Staying hydrated is one of those Sisyphean chores that should be easy enough, yet for whatever reason we struggle to stay hydrated throughout the day. It’s so easy to just forget to drink water, hence why our body needs to remind us that we’re running low.
Humans are of course 70 per cent water, and our bodies need plenty of it to function healthily and happily. No seriously, drinking water can significantly boost our mood, start our metabolism, improve our skin, and help us sleep — it is straight up a miracle liquid.
Thankfully, there are countless ways to stay hydrated if you need. Whether that’s by eating water-rich foods or adding flavour to your water, be it a lemon or a waterdrop®.
Here are all the ways our bodies tell us that we’re starting to feel dehydrated.
A surprise-pikachu-face.jpg moment to be sure.
Dehydration and thirst are a lot more complicated than you might realise. If we were to think of it like a game, it would be easy to think that feeling thirsty would be the starting sign that you’re about to become dehydrated and you need water fast. The truth is, if you’re feeling thirsty, you might already be a bit dehydrated.
This can be for a myriad of reasons. Whether it’s from exercise, food, hot weather, diabetes or if you’ve lost fluids in another way like vomiting or diarrhoea.
Dehydration can affect our bodies in so many ways, so it’s important to continue drinking water, even if you don’t think you’re feeling thirsty.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that bad breath might just be a huge insecurity among everyone. Thankfully, it’s easy to monitor in most cases. The simple fix besides a breath mint? You guessed it, it’s drinking water.
Water is important for saliva production, which helps rinse away bacteria in our mouths, and there’s a tonne of bacteria in our mouth. Think about every meal you eat, the rogue burps you have, breathing through your mouth, we expose our mouths to bacteria often. Drinking water is also vital for helping us maintain healthy teeth and gums as that bacteria can rest in our mouths and turn into plaque.
Ever had a long day that’s left you feeling sluggish? Dehydration could be a cause for that. Mild dehydration can have serious impacts on our mood, causing anxiety, confusion, anger, hostility, depression, and tension to increase. It goes without saying that sometimes the best solution when you’re stressed really is just to go on a walk, get some vitamin D and drink some water to clear your head. You’ll feel rejuvenated after.
There are so many causes of constipation, so it’s important to flag that this might not be the perfect solution, but it does help. Similar to how water flushes bad bacteria from our system, water also helps kick-start our metabolism, and therefore, helps us maintain regular bowel movements. It does this by keeping our stools soft, helping the unmentionables move through our digestive tract.
When we don’t drink enough water, this causes our body to pull that water from our stool to compensate for fluid loss, which can result in harder and more firm stool movements that are difficult to pass. Ensuring that you’re drinking enough water before and while you eat can help relieve constipation and bloating after meals.
Staying hydrated can actually be one of the greatest deterrents to headaches. Like everywhere else in our body, our brain also needs water. When we’re dehydrated, our brain and other tissues in our body shrink or rather, contract. This means that the brain is pulling away from the skull, putting pressure on nerves and causing that radiating pain in our brains. Mild dehydration can even give us brain fog, which is that heavy feeling in our heads when we may be having memory problems or trouble concentrating.
There’s a saying that skincare isn’t just what happens on your skin, but also inside the body. Our diet can have a serious impact on our skin, and so can dehydration. Not drinking enough water has been proven to potentially increase the effects of ageing. If our bodies aren’t getting enough water, the collagen in our skin can crack, leading to fine lines and wrinkles. That’s why moisturisers and hydrating products are so common in skincare routines.
Water helps keep our skin hydrated, letting it look brighter and more vibrant. When we’re dehydrated, our skin loses some of its plumpness and elasticity, which can cause dryness, flakiness, fine lines, wrinkles and even sagging skin. Water can even help reduce acne or other skin problems by helping to flush out harmful toxins from the body.
Your Urine Changes Colour
There’s little horror worse than going to pee and seeing a dark bronze stream leave.
Our urine colour is probably the most famous example of our body hitting the dehydration emergency alarm. It’s even been the cause for memes, celebrating when our pee is clear as it means we’ve done a good job at staying hydrated. Although it’s been recommended that you don’t want your urine to be too clear, as you might be diluting your body’s electrolyte content.
The colour of urine is entirely dependent on how much fluid is in your kidneys. When the colour is extremely dark, that means our kidneys are trying to save as much water as they can, meaning the urine leaving is a lot more concentrated and darker.
It’s not just drinking water that can help, but eating plenty of water-rich foods can help too. The body stay hydrated without feeling the need to chug litres of water per day.
Ways to encourage yourself to drink
If you’re struggling to find time or remember to drink water, setting a routine can help you out. Before every meal, or even at the table, chug a glass of water. Having a bottle of water nearby you at all times can also help, can also help it become a natural part of your day-to-day rhythm.
Diet will also play a part — it’s recommended to limit caffeine and alcohol intake, on top of avoiding overly sugary or salty foods to help your body retain its fluids for longer.
Not everyone likes drinking water on its own, however. Thankfully there are plenty of different methods to add flavour to water that won’t take away its vital nutrients. Waterdrops are small, sugar-free cubes which can be great if you want to introduce a bit of flavour to your water bottle. The cube comes in a bunch of different flavours and has extra vitamins as well so you can enjoy staying hydrated throughout the day while sipping on your preferred flavour of drink.
Waterdrop is currently running a “Drink More” challenge, encouraging you to drink more water.