You may think you’re getting enough water, but your body may need more than you realize. Even mild dehydration can already affect our energy, mental performance and even body functions. Unfortunately we rarely notice these early signs of water deficiency.
You don’t go the bathroom a lot
Doctors say that you should be going to the bathroom 4 to 10 times a day. If you can go a whole morning or afternoon without feeling the urge to pee, then you may be running low on fluids.
Aside from not peeing frequently, you don’t pee enough and the colour is very dark yellow. Ideally, it should be pale yellow – a sign that you’ve got lots of fluids to flush out.
You get a lot of headaches
Headaches are one symptom of dehydration. When you’re dehydrated, your brain actually temporarily shrinks. For many people, low fluid levels can be a common migraine trigger.
You’re sleepy and tired
Many things can affect energy levels, from sugar crashes to not getting high quality sleep. However, low fluid levels can make you feel sleepy and lethargic – and it can definitely worsen any fatigue you already have!
If you’re feeling sluggish, reach for a tall glass of water instead of a cup of coffee. It may be what your body really needs to get going!
You have bad breath
Water helps your body produce enough saliva, which helps fight the bacteria in your mouth. If you’re not drinking enough, your breath could start to stink. A sure sign? Your mouth feels dry, and your tongue has white stuff on it.
You have trouble focusing on work
Dehydration affects the flow of blood to the brain. So your brain doesn’t just get all the oxygen and nutrients it needs to work. (Plus, the other symptoms lik headaches and sleepiness aren’t helping your concentration either!)
Your skin is really dry
Your skin is made of 30% water. Low fluids affects its elasticity. To check, pinch your skin with your thumb and ring finger. Well-hydrated skin should immediately snack back into place. If it takes more than half a second, then you need to drink more water more often.
How to make sure you’re getting enough water
Don’t wait until you’re very thirsty to drink. By the time your throat and mouth feel dry,, you’ve already pushed your body to its limits. That’s like waiting until you’re rolling in pain from a stomach ache to eat!
You need to drink even when you’re not thirsty, especially if it’s a hot day. (And when is it never a hot day in Singapore?)
Drink from a water bottle so you can monitor how much you get a day. Keep one on your work table so you’re constantly sipping during breaks. Coffee and sodas do count towards your fluid intake, but since theý’re diuretics you end up peeing more often. To make up for that fluid loss, drink a glass of water for every glass of a caffeinated drink.
Many diet and healthy eating apps also let you tick off how much water you drink each day. Or just do it old-school and do a stick count on your work-planner. If it’s noon and you haven’t had four glasses of water yet, you know you need to chug more water in the afternoon!