5 signs of dehydration and how to treat it

hirst and dark pee are obvious signs, but there are some not so obvious. Here’s how your body tells you you’re dehydrated.

You crave cake after a workout

After beasting it up in cardio pump class, you’re probably a bit dehydrated, but a sweaty session also depletes our glycogen stores—stored carbohydrates that our body uses as fuel. When the cravings hit, it’s our body telling us we need more of it and is one of the signs of dehydration. Reach for more water, fruits and yogurt instead of sweets to hydrate and get some nutrient-rich carbs.

You’re shaky when you stand up too fast

A tell-tale sign of dehydration is when your blood volume and pressure takes a nose dive. You’ll know it when you stand up or bounce up too quickly from the mat and feel like you’re going to faint or get a rush of light-headedness. Sip some water slowly and replenish your tank.

Beast mode feels more like slug mode

To be fair, there are days when we’re not motivated to work out or just plain tired, but if you’re amped up to hit it hard and well rested but still feel like a slug, it could be dehydration. When we’re dehydrated, it reduces blood pressure and makes it more taxing on the heart, so you’re not able to crush it like usual. Remember to drink water before, during and after a workout.

Your breath isn’t so minty fresh

No, it’s not the onion bagel that makes your breath stink, but it could be the tiny particles from the onion bagel (and other food you eat during the day) that give you stinky breath. When you are dehydrated, there is less saliva to do its job, which is flushing away tiny food particles that collect along your gum line, on your tongue and in between your teeth. If your mouth is dry, those tiny particles allow bacteria to grow like crazy and give you stinky breath. Don’t wait for the subtle hint from a co-worker who offers a mint. Remember, thirst isn’t a good indicator that you’re running dry. By that time, your body has already lost enough water.

You’re cranky and can’t focus

If you’re living your best life but suddenly feel cranky and can’t focus on the tasks at hand, you could be dehydrated. Researchers at the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory tested men and women who drank healthy amounts of water one day and much lower amounts on the two following days. Both men and women experienced fatigue, headaches, irritability and had a hard time focusing. Be consistent every day with drinking healthy amounts of water to avoid this scenario.

Here’s how much water you really need in a day

The National Academy of Medicine recommends 125 ounces of total water per day for guys and 91 ounces for gals. Now, that doesn’t mean just water. The “total” includes the water we drink and in foods that are water-rich like celery, cucumbers, watermelon, skim milk and soup.


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