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Jul 13th, 2016

9 Hidden Signs You're Not Drinking Enough Water


Are you getting enough water?

It's easy to remember to drink water in the middle of summer when temperatures rise to unbearable levels. Drinking bottle after bottle is incredibly important, as the body sweats a lot of it out. But water should be your close friend all year round.

Not getting enough H2O causes many problems, other than the ones you're probably familiar with.

You might only drink water to quench your thirst, but why stop there?

“It’s often said that water is the most important nutrient, and it’s a good foundation for our diet,” Lori Chong, R.D., at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio, told “The recommendation for women is 2.2 liters per day, and for men it’s 3 liters.”

That might sound like a lot, but it’s well worth it, and there’s an easy trick if you have trouble consuming that much.

“If you’re having a hard time getting in enough water, invest in a straw cup,” said Chong. “[Many] tend to drink more when we drink out of a straw. Personally, it helped me.”

You're Tired

“Being tired, and cranky can be a sign [that you’re not getting enough water],” said Chong. “Just trying to work in some extra water might make a difference in your energy levels.”

Mild dehydration can cause fatigue, tiredness and low energy, according to the Mayo Clinic and a 2012 study published in the Journal of Nutrition.

So the next time you’re tired it’s probably a better idea to grab some water instead of another cup of coffee.

“Coffee, tea, soda and sports drinks instead of water can count towards our total [liters], but I prefer drinks that don’t have sugar, caffeine or alcohol,” said Chong. “At least half [of the daily recommendation] should still be water.”

You're Constipated

One of the best ways to fight constipation is to make sure you get enough fiber in your diet. But if that doesn’t work, the answer could be to drink more water.

Water can make fiber more effective, which normalizes bowel function and maintains regularity, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Fiber needs water, so if someone increases their fiber drastically — without increasing water — we can see more constipation and stomach pain,” said Chong. “Constipation can be avoided with enough water.”

Your Joints Hurt
Joints Hurt

Although drinking water might not cure arthritis or other causes of joint pain, increasing the amount you drink can help treat some of the painful symptoms of these conditions.

“You might see fluid retention in your ankles and fingers when you’re not consuming enough water,” said Chong. “It’s important for lubricating joints, so having water can help with joint pain.”

You're Gaining Weight
Weight Gain

If you’re trying to lose weight, your initial theory might be that less is more. That isn’t the case when it comes to water.

Adding more water, not less, can help you lose weight. Water can replace other fattening drinks such as soda, and has also shown the ability to keep total calories down.

A study from the American Chemical Society confirmed that drinking more water can serve as an effective appetite control method.

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