While it may seem impossible to keep on top of drinking 9-13 cups of water a day, if you’re experiencing some of these signs of dehydration, it’s best to get into the practice of drinking water before it develops into the signs of severe dehydration.
Signs of Light/Average Dehydration:
- Dry mouth
- Worried and irritable
- Dark yellow urine & fewer toilet breaks
- Dry skin, lacking elasticity
- Bad breath
- Sugar cravings
- Muscle cramps
Signs of Severe Dehydration:
- Very strong thirst
- Faster heartbeat
- Loss of consciousness
- Faster breathing
- Hollow stare
- Low blood pressure
- Very dry, brittle skin
- Strong dizziness
- Very dark urine with very few toilet breaks
- Not sweating in hot weather or during physical exertion
How to check for dehydration:
The simplest way to check for dehydration is to pinch the skin on the back of your hand. If the fold of skin smooths out right away, then you’re sufficiently hydrated. If the skin stays in position for even a moment, you’re dehydrated.
How much water should you drink?
Mayoclinic.org says that “The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day.”
Slender Kitchen provides this useful table, showing you how much water you should be drinking a day based on your weight:
The Dangers of Dehydration:
Staying dehydrated is so dangerous because our bodies are made up of 60-80% water, and if we don’t replenish it, it can cause an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, kidney stones, low immune system, brittle bones, poor metabolism and higher cholesterol.
So now you know the signs, the dangers and what you can do about it!