The human body is a complex organism, capable of many incredible things. However, some primitive functions within the body are in need of a serious upgrade. One of those functions is how the body translates signals of thirst.
The average adult requires a minimum of eight glasses (64 ounces) of water each day for optimal hydration. This number varies based on body size, activity levels, etc. However, the body isn’t always efficient at telling you it’s time for a drink of water.
Here are some of the surprising signs of mild dehydration.
You Feel Hungry
One of the most surprising signs of dehydration is a sense of hunger. This signal often manifests as cravings or an overwhelming urge to eat. Thirst often presents as hunger because your body knows something is missing in terms of nourishment but can’t quite pinpoint what it is. As such, it triggers the digestive system, effectively telling your caveman brain that it’s time to find sustenance.
If you’re feeling snacky or hungry and don’t know why, have a glass of water. Wait 10 minutes and determine whether you still feel hungry or if the feeling has subsided. The benefit of this approach is that if you’re still hungry, a glass of water will get your metabolism working and help you feel satiated sooner.
You Feel Tired
Another unusual way that dehydration manifests is the feeling of fatigue or exhaustion. While that mid-day slump may have you reaching for another cup of coffee, you’re likely better to reach for a glass of water.
One of the core functions of the body is moving blood. As the fluid levels in your body diminish, your blood pressure drops, making your circulatory system work harder to move blood to your brain. As a result, you may feel tired or lethargic.
While the Energetic Lifestyle recommendation of having a caffeine nap can help you get your second wind, do your body a favor and make sure it’s hydrated first.
You Feel Unfocused
That lack of blood flow to your brain can also negatively impact your cognition and focus. If you feel foggy and out of sorts, there’s a good chance you’re mildly dehydrated. Studies show that dehydration even plays a role in cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients.
Again, this effect is caused by your body having to work harder to accomplish the same basic tasks as someone who is properly hydrated. If you’ve ever felt punch drunk after an intense round of exercise or time spent out lounging in the sun, it’s likely a result of dehydration.
You Feel Sore
It’s common knowledge that inadequate hydration and a lack of electrolytes can cause muscle cramps. However, these subtle signs of dehydration aren’t always as severe as late-night charlie horses after an active day.
Dehydration can also present as general muscle soreness, especially after physical activity. It can also show up as generalized joint pain or back pain. Keep in mind that the body is primarily made of water. Everything from our blood to our cartilage relies on hydration. When your joints don’t have the cushioning they need and muscles aren’t receiving the restorative blood flow to repair damaged tissues, you’ll feel it.
You Feel Ill
Nowadays, people are more aware of their body feeling off. The events of 2020 have many people rethinking every flu-like symptom that appears in their bodies. Unfortunately, dehydration sometimes presents as a cold or flu-like symptoms, including the development of a fever, headaches, and nausea.
Before you call the doctor or head to the testing station, do a quick body scan and ask yourself if you’ve had enough water today. You’d be surprised at the difference a couple of glasses can make.
Drinking water is one of the easiest, most practical gifts you can give your body. In fact, you should have a glass right now.