Do You Know the Signs of Dehydration? Seven Sneaky Symptoms That Might Surprise You

Thursday, September 7, 2023

We pay close attention to the signs of dehydration we've grown accustomed to, but these less-apparent indictors are just as important.

We all know staying hydrated is critical for good health, especially during hot weather or after a good workout. But did you know your body emits plenty of signals—some quite obvious and some very subtle—when you're in need of more fluids? While most people are familiar with the conventional symptoms of dehydration such as a dry mouth, it’s smart to learn about the lesser-known signs, too.

In this article, we will explore seven uncommon clues that may indicate you need to increase your water intake. Recognizing these warning signs of dehydration early on can help you take proactive steps to get more fluids and promote overall well-being.

  1. Brain fog and difficulty concentrating
    The brain relies on proper hydration to function optimally. Dehydration can cause difficulty in focusing, memory lapses, and a general feeling of mental cloudiness. Ensuring you're well-hydrated can help maintain mental clarity and cognitive function.
  2. Increased heart rate
    Dehydration can lead to a drop in blood volume, causing your heart to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. This can result in an elevated heart rate, even during normal activities. If you're noticing an unexplained increase in your heart rate, try reaching for a glass of water to support your cardiovascular health.
  3. Unusual tiredness
    Feeling especially weary and sluggish may not always be attributed to lack of sleep. Dehydration can impact your energy levels and leave you feeling drained, even after a full night's rest. When your body lacks sufficient fluids, it can lead to decreased blood circulation and oxygen delivery to cells, resulting in persistent fatigue.
  4. Dull, wrinkly skin
    Your skin is a reliable indicator of your hydration levels. Dehydration can cause a decrease in skin elasticity, making it appear dull, dry, or flaky. Drink plenty of water to maintain skin health and that youthful radiant glow.
  5. Bad breath
    Saliva helps cleanse the mouth by neutralizing acids and washing away bacteria. When you're dehydrated, your mouth produces less saliva. That creates an environment where bacteria thrive, leading to unpleasant breath.
  6. Irritability
    Dehydration doesn't just impact your physical well-being; it can affect your mood as well. Studies have shown that even mild dehydration can lead to low mood, irritability, and feelings of anxiety. Staying hydrated can help you maintain a more balanced and positive emotional state.
  7. Salty food cravings
    Unexplained food cravings, particularly for salty snacks, can be indicative of dehydration. Depleted electrolyte levels can trigger cravings for sodium-rich foods as the body attempts to restore its balance.

Ensure you're drinking enough water throughout the day by following these helpful tips:

  • Create handy hydration stations: Place water bottles or glasses of water in areas you frequent, such as your desk, kitchen counter, or family room. Having water within reach encourages you to take sips regularly.
  • Carry a reusable water bottle: Invest in a reusable water bottle that you can take it with you wherever you go. Having water readily available makes it easier to stay hydrated throughout the day.
  • Use apps and reminders: There are several mobile apps designed to help you track your water intake. These apps often allow you to set goals, track your progress, and receive reminders to drink water. You can also use the alarms on your phone to remind you to drink up at regular intervals
  • Drink before meals: Make it a habit to drink a glass of water before each meal. Not only does this help with hydration, but it can also aid digestion and prevent overeating.
  • Set goals: Set daily water intake goals based on your body's needs. A common recommendation is to aim for about eight glasses (64 ounces) of water per day, but your individual needs may vary.

The lesser-known signs of dehydration should not be overlooked. Paying attention to subtler signals can empower you to take proactive steps to ensure you're getting the right amount of fluid each day. Adequate hydration is a cornerstone of overall health and well-being, so be attentive to these uncommon indicators and make hydration a priority in your daily routine.

We hope you found this article informative. If you need additional resources or require further assistance, our caring professionals are here to help. Please contact us anytime.

About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 25 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. For more information about our funeral, cremation, memorial, repast, and grief counseling services, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at

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