Most of us know about the internal trigger that signals we are thirsty and that we need some type of liquid.  Our body is great at sending out that signal and we try to not put ourselves into a position where we are “dying of thirst”.

There are other signals of dehydration that are more unusual, but are linked to being dehydrated. These occur when the body is deficient in water and other fluids to function properly.

What are the signals of dehydration?

Here is a list of indicators: food cravings, tiredness, headaches, stiff joints, bad breath, muscle cramps, dry skin, and fever or chills.

Keep in mind that your body is like an automobile, it runs best when all of the fluid levels are ‘topped off’!

Your brain might trick you!

Your brain does not do a great job of distinguishing between being dehydrated and being hungry. 

So people have a tendency to overeat, which happens a lot at parties and social gatherings.  When you are dehydrated it places a demand on the liver. The cravings for food could be part of being dehydrated; your liver needs to use water to release components of your energy stores like glycogen for use by your body.

Here is a tip, if you are craving something sweet, eat something that has a high level of water such as fruit and/or vegetables!

Lets take a closer look at signals of dehydration…


If you are feeling run down and tired, it could be that your blood thickens when you are dehydrated and therefore the demand on your energy increases due to the efforts of getting your blood to circulate through your body carrying the necessary oxygen.



As it relates to headaches, think of how your brain sits inside a fluid sack which keeps it from bumping against the skull.  When the fluid sack is low, the brain can push or bump up against parts of the inside of the skull causing headaches.


Your joint mobility or lack thereof could be caused by a decrease in circulation of blood to the joint area due to the fact that the blood has thickened and is not getting to the joint in question for increased mobility.

Bad Breath

Another indicator is bad breath, which is caused by your body not producing enough saliva.  The saliva has antibacterial properties in it which help in preventing bacterial growth.

Muscle cramps

A person can experience muscle cramps when they are at a higher level of activity which causes the muscles to work harder and subsequently “heat up”.  The body leaches out essential electrolytes (sodium and potassium) which need to be replaced to help maintain an inner and outer water cellular balance and function.

There are various stages of dehydration, so some people think that if you are really sweaty you are dehydrated, but you could be going through a different stage where you become very dizzy and you skin becomes very dry, due to the fact that you do not have enough blood volume.  This can lead to flushing because the skin is dry and not evaporating as well.

Also keep in mind that if you become severely dehydrated you may experience symptoms that are fever like or even chills.

So listen to your body, be aware of the signals of dehydration and keep your tank topped up. You will feel much better for it!

Connect here with WatchFit Expert Jim Cleveland


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