14 Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration You Should Know

With record heat temperatures being recorded around the world this year, it’s more important than ever to know how to identify whether you’ve become dehydrated. Mindful Tech Lifestyle offers 14 signs and symptoms of dehydration to watch out for, with having a dry mouth — an obvious sign of thirst — just one of them. Muscle cramps, swollen fingers and bloated belly, constipation and weight gain may be a few that you didn’t know about.

The first thing to remember is that staying hydrated is more than just drinking water. More specifically, it’s about getting water into your cells — and, paradoxically, it’s lack of cellular hydration that can cause your fingers or belly to swell up. Since your gut is an important part of the hydration cycle, it stands to reason that being dehydrated can negatively affect how your gut works, making you feel ill or constipated.

So, besides the hints given in the featured article, how do you tell if you’re dehydrated, and what should you do to properly rehydrate and stay hydrated? Some dehydration symptoms you may not be aware of include fatigue and/or dizziness, foggy thinking, chills and sugar cravings. The quantity and color of your urine are other important indicators: Concentrated, dark-colored urine is a sign that your kidneys are retaining fluids to maintain your bodily functions, and is a good indication that you need more water. Ideally, you'll want to drink enough water to turn your urine a light-colored yellow.

To rehydrate, one of the most important things to recognize is that water is your best hydrator. While soda, fruit juices, sports drinks, energy drinks and other beverages typically contain a fair amount of water, they are poor substitutes for pure water, and generally do not count toward this requirement. Sports drinks, which are popular when it comes to hydration, are also best avoided, as they contain high amounts of fructose (sugar), artificial flavors and food colorings. If your sports drink is low-calorie and sugar-free, it likely contains artificial sweeteners, which may be even worse for you than fructose.

Also remember to watch your children, and make sure they’re properly hydrated, as statistics show that about one-quarter of children do not drink water on a daily basis.

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