We all know drinking plenty of water is the right thing to do – but do you know why?
According to Everyday Health:
Dehydration, which occurs when the body has insufficient water and other fluids to function properly, can lead to blood clots, seizures, and other potentially fatal complications. Studies have shown that even mild dehydration can have adverse effects on mood and energy. That’s why it’s so important to catch dehydration early on, but the signs aren’t always obvious ones like thirst and fatigue.
Here are six surprising indicators that you might be dehydrated.
1. Bad breath. Saliva has antibacterial properties in it, but dehydration can prevent your body from making enough saliva.
“If you’re not producing enough saliva in the mouth, you can get bacteria overgrowth and one of the side reactions of that is bad breath from chronic dehydration,” saysJohn Higgins, MD, associate professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Texas in Houston, and chief of cardiology at Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital.
2. Dry skin. “A lot of people think that people who get dehydrated are really sweaty; but as you go through various stages of dehydration, you become very dizzy and you don’t have enough blood volume so you get very dry skin,” Dr. Higgins says. He adds that because the skin is dry and not evaporating as well, you can also experience flushing of the skin.
Think you can’t get dehydrated in cooler seasons or climates? Think again. Higgins says symptoms may be milder or come on slower, but it’s still possible to be dehydrated orsuffer from heat illness in cooler weather.
3. Muscle cramps. “The hotter you get, the more likely you are to get muscle cramps, and that’s from a pure heat effect on the muscles. As the muscles work harder and harder, they can seize up from the heat itself. Changes in the electrolytes, changes in the sodium and potassium can lead to muscle cramping as well,” according to Higgins.
4. Fever and chills. It might sound counterintuitive, but if your body is severely dehydrated you may experience symptoms like fever or even chills. Fever can be especially dangerous, so be sure to seek immediate medical help if your fever rises over 101°F.
5. Food cravings, especially for sweets. “When you’re dehydrated, it can be difficult for some nutrients and organs like the liver which use water to release some glycogens and other components of your energy stores, so you can actually get cravings for food,” Higgins says. While you can crave anything from chocolate to a salty snack, cravings for sweets are more common because your body may be experiencing difficulty with glycogen production, he says.
6. AND MY TOP ISSUE: Brain Fog. The brain is 75% water.