Have you ever wondered if you’re not drinking enough water? That makes the two of us. Most of us have heard that “we are what eat.” And that’s true. But even more important than what we eat what we drink.
As humans, we cannot escape the importance of drinking water. Water is us. We are water. Let me explain. About 60 percent of the bodyweight of a human adult comes from water. For most organisms (non-human) this number is around 90 percent.
But that’s not all.
In a groundbreaking and well-cited study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, water is even prominent in humans. It turns out that water makes up about 73 percent of our brains and hearts. And our lungs are about 83 percent water.
Despite being a critical part of our bodies, we often find ourselves not drinking enough water. In the rest of this article, we will walk through the tell-tale signs of not drinking enough water.
1. Feeling constipated
The digestive tract carries food that enters the mouth and sends it to the stomach.
Constipation is when where you tend to have less frequent bowel movements, dry or hardened stools or painful time passing out stool. If you’re not drinking enough water and are dehydrated, your body has a harder time flushing out the waste.
This will make you constipated. It’s not surprising that constipation is one of the top causes of chronic constipation.
2. Passing out dark urine
Have you ever peed and suddenly prompted yourself to drink more water because of the color of your urine?
Here’s the thing you need to know:
When we eat or drink water, what we drink or eat then passes from our digestive tract, through our circulatory system, and into your kidneys.
Kidneys do the filtering at this point and the result is urine. Urine essentially is a way the body rids itself off unwanted products and extra fluid.
It turns out that the color of uring reveals a lot about our state of hydration. If you’re not drinking enough water, the color of your urine is more likely to be darker.
3. Getting headaches
One of the many signs that you’re you’re not drinking enough water is headaches.
Because the human brain is made of 80 percent water, the lack of fluids leads to shrinkage in brain volume. How does this cause headaches? Let me explain further.
When the brain pulls away from the skull, it triggers the pain receptors in the tissues surrounding the brain.
Also when you’re dehydrated, there is less blood volume that affects the amount of oxygen-rich blood flowing to the brain. This may also result in pain.
Studies have shown that people who drank six cups of water more than they usually drank during the day reported fewer instances of tension headaches and dehydration migraines.
4. Having dry mouth
The glands in our mouth produce saliva to keep our mouths wet. This is a good thing. I’ll explain.
Saliva, among other things, helps us fight tooth decay, improves our taste tendencies, and ensure that we have an easier time chewing and swallowing food.
If we don’t drink enough water, our bodies continue to lose fluids and starve the saliva glands. Drinking water can help keep the mouth wet.
5. Putting on weight
There are so many benefits to drinking water. And one of them is that it helps us to lose weight naturally.
Several studies have found that drinking water can improve your metabolism. In one study, 50 overweight females were put under a program where they drank a glass of water before breakfast, lunch, and supper for 8 weeks.
The results showed a positive relationship between drinking 1.5 L of excessive water and weight, body fat and appetite reduction. You might even be able to lose belly fat.
Point is: make it a point to drink a lot of water, especially before you eat which will suppress your appetite to overeat.
6. Feeling hungry all the time
Often when our stomachs rumble and we feel hungry, what we do need is to drink water, not eat food.
The hypothalamus controls our nervous and endocrine systems. When we are not drinking enough water, the hypothalamus tends to mistaken the thirst for hunger.
Drinking lots of water helps to avoid unnecessary snacking which prevents the need to be eating. Another study saw a drastic impact of calorie-burning where 12 people drank 500 mL of cold and room temperature water.
7. Experiencing dry eyes
How do you know you have dry eyes? It could be irritation, itching, high sensitivity to light, fuzzy vision or the uncomfortable feeling of something stuck on the eyes.
Dry eyes are when you don’t produce enough tears to nourish the eyes. Tears play an important role in lubricating our eyes and sweeping out unneeded substances in the eye.
If you don’t drink enough water, you’re more likely to experience this decrease in tear production and the resulting symptoms.
Remember to drink more water to prevent this. And also eat healthy foods for healthy eyes.
8. Feeling moody
If you find yourself cranky and snapping at almost everything and everyone, likely, you’re not drinking enough water. Here’s why: studies have shown that dehydration impacts mood.
In 2010, researcher Armstrong Le and colleagues investigated the mood of healthy young women. The researchers made them go through hydration induced exercise.
The results suggested that the participant’s “total mood disturbance” significantly increased as a result of dehydration.
9. Having poor concentration
One of the signs of not drinking enough water is when you’re not able to concentrate on specific tasks. Yes, sometimes, you need to take a break or go for a walk or even take an afternoon nap. But it could also be because you’re dehydrated.
In 2015, researchers from Loughborough University looked closer at how dehydration impacts driving (one of the tasks that require a high level of concentration).
They found that the dehydrated participants made major driving errors including drifting off their lane and hitting on the breaks late in their two-hour driving simulation when they did it dehydrated.
Water is very well the nutrient we don’t talk about that much. It’s important to stay hydrated to perform at our best in life, whether it’s at work at the gym or even just hanging out.
The best way is to take along a bottle of water with you everywhere you go so you can remind yourself to drink it.
If you habitually find yourself not drinking enough water, you might even consider setting a recurring alarm or time every few hours to prompt you to drink up.