Most of the time, you can tell you’re dehydrated just because you feel thirsty. However, a dry throat and craving for a refreshing glass of water aren’t the only symptoms you can experience from dehydration. Here are some surprising signs your body might be giving you to indicate dehydration.
Your Body’s Thermostat Breaks
Normally, the body sweats to release heat and maintain a steady internal temperature. However, when the body hasn’t had enough water, the heat stays trapped inside, causing the core temperature to rise. This is the leading cause of heat stroke. How do you know when your body needs to rehydrate? One simple way is to pay attention to your sweat when you’re working out. If you notice that you’ve suddenly stopped sweating even though you’re still pushing through a round of cardio, you are dehydrated. According to Huffines Institute for Sports Medicine and Human Performance at Texas A&M University director J. Timothy Lightfoot, PhD, this is the body trying to regulate –“we don’t have enough fluid to both sweat and pump blood to the muscles, so it starts selectively shutting down some processes. When your body is trying to provide adequate blood flow to your muscles and provide enough fluid to sweat to remove some of the heat, sweating will lose.”
Your Breath Might Smell
That halitosis may not be from something you ate; dehydration causes bad breath, too. If your mouth isn’t producing enough saliva, bacteria can multiply. Drinking a glass of water after each meal will rinse out food particles and keep bacteria from building up.
You Might Have a Sweet Tooth
Dehydration can disguise itself as hunger, which usually manifests as sugar cravings – especially after a good workout. According to Amy Goodson, RD, sports dietitian for the Dallas Cowboys, the reason for this is because “when you exercise in a dehydrated state, you use glycogen (stored carbohydrate) at a faster rate, thus diminishing your stores more quickly.” When you’re dehydrated and lose even more water through exercising, you crave carbs to replenish your glycogen levels. When you feel a sugar craving coming on after a hard workout or a long day in the sun, drink a few glasses of water first and see if the craving goes away. You can also snack on a piece of fruit to satisfy that craving and take in a little extra water at the same time.
Your Brain Shrinks
Dehydration actually causes the brain to shrink, making it difficult to focus and perform cognitive tasks. When your body is dehydrated, sensory receptors in the brain’s thirst center signal release of an antidiuretic hormone that reaches the kidneys and triggers aquaporins, special channels that allow blood to retain more water. In turn, you may develop a headache or feel fatigued.
You May Gain Weight
Dehydration slows metabolism, limiting your body’s ability to burn fat. A 2003 study from The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism revealed that metabolic rate increases by 30 percent after drinking two cups of water.
Staying hydrated is beneficial in more ways than one. Be sure to get at least eight cups in every day and don’t indulge in a ton of sugary drinks – grab a glass water bottle and fill it with your favorite herbs, veggies and fruits to give your water a refreshing burst of flavor. Check out our other blogs for great fruit-infused water recipes to take on-the-go!Win a Glasstic Bottle in June! http://buff.ly/25J7L1u Click To Tweet