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We’ve been told many times before to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily. However, it’s easy for a lot of people to forget to gulp this much. Others also hate the taste of plain water and prefer sweetened drinks like soda, iced tea, fruit juices, among others.

While it’s also acceptable to consume other types of fluid, it’s imperative that water be the primary drink to hydrate us. It should be a daily priority, too, right when you wake up and even before you eat your breakfast. If you don’t drink enough water, it can result to serious short-term and long-term health problems.

Here’s a list of what happens to your body when you don’t drink enough water:

1. Dark Urine

If your urine is on the darker side, it’s a pretty good indicator that you’re not drinking enough water. Ideally, urine should be pale yellow or clear. Dehydration is obvious when the urine is cloudier, which means it’s less diluted.

2. Sugar Cravings

Craving for chocolates or ice cream mid-afternoon? It’s pretty normal to want to eat sweets, especially when you’re dehydrated. It’s highly likely that the liver could be having a difficult time breaking down glycogen into glucose or sugar for the bloodstream. The result is wanting more of it, which can be bad for the body, too.

3. Hunger

Imagine this. You just ate the biggest lunch ever and yet you’re still thinking about what else you could eat. The reason: you might be dehydrated. Thirst for water is often mistaken as hunger, which makes you munch more (and spend more) on food when all you truly need is a glass of water.

4. Dry Lips or Mouth

Dry lips and sticky mouth is one of the most obvious signs that you are dehydrated. It can be caused by aging, or medications you’re currently taking, but it is worth seeing if drinking water will solve the problem and save the day.

5. Headache

Your headache – may it be dull, mild, or debilitating – may be telling you that you’re not drinking enough water. The pain is caused by a temporary shrinkage of the brain due to fluid loss. This causes the brain to pull away from the skull. The solution is plain and simple, though. Just drink water and your brain will puff up again. You can say goodbye to headaches, too.

6. Sleepiness

Instead of coffee, a glass of water may help you stay awake in the afternoon (especially after lunch). The need to rest is a common symptom of dehydration. A 2015 study conducted by British doctors also revealed that one in five patients feel tired merely because of not drinking enough.

7. Bad Breath

Halitosis or bad breath is the worst especially when you talk to a lot of people on a daily basis. Apart from brushing your teeth thoroughly and regularly as well as gargling some mouthwash, drinking water can break up your saliva. This will clear up mouth odors caused by bacteria.

8. Constipation

Good bowel movements make living more comfortable. You tend to have clearer skin and you don’t feel bloated. When you’re constipated, however, the reason may be simple dehydration. Without enough water in your system, the large intestines absorbs water from your poop, leaving it harder to pass.

9. Dehydrated Skin

Different from dry skin which is a skin type, dehydrated skin is described as “dull, congested, and easily becomes flaky.” Lucky for you, chugging lots of water can fix skin that is starting to look like dried fish scales. You can try eating cucumber and watermelon, too. After all, these are usual ingredients in hydrating skin products. They perform even better when unprocessed.

Photo from Elle

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