The human body is constantly in need of water. In fact, many everyday bodily functions that we take for granted rely on water.  Nevertheless, 75% of the US population is at least mildly dehydrated at any given time. Fortunately, there are several signs that your body exhibits when it needs water, and once these symptoms are noticed, you can combat further effects of dehydration by increasing your water consumption.

Common Signs of Dehydration

Did you know that by the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated? Dehydration is what initially causes the sensation of thirst. You may also be dehydrated if you exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Dry mouth- when the inside of your mouth is dry and/or sticky, you’re likely in need of water.
  • You might be dehydrated if you notice reduced urine production, or your urine is any darker than a light yellow.
  • Having dry stools or struggling to empty your bowels is also a sign of needing water.
  • If you develop a headache, especially if it’s concentrated along the front sides of your head, just above the temples, you’re likely experiencing a dehydration headache.
  • Unexplained muscle cramps accompanying the slightest physical activity (even simple movement) can be a sign of dehydration.
  • Your eyes might also begin to feel dry and itchy, and in children or babies, producing no tears while crying is a sign of dehydration.


Signs of Severe Dehydration

There are a few different warning signs that accompany the common signs of dehydration. These more severe symptoms are meant to warn the body that it’s in desperate need of hydration.

  • Rapid heartbeat and/or respiration
  • Dizziness, confusion, and irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry skin
  • Fainting


Be Aware of Water Loss

If you’ve been engaging in vigorous exercise, especially the kind that makes you work up a sweat, you’re at a higher risk of becoming dehydrated if you fail to take in fluids during and after your workout. This is especially true if you’re in a particularly hot area and it causes you to produce more sweat than usual.

It’s also important to look for the warning signs of dehydration if you’ve been ill. Having a fever can increase your sweat production. What’s worse, you may dismiss the warning signs of dehydration as simply being symptoms of your stomach bug. Experiencing significant vomiting or diarrhea increases your risk of becoming dehydrated over a short period of time.


Because chronic dehydration is so common, many people do not take the seemingly meaningless symptoms of dehydration as seriously as they should. Be aware of your need for water, as it could prevent a good deal of future health issues.

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