5 surprising signs you may be dehydrated by Pam Mathis Nutritionist Sarasota Lakewood Ranch

5 Surprising Signs You May be Dehydrated

— and what to do about it!

Are you drinking enough? With summer heating up, you may be surprised by how many of your symptoms may be caused by dehydration. The signs may not be obvious, like intense thirst or feeling faint, but mild to moderate dehydration can be the root cause of some very common complaints. The CDC has reported that 30% of older Americans are clinically dehydrated.

Click here to print a PDF to keep handy.

Common symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration include:

  1. Fatigue. Did you know that the leading cause of fatigue is actually dehydration?
  2. Constipation from lack of water through the digestion process.
  3. Foot and leg cramps from electrolyte imbalances when sweating profusely.
  4. Dizziness from changes in blood pressure and electrolytes due to dehydration.
  5. Headaches. Just a 1.5% reduction in hydration can cause headaches, including migraine headaches.

So, how much hydration is enough?

The answer depends on many factors, including your age, weight, temperature and humidity where you live, your health conditions, medications, activity level, and how much you sweat.

Water makes up about 60% of your body and is required for hundreds of bodily functions like digestion, brain function, maintaining healthy skin, and regulation of temperature, hunger, weight, blood pressure, heart function, electrolyte balance, and so much more.

The general recommendations from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are for women to drink 11.5 cups a day and men to drink 15.5 cups a day. So much for the 8 glasses a day rule! Aim to drink enough fluids so your urine is a pale straw color. If it’s a darker yellow, keep drinking.

And remember that soda, alcohol, and caffeine are not hydrating. You can, however, assume that about 20% of your fluids will come from foods like fruits and vegetables and roughly 80% from drinking fluids.

Make staying hydrated more fun and tasty with these tips
— they’re not what you may expect!

#1 – Add flavor to your water.

Infused waters are delicious and can infuse not only flavor, but also vitamins and antioxidants into your water. Try adding slices of cucumber, watermelon, strawberries, lemon, lime, oranges, or kiwi for an extra boost of nutrition. Or look for ready to drink flavored waters like Waterdrop, Hint, LaCroix, AHA water, or Bubly.

#2 – Try a new beverage.

Something new and tasty can inspire you to drink more. These options offer nutritional value as well, like a greens drink (my favorite is Amazing Grass Green Superfood in chocolate), kombucha, herbal tea, Vital Proteins collagen water or Wanu water.

#3 – Consider an electrolyte enhanced water.

Electrolyte enhanced water is great when you are sweating profusely, have diarrhea or are vomiting. (Always contact your Medical Practitioner if you are ill.) Electrolytes may need to be replaced if you are sweating and/or doing vigorous activities for more than 1 hour by drinking water with Nuun Sport tablets, BodyBio E-Lyte drinks, Ultima Replenisher Electrolyte Hydration powder, or Designs for Health Electrolyte Synergy.

#4 – Get a fun and easy-to-carry water bottle with your favorite logo or design on it.

Look for BPA free bottles (stainless is my favorite) and a lid that is easy to clean. Carrying your new sassy water bottle will make drinking more fun!

#5 – Keep track of your ounces.

Using fun counters like poker chips, colored stickers on your calendar, a tracking app like WaterBalance, or your Apple watch will help you keep track of how much you are drinking.

Pam Mathis Nutritionist Nutrition Coach Sarasota Lakewood Ranch Florida

Need some support with feeling hydrated, healthy, and back in balance?

Know that I am always here to support you and help you feel your best. Simply connect with me.

DISCLAIMER: This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is being provided to you to educate you about nutrition and as a self-help tool for your own use. It is not medical advice. This information is to be used at your own risk based on your own judgment. For my full Disclaimer, please click here.