Signs & symptoms that you need to drink more water

Dehydration can be prevented by drinking 2-3 litres of water a day. How do you know that you are drinking enough water? The human body lets you know that you need to drink more water. It sends out signs and symptoms. Find out if you need to drink more water.

We have become so busy and are so caught up in our everyday affairs that we forget to do simple, everyday things. We need to set reminders to remind us that we exist and that we need to take care of our everyday needs. I might not make sense but read on, to get a clearer picture of what I mean.

The other day I was sitting with my Relationship Manager, in her cabin, in the Bank. She is a young lady who has over the years become more than a business acquaintance. It was just a friendly visit, I was crossing that way and stopped in to say hello.

Her desk is quite personalised; a picture of her kids adorns one corner, on the other end she has a few statues of the god's she prays to and some mementoes and awards that she has received. A new and unusual item placed on her desk caught my attention and when asked what it was, she told me it was a water bottle, made of copper. As we were discussing the health benefits of drinking water stored in a copper vessel her phone pinged. She ignored it. I prompted her to answer/check the message when she replied that it was just a reminder for her to drink water.

An app reminds her to have water every hour!

What has life come to! We need to be reminded to drink water. The lady at least uses a reminder to remember to drink water. What about all the others who conveniently forget the significance of water and that we need to keep ourselves hydrated.

Why is water essential

Water is essential for many bodily processes. Not drinking enough fluids can create health problems from something as simple as weight gain caused by water retention to something more serious like kidney disease.

Our body consists of around 70% water and we keep losing our water reserves throughout the day. This loss has to be replenished to prevent dehydration. This can be easily done by drinking water and other fluids, such as coconut water, buttermilk and fresh fruit juices and eating foods with high water content, particularly cucumber and watermelon. Herbal teas are also good for replenishing the water in our body.

Herbal tea

Chronic dehydration can have a ripple effect on our health, mostly adverse. Are you drinking enough water? If not, the body sends out signals, letting you know it needs to be hydrated. Find out what your body is telling you – learn to read the signs.

Foul breath

Do you notice people cringe when you move closer to talk to them? Do your friends or colleagues screw up or cover their nose when you sit down to talk to them. Do they offer you mints and mouth fresheners? You could be suffering from bad breath.

Don't fool yourself into believing that you cannot suffer from bad breath because you maintain good oral hygiene. Bad breath is not always due to poor oral hygiene, it can also be caused by lack of water. Yes, bad breath is a sign that you are not consuming enough fluids.

When you don't drink enough water the odour causing bacteria in the oral cavity flourish. A dehydrated body doesn't produce enough saliva to keep the mouth moist. Saliva is also necessary for neutralising acids produced by plaque. It helps to wash away the dead cells that accumulate within the mouth cavity. If not removed, these cells begin to decompose in the mouth, resulting in odour causing bacteria to thrive, leading to bad breath.

Drink a few sips of water every half-hour or so and prevent the odour causing bacteria from multiplying in your mouth. Infused water is also healthy, as it is rich in antioxidants.

Dry skin

Dry skin is another sign that you are not consuming enough fluids. Dehydration causes the skin to dry, making it rough and scaly. The skin loses its softness and looks patchy and dull. You turn to creams, lotions and moisturisers, the so-called magic potions, but they provide temporary succour. They aren't a solution, really, for all they do is lock the moisture in the skin, preventing further loss of water.

Lack of water in the body brings down the pH level of the skin and this results in loss of moisture from the skin, leaving it drier. Drinking water will keep the skin moisturised from within. The tissues will be pumped with water and the skin will retain its moisture.

Hunger pangs

The brain often identifies thirst to be hunger. So, the next time you feel hungry, especially after you have had a meal, reach out for a glass of water instead of a gobbling a snack. Chances are that the feeling of hunger will dissipate after you give the body the water that it needs.

Give yourself 15 minutes, and if you are still hungry after that go ahead and eat something.

Cravings for sweets

Extreme dehydration can make you crave for sweets. And there is a good reason why that happens, and a scientific one at that. Insufficient water in the body hinders its ability to convert glycogen present in the ingested food into glucose.

Insufficient glucose in the body may make you yearn for sugar-rich foods. If you get an inexplicable urge to eat sweets it may be your body's way of telling you that you are dehydrated. Thwart that craving for sugary foods, by drinking some healthy fluid.


Dark urine

Urine should ideally be pale yellow in colour. However, dark coloured urine can be an indication that you are dehydrated, particularly, if there is no other underlying medical condition. When you drink less water the urine becomes more concentrated and murky, with all the toxins that the body eliminates.

To avoid this take a few sips of water every few minutes. Drinking water is the best way to flush toxins from the body.

Mood swings

We commonly associate mood swings with medical conditions such as depression. People who are overly stressed at work can also suffer from mood swings. It is also a common symptom of PMS.

However, mood swings can also be due to hormonal imbalance created by constant dehydration. Turn to water to lift your spirits.

Sagging skin

Water in the skin tissues and cells keeps the skin soft, firm and plump. It adds a healthy glow to the skin. If you find your skin sagging and losing its firmness it could be because of low water intake.

To avoid this premature sagging of the skin, hydrate yourself to replenish the water loss and regain the skin's elasticity. Healthy skin is soft and supple. Water is an excellent beauty aid that improves skin health.

Dry eyes

Dryness of the eyes can be caused by long hours of staring at the computer screen. You can remedy that and lessen the problem by using antiglare computer screens or glasses. Pollution is another culprit that can make the eyes dry and itchy and the ophthalmologist might recommend eye drops to ease the dryness. But did you know that dry eyes can be because of improper hydration?

Our eyes are always moist and that is how they are meant to be. Dehydration causes them to become dry because there is not enough water in the body to allow them to retain the optimum moisture levels. To prevent dryness of the eyes, drink water, aiming at 2litres a day.


A headache can be due to many reasons, such as stress, hypertension, bright lights, loud noise, common cold, and even flatulence or gas. Did you know that dehydration can also give you a headache?

Cheers to water

Remember water is among the most important nutrients that our body needs. It can prevent a lot of medical complications and help you remain healthy at any age. Don't ignore your body's need for water. Make drinking water a habit.

Increase your water intake when the weather is hot or humid. Drink water when you perspire, after physical activity. Drink more water when you consume alcohol and beverages containing caffeine. Drink more water when you are sick. Give your health a boost by drinking more water.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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