5 Dehydration Symptoms to Be Mindful of This Summer

There are many reasons to look forward to the summer season: vacations, the kids being out of school, longer days, and getting sun out by the pool. But are you staying hydrated enough?

Drinking enough water is always important, but it’s especially crucial in summer months when temperatures are higher and we’re moving and sweating more during the day. Some signs of dehydration show up as issues we might not realize are caused by lack of fluids. To help you spot them, here are five common dehydration symptoms:

#1 Dry mouth

This one might be the most obvious in our list, but it’s worth noting. If you notice your mouth feeling dry or sticky during the day, it probably means you need more water. A good rule of thumb is to note that by the time you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.

#2 Feeling tired

If your energy levels seem unusually low, try drinking a glass of water. Being dehydrated can cause your heart rate to increase, blood pressure to drop, and can decrease the level of blood flow to the brain. These are all reasons we might feel more tired or lethargic throughout the day.

#3 Headaches or dizziness

All it takes is mild dehydration (about 1.5 percent of total water loss in the body) to affect our cognition and mood. That could mean feeling light-headed, dizzy, confused, or suffering from headaches or migraines. If you or anyone in your family has these symptoms this summer, it could be they’re not getting enough water.

#4 Sugar cravings

Sometimes dehydration can be masked as hunger, especially cravings for things like sugar. This is even more common at times when we’re moving during the day, such as on summer vacation.

When we’re active in a dehydrated state, it uses up our body’s carbohydrate stores faster, which can increase carb cravings—our bodies’ natural way of encouraging us to replenish carbs! While this can be good, it often means the main need is water.

#5 Constipation

If things aren’t “moving along” as they should, it might be a sign to look at your hydration levels. Our colons need water to properly move waste through for elimination, so lack of water may cause problems with constipation.

While drinking water can certainly help support the colon, other factors that can help move things along include eating whole foods, getting plenty of fiber, and supporting your digestive processes.

How to Stay Hydrated

If you’re not in the habit of drinking water regularly, it can take a little effort to make it a practice. Start carrying around a reusable water bottle so you can sip on some water throughout the day—especially if you experience any of the symptoms above, but try to drink before they occur.

A good way to visually monitor your hydration level is by checking your urine levels. A light, transparent yellow means you’re healthy and well-hydrated. Anything darker than that means a need to drink more water.

Besides regular water, healthy drinks with electrolytes (such as coconut water) and eating foods with high water content, such as fruits, can help you stay hydrated and replenished.

The Bottom Line

Despite summer being filled with fun, it doubles as an opportunity to pay extra attention to your body’s needs, especially if traveling and family time is stressful. We can support ourselves through the season by eating well, supplementing as needed, and noticing dehydration symptoms to keep ourselves hydrated!

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