Dehydration is more than just feeling thirsty.
Drinking enough water throughout the day doesn’t sound like it should be a difficult thing to do, yet a whopping 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated. And we’d bet that the vast majority of those people don’t even recognize the root of their own struggle because the symptoms they exhibit don’t intuitively connect to a lack of water. Since dehydration is a particularly bizarre beast, here are three ways your body is trying to tell you to drink more water (even if they don’t feel related at all).
1. You’re seriously craving all things sweet.
That’s right — your sweet tooth really comes out to play when you haven’t had enough water during the day. First, you feel a sense of hunger that is really just your body’s dissatisfaction with its current hydration levels, and then you lean into food options that are far from the picture of health. So the next time you feel like you can’t resist that free donut in the office, down a large glass of water and wait it out for 15 minutes before re-evaluating whether you really need the treat right then and there.
2. You’re running a fever.
If you’re hitting above that standard 98.6 degrees mark, don’t immediately panic about catching the latest cold going around your friend group. When you’re lacking water, your body has to work extra hard to compensate as it keeps its vital systems running smoothly, which can lead to a fever spike. Ironically, a fever can make your dehydration worse, just perpetuating that downward spiral, so if you’re feeling a little flush and not in a good way, reach for that water bottle ASAP. It might be the only cure you need.
3. You could use a breath mint.
Blame it on that cup of coffee or the extra garlicky pasta you had at lunch, but dehydration can lead to pretty bad breath. That’s because 99 percent of your saliva is comprised of water, so when you’re lacking H2O, that ratio is thrown out of whack and the bacteria in your mouth get to take center stage. In fact, they end up multiplying even faster with less water present. So you might as well give your teeth an extra brush, but chug some water while you’re at it to really take care of the problem.