Most Americans are chronically dehydrated. In today's modern busy lifestyle it's very easy to forget simple, yet vital, habits like drinking enough water. If you drink coffee, the problem is even bigger. Caffeinated and sweetened beverages won't help your cause, they just keep you in a constant state of dehydration.
Dehydration is not just an adult problem either. The Harvard School of Public Health says that more then half of U.S. children are dehydrated. Although excessive dehydration in children and adults can cause serious health issues, even minor dehydration can cause symptoms.
Many of us live with minor (and sometimes not so minor) annoying symptoms and don't realize why it's happening. Of course it's important to drink extra water during warmer months but your body can become dehydrated any time of year. If you or your children experience any of these seven symptoms you're probably dealing with dehydration.
7 Signs You're Dehydrated
- Fatigue – this can be a symptom of a number of different conditions but if you are dealing with fatigue, first try drinking more water to see if the problem subsides.
- Headaches – not drinking enough water often leads to headaches. At the first sign of a headache, increase your water intake and the pain may go away.
- Dry skin – dehydration is always a factor when dry skin is present. Along with proper amounts of water, also look at your fat intake. Soothe dry skin from the outside with clean organic moisturizers that don't have any irritating ingredients.
- Dry, irritated eyes – dry and irritated eyes can also be a sign that you need to drink more water.
- Joint pain & Muscle Aches – aches and pains can have multiple causes but dehydration is surely one reason why you may be feeling that way.
- Hunger – you may not always think about drinking water when you're hungry (or hangry) but you may just need some extra water. If you feel hungry between meals, try drinking water and see if the feeling subsides.
- Thirst – this is an obvious one but many of us are so busy we ignore even the simplest signs of chronic dehydration.
Healthy Habits to Combat Dehydration
- Carry a water bottle. Keeping a water bottle with you at all times is a great way to remember to always drink water. If you sit at a desk, keep a glass of water next to you as you work. Make sure you use a water bottle made of safe stainless steel (like this), or glass (or this) to avoid BPA and other contaminants.
- Give your water a boost. Many people say they don't drink a lot of water because it's boring. Give your water a boost by adding some fresh fruit to flavor your water (try some of these delicious combinations). This will give you something more interesting to drink without taking away from the hydration factor.
- Track your intake. To reach any goal in life, tracking is essential. If you are serious about increasing your water intake and stop being chronically dehydrated, make this a habit. Start a log on the notepad on your phone or keep a small notepad in your bag and keep track of the amount of water you are drinking each day.
One last thing to consider – please make sure your water is filtered. The best water filtration system (and one of the few I've seen that has no plastic parts if you get the stainless steel spout) is the Berkey water filter. This is the #1 must have item in my kitchen!