Drinking enough water everyday should come naturally to us, but it doesn’t always — at least not for me. Some of you are little fishes. You guzzle from fashionable water bottles all day err’day, and you mean it. Yes, I have an adorable BKR water bottle, too, but I fall squarely into the camp that struggles to stay on top of my water intake. My average to-do list includes drink more water because it’s as forgettable to me as go to the post office. While I’m big on herbal tea, I will drink as little as one glass of pure water per day if I’m not making a conscious effort. I’ve gone so far as to set my iPhone alarm for hourly reminders to sip away.
For maybe the 100th time in my adult life, I recently made a commitment to drink at least 64 ounces of pure water a day. That might sound touch ridic since it’s so basic, but hey, committing to basic health habits ain’t always easy. Drinking enough water each day has been a difficult goal to meet, but the benefits are so noticeable — especially skin and energy improvements — that I am motivated to keep at it.
It’s easier to become dehydrated than you think. You are often already dehydrated once you become thirsty. Worried you’re not getting enough? Here’s a short list of some of the subtle and not so subtle ways your body can revolt if you are not drinking enough water each day.
1. You feel fatigued and moody.
Do you get enough sleep and still wonder why you’re tired during the day? Fatigue is one of the first signs of dehydration. Headache may accompany your exhaustion, as well as a moody and cranky disposition. Yep, the total package. H20 boosts energy levels and enhances clear thinking and productivity. Water carries vital nutrients to every cell in your body. When water intake is low, we become depleted and our performance suffers as a result. Water is energizing!
2. You feel hungry when you probably shouldn’t.
If you eat a normal, healthy diet but often feel hungry despite your good eating habits, you may actually just be thirsty. Water is filling. When you drink enough water throughout the day, your appetite will be properly regulated. Drinking enough water will also help prevent fluid retention. Your body won’t fight to retain fluid if it’s properly hydrated.
3. Your back or joints ache.
Your joints need moisture to stay lubricated and move pain-free. Water is the main lubricant in the joints, and it cushions the discs in your spine. Without proper hydration, acid waste, such as uric acid, can accumulate in the joints and cause inflammation and pain. Keep cartilage supple and flexible by drinking plenty of water.
4. Your skin looks dull and fine lines are pronounced.
Challenge yourself to drink more water and see if your skin doesn’t look more plump and glowing. Bonus: water is also the main lubricant for eyes, so increasing your water intake promotes bright, sparkling eyes.
5. Your visits to the bathroom are infrequent or difficult.
Water is the most detoxifying resource we can offer our bodies. When you’re getting enough water, you’ll urinate freely and often, and urine will be light in color. When you’re not getting enough water, your kidneys will trap extra fluid to ensure you have enough for bodily functions, and urine will appear concentrated as a result. Improper water intake can also lead to constipation. The colon pulls too much water from stool when you’re not adequately hydrated, making it difficult for your bowels to function normally.
Do any of these signs sound familiar? What do you experience when you aren’t drinking enough water and how do you stay on top of it?