MILAN – Maintaining proper levels of hydration is very important for your body’s health. Reinforcing this fact with the main symptoms of dehydration may be the key to making everyone understand just how important water is. Many of us are in a permanent and chronic state of semi-dehydration without even realising it. Obviously, this rarely puts a person’s life at risk, but there’s a big difference between the amount of water required to survive and the amount of water required to keep 100% of our functions unchanged. Even when you are only slightly dehydrated, your body’s functions will definitely not be 100% active. Each individual cell needs water, including the cells that make up your brain and muscles.
The main symptoms of dehydration
1. You have lapses in concentration
Did you know that your brain is made up of approximately 90% water? It should come as no surprise, therefore, that your brain is the first organ to show signs of dehydration. Lack of water in the brain affects decision making, memory, and even mood. In a study conducted by the University of East London, researchers showed how the simple act of water consumption improved exam grades in students.
2. You have dry skin, eczema or psoriasis
Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and requires lots of water to prevent dryness. When we’re dehydrated, water is released from the skin’s cells to be transported to the vital organs, which results in drier skin.
3. You have acne
Although it is often put down to hormonal imbalances, acne can also be a symptom of dehydration. Our body requires water to remove toxins efficiently. If it is not getting enough liquid, these toxins are forced to find another way out.
4. You're constipated
Going to the bathroom infrequently can be a sign of dehydration. Water is absorbed into the digestive tract, which adds moisture to the stool and makes it easier to pass. If your stools are hard or infrequent, you may need to increase your water intake.
5. Your urine is dark
Ideally, your urine should be clear or straw yellow. If it’s any darker, it's a clear sign that you need to increase your fluid intake.
6. You're retaining water
Water retention is often a sign that your body needs more water. If your body is not getting the water it needs, it will respond by storing the water it has available. Diuretics can provide temporary relief, but often the best approach to water retention is simply to drink more water.
7. Your performance is suffering
Are you struggling to make progress in the gym? If you’re not seeing results it could be down to a lack of water. In fact, water is needed to oxygenate the blood and help transport nutrients to the muscle cells, and is therefore crucial for maintaining high-level physical performance.
8. You're getting injured frequently
Water is a vital component of healthy joints and cartilage, therefore if you suffer from regular sprains or strains this may well be a sign of dehydration. An imbalance of electrolytes can also cause muscle cramping; to prevent these, drink water regularly.
9. You get sick often
If the transportation of nutrients is compromised, it affects our immune system and, as a result, we get sick more often. Staying hydrated also speeds up the body's natural healing process.
by editorial staff