Nutrition / Food

6 Signs of Dehydration That You Shouldn’t Ignore

Listen to your body to see if you show any signs that you’re experiencing dehydration.

Water, the miracle liquid that runs the world, is also the fuel that helps our bodies function. Our cells, organs, and tissues consist of approximately 60 percent water.

By replenishing our bodies with H2O, we’re maintaining our body’s proper functions, controlling our internal temperature, and regulating our metabolism.

Without the right amount of water, our bodies would not operate properly. This also applies when working out. It’s crucial to stay hydrated during your workouts to avoid losing your body’s water supply through sweat.

When the body is dehydrated, it gives off key symptoms that we should pay attention to.

Aaptiv talked to Dr. Keith Kantor, a leading nutritionist and CEO of the NAMED program (Nutritional Addiction Mitigation Eating and Drinking), about the tell-tale signs of dehydration.

Low Energy

Believe it or not, thirst is not usually the first indicator that our bodies are dehydrated. One of the first symptoms of dehydration is fatigue, lethargy, and overall low energy.

As water is the essential fuel for keeping our bodies running properly, a lack of it causes our bodies to slow down and decrease output.

While working out, you may notice that you can’t run or perform cardio like usual, or that your strength weakens during weight lifting.

With as little as a 3 percent loss in water weight, our performance and endurance levels can drop by almost 10 percent.

Headaches

The loss of water can actually cause our brains to shrink. By not replacing our body’s water supply and losing liquids through our sweat and urine, our brains contract and pull away from our skulls. This causes dehydration headaches.

To know if your headache or migraine is caused by dehydration, pay attention to where you’re experiencing tension and pain. Dehydration headaches are mostly limited to the head. They do not cause facial pressure or neck soreness.

Headaches are one of the later and most extreme cases of dehydration so it’s important to hydrate immediately if you feel this symptom coming on.

Dizziness

Dizziness is another dangerous sign that the body is extremely dehydrated. When the body is depleted of water, it causes our blood pressure to drop. As a result, the proper amount of oxygen doesn’t get to our brains fast enough. Without this oxygen, our brains begin to suffocate, causing dizziness.

Mental Confusion

Severe dehydration is defined as having over a 4 percent decrease in a body’s water weight. When this happens, mental confusion is possible. For individuals over 65 years old, delirium can be a symptom of dehydration. This may cause extreme confusion, hallucinations, and changes in the level of conscientiousness.

Nausea

Since the water in our body regulates our temperature, a lack of water can lead to a fever and chills. As a particularly scary catch-22, when our bodies experience a fever, it can cause nausea. This, of course, can lead to vomiting, which can cause us to lose even more fluid.

Immediate Steps To Take

Your first step to recovering from dehydration is to immediately drink water. That said, be mindful of how much water you’re drinking.

Drinking too much water can dilute the concentration of sodium in the blood. This may lead to a condition called hyponatremia, caused by fluid moving into the cells. Symptoms can include confusion, fatigue, irritability, and possibly death.

According to Kantor, another necessary step to take when noticing dehydration (especially while working out), is to stop exercising.

Additionally, if you’re outside, get yourself indoors. For ultimate hydration, he recommends hydroxide alkaline water. Hydroxide alkaline water allows your body to produce more hydro ions, which replenish your body’s water weight faster.

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