Many clients come to me with troubling symptoms like brain fog, dry skin, and sugar cravings. The solution to these problems is often more straightforward than they realize: drink more water!
Dehydration occurs when there isn’t enough fluid in the body for it to function effectively.
For example, illness can cause dehydration because you’re actively losing more fluid due to vomiting and stomach troubles like diarrhea. A bladder infection can also seriously impact your body’s hydration levels, especially in older adults.
Aging adults are at a higher risk for dehydration because the body doesn’t hold as much fluid. Avid athletes can also experience dehydration when exercising in the heat and sweating excessively. But even the average person is experiencing at least a minor level of dehydration the majority of the time because practically no one drinks as much water as they should.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a typical adult woman needs 11.5 cups of water a day, while a man needs 15.5 cups. The average person takes in around 20 percent of their water needs through food, which means women should drink about 9 cups a day, and men should drink 12.5 cups. Most cases of dehydration can be cured by simply drinking more water and minerals, but in some cases, it’s best to be treated by a doctor to discuss other options.
Lesser-Known Signs of Dehydration
The most common signs of dehydration include severe thirst, dark yellow urine, feeling lightheaded or dizzy, dry mouth, and confusion. But there are numerous other lesser-known signs that your body may be lacking fluids. These other symptoms of dehydration include constipation, loss of appetite, brain fog, and more. It’s important to note that you can be dehydrated before feeling thirsty, so it’s imperative to take note of these signs when they arise.
Constipation: Hard stool is often caused by dehydration. Constipation occurs because the intestines don’t have enough water to soften the stool. Hydration is critical for easy bowel movements.
Fatigue: Dehydration makes it more difficult for the body to stay cool, which can cause fatigue. When there isn’t enough fluid in the body, blood pressure drops, and blood flow to the brain is reduced, which can result in increased levels of exhaustion.
Muscle Spasms: The reduced blood flow mentioned above can also lead to secondary effects such as muscle spasms. So the next time your muscles are acting up, be sure to reach for the mineral water!
Dry Skin: Dry, itchy skin can result from dehydration. Skin often appears scaly or flakey when the body doesn’t have enough fluid to lubricate it. Instead of simply slathering on the lotion, be sure that you’re hydrating your body from the inside out as well.
Brain Fog: The brain requires fluid to function effectively. Dehydration can cause brain cells to shrink and can make you feel confused, lightheaded, and foggy. That’s why it’s extra important to hydrate prior to completing any intense mental tasks such as exams or projects for work.
Loss of Appetite & Cravings: Dehydration can make you feel nauseous, which often results in appetite loss. Sugar cravings due to dehydration also occur because the body can’t metabolize glycogen (the stored form of glucose) for energy.
Check your urine
You should urinate every three to four hours, and the urine should be a light yellow. If your urine is dark, you need to drink more water!
Jazz up your water
Sometimes plain water can be so dull! I love adding fruits, herbs, and vegetables to flavor my water. I infuse plain water with lemon slices, cucumber, and mint all the time! If you want to sip on something other than water, try bone broth, herbal teas, cold-pressed juices, and coconut water for lots of hydrating vitamins and minerals.
Try a hydrating powder
I’m a huge fan of Ultima Replenisher Hydrating Electrolyte Powder. It contains all six electrolytes to aid in nerve transmission, healthy joints and tendons, energy conversion, cell and tissue repair, muscle contraction and expansion, and more.
Avoid dehydrating foods
Paleo, keto, and high-protein diets can all cause dehydration. If you’re following any of these diets, drink plenty of water and consume lots of water-rich fruits and veggies. Alcohol and caffeine are also huge dehydrators. Be sure to sip on water regularly if consuming alcohol or caffeine.
Eat your water
There are many water-rich fruits and vegetables to choose from that should be regulars in your diet. I’m especially a fan of electrolyte-rich foods like cucumbers and celery.
My S.O.U.P. cleanse is designed to be ultra-hydrating because it contains numerous water-and-mineral-rich foods like beets, carrots, asparagus, and broccoli. The cleanse incorporates nutrients to renew, recharge, and rejuvenate your body. It also includes a morning hydrating detox tonic, a midday collagen broth, and an evening herbal tea to pack in the hydration. If you think you may be struggling with dehydration or simply want to prevent it, I encourage you to sign up for the S.O.U.P. Cleanse today!