Much like sleep , water is one of those crucial things with both health and aesthetic benefits that few of us get enough of.
Common wisdom tells us two litres of water is what we should we aiming to drink to tick over nicely and remain hydrated.
But how successful are we in doing this – and recognising when dehydration has struck?
Because being dehydrated isn’t just about feeling thirsty – there are a whole host of other symptoms to look out for, especially in the hot weather and here’s what you need to know.
Yes, many of these signs aren’t particularly pleasant.
According to Yahoo! , the digestive system needs plenty of water to run smoothly because it’s water that allows food to flow more easily through your digestive tract, and keeps your intestines healthy.
If you’re feeling constipated, this could indicate that there’s not enough fluid to keep things moving.
2. Low blood pressure
With over half our blood being made up of plasma – which in itself is made up of water, protein, and salt – we need to drink enough water to prevent our blood from becoming too concentrated.
When this happens, our blood flow slows down to the vital organs which need it.
3. Muscle cramping
Another unpleasant side-effect of dehydration is muscle cramping, caused by your blood becoming more concentrated, which in turn causes your blood volume to drop.
When this happens, your body has to prioritise and focuses on sending blood to the heart above all other parts, so your muscles receive an inadequate flow, causing cramps.
Did you know dehydration is a common migraine trigger?
This is because when your brain doesn’t get enough fluids to function properly, a range of symptoms such as headaches , migraines, fading in and out of consciousness and dizzy spells may follow.
5. Feeling really tired
Dehydration could go some way to explain why you sometimes get an energy slump during the day.
Our blood pressure will drop if there’s not enough water in our body, which causes the blood flow to the brain to slow down and our heart rate to speed up. When combined, these all lead to feeling fatigued.
6. Needing to wee less
In the same way your digestive system needs water to function, so does your renal system.
Water is key in assisting our kidneys remove waste from the blood by turning it into urine. Reduce this water, and you reduce the need to wee which is bad news because this means that waste is still in your body.
7. Dark/tea-coloured urine
This one follows the same principle has above.
The darker your urine, the more concentrated it is, the more water you should drink.
You should be aiming for pale or straw-coloured wee.
8. Dry skin
It’s easy to forget this sometimes, but your skin is an organ and, as such, it needs a healthy blood supply in order to function well.
Yes, moisturiser can help with dry skin – but so can drinking water.
9. Dry mouth
You know that gross cottonmouth sensation you wake up with?
It’s a sign from your body to have a glass of water, because it can’t make sufficient saliva if it doesn’t have enough fluids. Bad breath, too, can be caused by a dry mouth. So reach for the H2O, as well as the mouthwash.