Dehydration is one struggle a lot of us are faced with in our daily lives and having a deep or dark coloured urine is an indication you need to drink more water.
However, there are certain other things such as your breath, mood, and need for sweets which may be telling you that you are passing through dehydration.
Your Skin Becomes Turgid
Pinch the back of your hand and hold for a few seconds; when you let go, your skin should snap back into position almost immediately. If it’s slow to return to normal, take that as one of the signs of dehydration.
Skin turgor—a measure of skin elasticity—begins to decrease with a fluid loss of about 5 percent, which is considered mild dehydration. With more moderate or severe dehydration, the pinched-up skin will remain “tented” in place.
Also, as we age, the visible appearance of the skin of the face improves with superb hydration, which is yet another reason to stay hydrated.
You Drive Like You’re Drunk
You pee before you hit the road and barely sip your bottle of water en route, all in the name of avoiding stops. However, according to research published in Physiology and Behaviour, driving while dehydrated may be just as dangerous as getting behind the wheel intoxicated, in terms of how many mistakes you could make on the road.
British researchers had study participants take two-hour drives (using a simulator): when they were well-hydrated, there were 47 driving errors; dehydrated, slips-up—including lane drifting and late braking—more than doubled to 101.
Dehydration causes fatigue and affects your cognitive abilities, like clear thinking and reaction time.
You Have Awful Breath
Saliva works constantly to wash away food particles that collect on your tongue, between your teeth, and along your gums after you eat.
If your mouth is dry, the food leftovers allow bacteria to grow, thrive, and give you bad breath, and that is one of the signs of dehydration. To avoid this, sip water throughout the day to help keep your mouth moist. And if you need a little extra freshening, sugarless chewing gum helps stimulate saliva.
Researchers at the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory tested the mood and concentration of 25 women who drank healthy amounts of water one day, and then didn’t over the next two days.
When the test subjects were slightly dehydrated, they reported fatigue, irritability, headaches, and difficulty focusing. In a separate test, men who were mildly dehydrated also experienced fatigue and had a tough time with mental tasks.
When it however comes to mood changes, women’s soured much more than men’s, according to the study. Scientists are still trying to figure out why.
You Crave Cookies
After a strenuous session, you are not only dehydrated, but your glycogen stores are depleted. Glycogen is a form of stored carbohydrates that the body uses as fuel; the cravings are just our bodies telling us we need more of it and is one of the signs of dehydration.
Not everyone wants sugar after exercising, but when you are tired, it’s tempting to reach for it. Better choices include fruits and dairy foods which deliver the quickest, most nutrient-rich carbohydrates to supply energy when glycogen stores are low. More so, a lot of fruits and yogurt have a high water content to also help you rehydrate.