Health And Wellness

5 Subtle Signs You're Severely Dehydrated

Photo: Julia Manga, Peopleimages | Canva
Woman hydrating

By Heather Dale

Did you know that once you hit the point of being thirsty, you're already dehydrated?

Our bodies are between 50 and 75 percent water, so once you're dehydrated, the amount of water in the body has already dropped below what's needed for normal body function.

Here are 5 subtle signs you're severely dehydrated:

1. You feel tired

If you feel tired throughout your day, try filling up on water before reaching for a caffeinated beverage and see if that makes a difference. After a full night's rest it's common to be slightly dehydrated in the morning; so don't forget to include drinking a glass of H2O in your morning routine to jump-start your metabolism and your brain!

A study by German researchers showed drinking cold water right after you wake up increased metabolic activity by 24 percent for a full 90 minutes.

Why else should you drink water in the morning? It kickstarts your brain. Your brain is 75 percent water. So that means when it's hydrated, it can work right. Water gives the brain the electrical energy for all brain functions, including thought and memory processes.

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2. You feel moody

A 2012 study found that mild dehydration can affect your mood and interfere with your ability to concentrate. If you're sitting at your desk and feeling a little low, sipping water could help you snap into focus.

The study concluded that bad mood, more difficult tasks, lower concentration, and headache symptoms resulted from 1.36% dehydration in females. The researchers emphasized how important optimal hydration is, especially during and after moderate exercise.

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3. You're having trouble going

Water helps to keep your digestive system moving and your intestines flexible to avoid chronic constipation. It only makes sense that you'd have difficulty with your bowel movements if you're not staying hydrated. Keep things moving by drinking plenty of fluids throughout your day.

4. You have a headache

Mild headaches are a classic sign of dehydration. Drinking eight ounces of water when you feel the pain coming on might just keep the headache at bay. To combat this, health providers suggest that you try sipping water or sucking on ice cubes. So sip up before reaching for the aspirin.

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5. You have bad breath

A dry mouth leads to bad breath. You need saliva to fight stink-inducing bacteria, so drinking water regularly should keep your breath in check.

“If you’re not producing enough saliva, you can get bacterial overgrowth in the mouth, and one of the side effects of that is bad breath,” says John Higgins, MD, a professor of medicine at the University of Texas in Houston and the chief of cardiology at Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital.

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Heather Dale is a freelance writer and former editor of PopSugar.

This article was originally published at PopSugar. Reprinted with permission from the author.