hydration levels drop even as little as 1.5 percent, you could start experiencing cravings for sugar. The next time you’re ready to grab a cookie, down a glass or two of water and then see how you feel.

7. You’re in a mental fog.

Since water regulates brain function, a lack of hydration directly impacts mental clarity. If it’s hard to focus, remember little details or stay alert, you may be legitimately dehydrated. Drink up!

8. You cramp up during or after workouts.


Water maintains fluid in your joints and feeds muscle fibers, so if you’re not drinking enough water before, during and after your workouts, you can start feeling tense, and cramped up while you exercise. Make sure you’re well-hydrated before hitting the gym.

9. You’re uncharacteristically irritable.

If you’re feeling increasingly cranky or irritable and can’t figure out why, you could be dehydrated. Sufficient water intake helps maintain your brain’s cognitive function, and also helps control your mood. Instead of pinning your anger on an external source, consider if you’ve had enough to drink throughout the day.

10. You’re feeling feverish or chilled.

Proper hydration helps your body regulate it’s temperature and maintain the status quo. A fever can intensify your dehydration and cause symptoms to worsen, so we suggest applying cool cloths to the body to prevent your temp from spiking more.

11. You might become constipated.

When your body is running low on water it tends to take hydration from other vital functions – like the H2O needed to keep things moving through your colon. If you’re feeling bloated or backed up, a cold glass of water can solve more problems than you might’ve imagined.

12. Your skin looks dry or flushed.

It comes as no surprise that your bodies largest organ will lose it’s luster if it becomes dehydrated. If you can pinch your skin and it stays tented for more than a second, that’s a telltale sign that you need to up your water intake. Likewise, red skin sans-sunburn might indicate that you’re dehydrated.

How much water your body needs in a day depends on a number of factors including your weight, how physically active you are and whether you live in a warm climate. Many follow the “8×8 rule” — eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day — but The Institute of Medicine says that it’s likely not enough. You can calculate what your water intake should be here.

Hydration is crucial for keeping your body in tip-top shape. Make sure you’re at your best by getting that H2O in, no matter what.