Water is essential for normal bodily functions, beautiful skin, and good overall health. Yet, many people don’t drink enough, and suffer headaches, fatigue, weakened immunity, and other health problems associated with low water intake. Some people may even visit their doctors with concerns about symptoms that could have been prevented by drinking more water.
Water helps your kidneys eliminate toxins from the body, makes you less susceptible to illness and disease, and can even help you lose weight and stay slim.
Is it possible that lack of water is to blame for some of your health problems? These eight signs may indicate you may need to start drinking more water.
1. You get sick frequently
Drinking water helps the body flush out waste and toxins that can otherwise build up and trigger a cascade of health problems. If you’re always coming down with the common cold, flu, and other illnesses, or you stay sick for long periods of time, it’s possible you’re not hydrating enough.
2. You have hunger pangs
Hunger pangs are a common symptom of dehydration. If you normally experience food cravings or feel hungry even when you know you’ve already eaten enough, drink a glass of water to see if your hunger pangs go away. If they do, make a point of drinking more water instead of reaching for extra snacks your body doesn’t need.
3. You frequently experience digestive problems
Lack of water can upset the natural balance of your stomach’s acidity level, and cause a range of digestive problems including heartburn and indigestion. If you frequently suffer digestive problems, try drinking more water throughout the day to see if lack of water is the culprit.
4. You have constipation
Water helps promote good digestion by moving food through your digestive tract, while lack of water can stop up your intestines and lead to constipation. Drink more water throughout the day to loosen your stools, and to avoid bloating and constipation.
5. You urinate less often
Reduced urination is a sign you’re not drinking the amount of water needed to keep your body clean and healthy. The color of your urine can also indicate whether you’re dehydrated. If your urine is dark yellow instead of clear or light yellow in color, drink more water to reduce the risk of a urinary tract infection.
6. You always have bad breath
Bad breath is often caused by dry mouth, which happens when your mouth lacks the amount of saliva needed to lubricate the mucus membranes in your mouth and naturally rinse away bacteria. If you frequently have dry mouth, or receive feedback from other people about having bad breath, you may just need to drink more water.
7. You have dry skin
Dry skin is one of the most common signs of dehydration and lack of water. Water helps maintain your skin’s beauty from the inside out, and can make your skin look plump, supple, and younger. Drinking water can also help ward off acne and other skin problems.
8. You always feel tired
When you’re dehydrated, your body will pull water from your blood to maintain proper function. This results in less oxygen being circulated throughout the body, followed by periods of fatigue. Do you always feel tired regardless of how much sleep you’re getting? If so, try drinking more water to boost your body’s energy levels.
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Medically reviewed by Jay J. Garcia, MD on January 5, 2018