14 Signs You Don’t Drink Enough Water | Care/of (2023)

Water is a necessary element for our survival, as it is involved in practically every bodily function. Sadly, many of us drink less than we should. Dehydration can lead to a variety of negative health effects, from headaches and fatigue to digestive issues and joint discomfort. In this article, we'll explore 14 signs that you may not be getting enough water, and we'll discuss the important role that water plays in supporting your body's functions. So, if you're curious about whether you're drinking enough water, read on to learn more.

How does water support the body?

Water is a vital component of the human body as it supports several essential functions. Among its many roles, water helps regulate body temperature, keeping it within a normal range. In addition to these important functions, water also aids in the elimination of waste products through urine, perspiration, and bowel movements. Without sufficient water intake, the body may experience a host of health problems, making it essential to drink enough water on a daily basis.

How much water does your body need daily?

A general rule of thumb is to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water per day. For instance, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should aim to drink at least 75 ounces of water daily. Unfortunately, it is estimated that up to 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, which can have an array of negative effects.

(Video) All the Signs That You’re Not Drinking Enough Water

What factors influence your water needs

The amount of water your body needs can vary depending on several factors. For instance, when you are in hot climates, your body loses more water through sweating, and thus, requires more water to replace the lost fluids. Similarly, when you engage in physical activity, you sweat more, and your body needs more water to replace those losses and ensure adequate hydration. In addition, when you are running a fever or experiencing diarrhea or vomiting, your body loses fluids and electrolytes, making it necessary to drink more water to stay hydrated. It's essential to be mindful of these factors to ensure you are drinking enough water to keep your body functioning at its best.

Signs you don't drink enough water

If you don't drink enough water, your body may send you some signs. But, don’t worry – we’ll break down some of the most common ones to look out for.

Constantly have headaches

Dehydration can cause a variety of symptoms, including headaches. When you are dehydrated, your brain and other tissues in the body contract. Then, as the brain tissue shrinks, it pulls away from the skull and adds pressure to the nerves, which could result in headaches. Even mild dehydration can trigger a headache, as your body needs sufficient fluids to function properly.

Therefore, if you are someone who frequently experiences headaches, it's important to evaluate your water intake and make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day.

(Video) 16 Crucial Signs You’re Not Drinking Enough Water

Constantly thirsty

If you find yourself constantly thirsty, it may be a sign that you’re not drinking enough water. Thirst is the brain’s way of signaling that your body needs water, so if you’re experiencing this symptom, it’s likely that you’re already dehydrated. It’s important to listen to your body and drink water when you feel thirsty in order to prevent dehydration and its associated symptoms.

Bad breath

One of the less obvious signs of not drinking enough water is bad breath. Drinking water is crucial because it helps to keep you hydrated and flush out particles from the surface of your teeth. Saliva also has antibacterial properties, but when your body is dehydrated, it can't produce enough saliva to clean your mouth. When your mouth dries out, it provides an ideal environment for bacteria to grow rapidly, leading to bad breath. This is a common issue in the morning, as you don’t drink water or produce much saliva during the night.

Chapped lips

Chapped lips can be an indicator that you’re not drinking enough water. When you’re dehydrated, your lips become dry and prone to cracking. This is because your lips lack oil glands, which can help keep them moisturized. In fact, dry and chapped lips are often one of the first signs of dehydration.

Muscle cramps

Muscle cramps are a common sign of dehydration, especially after exercise or exertion. During exercise, your body loses fluids and electrolytes. This can cause your muscles to cramp, which can be uncomfortable and even painful. Muscular cramps can be prevented by staying hydrated and replenishing electrolytes, especially if you're physically active.

(Video) 16 WARNING Signs You’re NOT Drinking Enough Water!

Gaining weight

Not drinking enough water may lead to weight gain. A study in the Annals of Family Medicine found that adults who were inadequately hydrated had higher BMIs compared to those who were well hydrated. In addition, observational evidence suggests that people who drink more water appear to have more success with weight management. Therefore, it’s important to stay hydrated to help maintain a healthy weight.

Low energy levels

Low energy levels are a common sign of dehydration. This is because water is essential for carrying nutrients to your body's cells and removing waste products. Without adequate water, it’s difficult for your cells to get the fuel that they need. About 50% to 60% of your body weight is water, but you constantly lose water through urine, sweat, and breathing. When you are low on fluids, therefore, your body may feel tired and weaker than usual.

Dry eyes

Dry eyes can also be a sign of not drinking enough water. Your eyes need moisture to function properly, and water helps to produce healthy tears. Lack of tear production could be a sign of dry eye symptoms, which can cause discomfort, irritation, and even vision problems. Drinking enough water is the easiest way to resolve dry eye symptoms.

(Video) ❌💦 Signs that you’re not drinking enough water… #hydrated #hydration #water #health #wellness

Dry skin

Dehydration can contribute to dry skin, as water is necessary for maintaining skin hydration and preventing moisture loss. As experts suggest, however, the best approaches to treating dry skin are twofold, involving the application of topical moisturizer first, and then addressing dehydration by drinking more water. When the skin is hydrated from the inside out, it becomes more resilient, supple, and less prone to dryness and cracking.

Dark urine or decreased urination

When you're not drinking enough water, your body will start to conserve water by reducing the amount of urine produced. This can result in decreased urination or dark yellow urine, which is a sign that your body needs more fluids. When your body doesn't get enough water, your kidneys try to retain as much water as possible, resulting in a darker urine color. So, if your urine is darker than usual or you are not urinating as often as you normally do, this is usually a tell tale sign that you need to drink more water.

Digestive issues or constipation

When you don’t drink enough water, you may experience digestive issues, particularly constipation. This is because dehydration is a major cause of occasional constipation. As stool moves through the large intestine, the large intestine absorbs water naturally. However, if you do not have enough fluids in your body, your intestine will remove extra water from the stool so it doesn't go to waste, which makes the stool harder and more difficult to pass. Increasing water intake can help alleviate occasional constipation and improve bowel movements.


Feeling dizzy or lightheaded is an extremely uncomfortable condition that can have a number of causes. However, one of the most common culprits is usually dehydration. In healthy people with normal blood pressure, dehydration can cause blood pressure levels (already in normal range) to drop, which can result in dizziness. When there isn’t enough water in the body, blood volume decreases, which causes the heart to work harder to pump blood to the organs. Then, the blood vessels constrict, leading to a decrease in blood flow and oxygen supply. This cascade of events results in dizziness, lightheadedness, and, in extreme circumstances, fainting may occur.

(Video) What would happen if you didn’t drink water? - Mia Nacamulli

Bad body odor

One of the most unknown facts about dehydration is that it can lead to unpleasant body odor. This is because water helps release toxins through sweat, and when your body is not properly hydrated, it is unable to release these toxins and bacteria. This buildup of toxins and bacteria can lead to an unpleasant odor, especially in areas like the armpits, feet, and groin.

Final takeaways

There are many signs and symptoms that can indicate you are not drinking enough water. The most common ones that we discussed include headaches, increased thirst, bad breath, chapped lips, muscle cramps, weight gain, fatigue, dry skin and eyes, constipation, dark urine, dizziness, and foul body odor.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is a good idea to boost your water intake to ensure that you are staying well hydrated. Remember, a general rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight in ounces. Water and fluids are necessary for our bodies to be able to function at their best, so it's crucial to drink enough of it throughout the day.


14 Signs You Don’t Drink Enough Water | Care/of? ›

Final takeaways. There are many signs and symptoms that can indicate you are not drinking enough water. The most common ones that we discussed include headaches, increased thirst, bad breath, chapped lips, muscle cramps, weight gain, fatigue, dry skin and eyes, constipation, dark urine, dizziness, and foul body odor.

How do I know I'm not drinking enough water? ›

Warning signs that our water intake is too low include dark colored urine or a decreased need to urinate at all. Moodiness may be caused by lack of fluids. Some research has shown that just mild dehydration can lead to neurological changes that affect our ability to focus and can cause irritability.

What are 3 warning signs of dehydration? ›

Some of the early warning signs of dehydration include:
  • feeling thirsty and lightheaded.
  • a dry mouth.
  • tiredness.
  • having dark coloured, strong-smelling urine.
  • passing urine less often than usual.
Feb 13, 2023

What are 4 consequences of not drinking enough water? ›

People who don't drink enough water every day are at greater risk of kidney stones, problems with their heart valves and some kinds of cancer. Even minor dehydration can affect physical and mental performance. Drinking water is also essential for the health of your mouth.

How can I rehydrate quickly? ›

  1. WATER. If you have to ask how to rehydrate, then the answer is a definite no-brainer: drink water. ...
  2. COFFEE & TEA. ...
  3. SKIM & LOW FAT MILK. ...
Jan 30, 2020

What happens when you start drinking enough water? ›

You'll feel less hungry and may even lose weight. You'll probably experience more comfortable digestion (less heartburn). Bowel movements might be easier and more regular. Your teeth and gums will be healthier and more resilient.

Can dehydration make your vag smell? ›

Urinary Tract Infections UTIs and dehydration can sometimes cause urine to smell, which can in turn create an odor (sometimes likened to the smell of bleach or ammonia) in the vaginal area.

What does bad dehydration feel like? ›

Signs of dehydration include: Headache, delirium, confusion. Tiredness (fatigue). Dizziness, weakness, light-headedness.

What are 5 symptoms of severe dehydration? ›

Symptoms of dehydration in adults and children include:
  • feeling thirsty.
  • dark yellow, strong-smelling pee.
  • peeing less often than usual.
  • feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
  • feeling tired.
  • a dry mouth, lips and tongue.
  • sunken eyes.

How much water does it take to rehydrate? ›

According to a recent study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, your body can alleviate mild dehydration in 45 minutes with 20.3 oz (600ml) of water.

How many bottles of water should I drink a day? ›

So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is: About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men. About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women.

What happens to kidneys if you don't drink enough water? ›

Some studies have shown that frequent dehydration, even if it's mild, may lead to permanent kidney damage. Dehydration can cause a build-up of wastes and acids in the body, and it can clog the kidneys with muscle proteins (myoglobin). All these things can hurt the kidneys.

Does coffee count as water intake? ›

Here is one more reason to enjoy that morning cup of joe: “Coffee counts toward your daily water intake,” says Lauren DeWolf, MS, RD, a registered dietitian with Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Centers. The water in coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages helps us meet our daily fluid needs.

What hydrates better than water? ›

Milk is more hydrating than water

For example, milk was found to be even more hydrating than plain water because it contains the sugar lactose, some protein and some fat, all of which help to slow the emptying of fluid from the stomach and keep hydration happening over a longer period.

What is the most hydrating drink? ›

Water is perfect for hydration if you're doing light exercise. If you exercise strenuously for more than 2 hours and lose sweat, consider an electrolyte beverage that contains carbohydrates, sodium, and potassium.

What liquid hydrates you the fastest? ›

1. Water. While it likely comes as no surprise, drinking water is most often the best and cheapest way to stay hydrated and rehydrate. Unlike many other beverages, water contains no added sugars or calories, making it ideal to drink throughout the day or specifically when you need to rehydrate, such as after a workout.

What does water do for your face? ›

Reduces Wrinkles. Water keeps your body hydrated and refreshed and helps maintain your skin's elasticity. People who drink large amounts of water are less likely to suffer from scars, wrinkles, and soft lines and they won't show as many signs of aging as those who drink little amounts of water.

How long does it take to see the benefits of drinking water? ›

In fact, even mild dehydration affects your blood vessels (making them less springy) about the same as smoking a cigarette. Skimping on water also leads to less blood in your body, which can lower your blood pressure and raise your heart rate. It takes just 15 to 20 minutes for enough water to even things out.

Do I need to drink a gallon of water a day? ›

“Drinking a gallon of water a day is not really necessary, but it's not going to hurt you either,” says Czerwony. “Everybody's hydration levels are different, but most people don't need a daily gallon.” Your body is incredibly efficient and will let you know when it is thirsty.

Why does it smell when I open my legs? ›

Sweating. Sweating in the groin area can attract fungus and bacteria that can lead to a bad smell. Showering after exercise or athletic activity can help reduce the bad-smelling effects of smells related to sweating. Putting on clean, dry clothes after a sweat session can also help.

What foods make you wetter? ›

Experts recommend sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, apples, and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids for increased lubrication, overall vaginal wetness, and better-quality naturally occurring vaginal lubrication.

What drinks make your vag wetter? ›

Drinking enough water can help your body stay hydrated and can even help with vaginal lubrication. Avocados, apples, and flaxseeds. They are all super-healthy for many reasons, but for those who don't like soy, remember that eating these three may also help you stay naturally lubricated down there. Cranberry juice.

What are the worst side effects of dehydration? ›

Dehydration can lead to severe complications, such as seizures, swelling of the brain, kidney failure, shock, coma and even death.

What can be mistaken for dehydration? ›

Concussion, menopause, and hypothyroidism all have symptoms similar to being dehydrated. Here's how to tell them apart and when to seek an expert opinion. When you feel a headache (or fatigue or dizziness or mental fuzziness) come on, you may be quick to assume you're dehydrated.

What are the indicators that you need water? ›

Dry Eyes, Mouth and Skin

Your body relies heavily on water to stay hydrated. Throughout the day, your body is losing much needed fluids and electrolytes to stay active. Without water, your skin experiences a lack of moisture; eyes a decrease in tear production and mouth the ability to produce saliva.

Is Gatorade good for dehydration? ›

Pedialyte and Gatorade are both designed to prevent or treat dehydration. In fact, thanks to their electrolyte content, they're more effective than water at rehydrating.

Which is typically one of the earliest symptoms of dehydration? ›

The initial symptoms of dehydration typically include thirst, dark urine, and reduced levels of urine production. The color of your urine is actually one of the best indicators of your hydration level. Clear and odorless urine indicates that you are well hydrated while darker and fragrant urine indicates dehydration.

Can you be dehydrated and still pee clear? ›

Clear, colorless urine can be a temporary condition due to drinking an excess of water or it can be a sign of an underlying medical condition. What's most important is that you seek medical care if you suspect you're becoming dehydrated or if your urine is very clear and diluted.

What drink has the most electrolytes? ›

Best Overall: Gatorade

The levels of electrolytes (sodium and potassium) are moderate and sensible with 160 mg of sodium and 45mg of potassium per 12 fluid ounce serving. You can also find Gatorade varieties with higher sodium, zero sugar or no calories depending on your needs.

How long does it take for your body to recover from dehydration? ›

For more mild or moderate cases of dehydration, expect your body to feel better after just a few hours, but full rehydration won't happen until about three days later. That's why even if you feel better fairly quickly, you shouldn't rush back into your regular routine.

What is the fastest home remedy for dehydration? ›

If you can't get a pre-mixed rehydration solution, don't try to make one yourself. Instead, replace lost fluids naturally with sips of water, fruit juice, crushed fruit mixed with water, or salty soups or broths.

Is 4 bottles of water a day enough? ›

Generally speaking, adults should aim for 8-10 glasses of water per day or 4 16.9oz bottles. But always be mindful and listen to your body's cues when determining the best amount of water for your needs.

How many 16 oz bottles of water should you drink a day? ›

Because there are 8 fluid ounces in a cup, you should drink eight cups of water per day. Most disposable water bottles are around 16 ounces, so that would mean you should drink three to four bottles of water each day.

How many 8 oz bottles of water should I drink a day? ›

Here are some tips to help you make sure you are drinking enough fluids to maintain good levels of hydration. You are probably all aware of the “cardinal rule” that says adults should drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.

What color is urine when your kidneys are failing? ›

When your kidneys are failing, a high concentration and accumulation of substances lead to brown, red, or purple urine. Studies suggest the urine color is due to abnormal protein or sugar as well as high numbers of cellular casts and red and white blood cells.

What is the fastest way to flush your kidneys? ›

How to cleanse the kidneys
  1. Drink more water. Drinking enough fluid every day is essential to a person's overall health. ...
  2. Reduce sodium intake. ...
  3. Make dietary changes.
Jun 5, 2019

What does protein in urine look like? ›

Proteinuria is high levels of protein in your pee. If you have proteinuria, you may have to pee more often, and your pee may be foamy or bubbly. You may have general feelings of illness, including nausea, vomiting, tiredness and swelling.

What can I drink instead of water? ›

Juice, smoothies, iced coffee, ice tea, protein shakes, milk, and other drinks can be excellent alternatives to water. You should avoid relying too much on drinks with a high sugar content, such as soda, certain fruit juces, energy drinks and chocolate milk.

What can I add to water for hydration? ›

5 Ways to Add Electrolytes to Your Water
  1. Sea Salt. Salt can be added to water in small amounts to increase electrolyte levels. ...
  2. Coconut Water. Coconut water is nature's most nutritious beverage. ...
  3. Ginger. ...
  4. Watermelon. ...
  5. Oral Hydration Solutions - The Best Way to Add Electrolytes to Water.

How can I hydrate without water? ›

The following methods can help to rehydrate your body:
  1. Fruits and Vegetables. Fruits and vegetables hydrate the body because they mainly consist of water. ...
  2. Oatmeal. Oatmeal is a hydrating way to start your mornings. ...
  3. Sports Drinks. ...
  4. Coffee and Tea. ...
  5. Flavored Seltzers. ...
  6. Skim and Lowfat Milk.

Is Gatorade more hydrating than water? ›

It hydrates you

This myth comes from a study funded by Gatorade that found people who drank their product were better hydrated than if they drank water—but only because they drank more fluids. If you drank the same volume of water versus Gatorade, you'd be equally hydrated.

What is the healthiest drink besides water? ›

5 Healthy Drink Choices That Aren't Water
  1. Vegetable Juice. Bottled brands provide 100% vegetable juice that can offer an additional serving of vitamins and minerals for your diet. ...
  2. Infused Water. Including some fruit in your water will enhance the healthiness of your beverage as well. ...
  3. Milk. ...
  4. Green Tea. ...
  5. Sparkling Water.

Will cranberry juice hydrate you? ›

The cells also contain lots of great rehydrating minerals such as potassium, sodium, chloride, and calcium, which are important for proper and healthy hydration. So yes, cranberry juice and other fruit juices can be part of staying hydrated.

Is Pedialyte better than Gatorade? ›

Both are good as oral rehydration solutions, but Pedialyte may be better in cases of diarrhea (since sugar promotes diarrhea and Pediatlyte is lower in sugar). For sports, Gatorade's high sugar content may help fuel athletic performance and duration.

Is Gatorade good for you? ›

Gatorade is not unhealthy, but it does have high amounts of sugar and salt. People who are inactive or have diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease should take into account the salt and sugar in a bottle of Gatorade if they want to live a healthy lifestyle .

What is the best bottled water for hydration? ›

When it comes to water for hydration, Essentia bottled water is a great choice. Crafted through an ionized alkalization process, the water boasts a pH of 9.5 or higher which helps support your body's natural balance - perfect for post-workout replenishment or day-to-day consumption.

What is the best way to hydrate overnight? ›

Stay Hydrated Without Frequent Urination at Night
  1. Reduce fluid consumption in the hour or two before bed. While it's fine to sip water, try not to take in large quantities of any beverage in the lead-up to bedtime.
  2. Limit alcohol and caffeine at night. ...
  3. Elevate your legs in the evening. ...
  4. Pee before you go to bed.
Feb 2, 2023

What is the second most hydrating drink? ›

Skim milk came in first followed by "oral rehydration" drinks like Pedialyte. Next came full-fat milk, orange juice, soda, diet soda, cold tea, tea, sports drinks, still water, sparkling water, lager, and finally, coffee.

How much water a day is not enough? ›

Most healthy people can stay hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, fewer than eight glasses a day might be enough. But other people might need more.

Can you drink lots of water and still be dehydrated? ›

We all need to drink water — typically more than we realize. So, what if you drink loads of water each day but are still feeling thirsty and dehydrated? It can be a sign that something else is going on. Factors like your medication, how much you sweat and if you're sick can affect your levels of hydration.

How much water is needed daily? ›

General recommendations

The National Academy of Medicine suggests an adequate intake of daily fluids of about 13 cups and 9 cups for healthy men and women, respectively, with 1 cup equaling 8 ounces. [1] Higher amounts may be needed for those who are physically active or exposed to very warm climates.

What is the healthiest drinking water? ›

What Is The Healthiest Water To Drink? When sourced and stored safely, spring water is typically the healthiest option. When spring water is tested, and minimally processed, it offers the rich mineral profile that our bodies desperately crave.

Should I drink a gallon of water a day? ›

Drinking a gallon of water a day is not really necessary, but it's not going to hurt you either,” says Czerwony. “Everybody's hydration levels are different, but most people don't need a daily gallon.” Your body is incredibly efficient and will let you know when it is thirsty.

Do you need to drink more than just water? ›

While it is important to drink enough water everyday, only drinking water is not enough to stay hydrated. To be hydrated, you need to replenish your fluids as well as your electrolytes. In this blog, we will explore what electrolytes are and why only drinking water doesn't provide your body with complete hydration.

How long does it take to get hydrated? ›

In general, however, it usually takes about two hours for your body to rehydrate fully after drinking a significant amount of water. As for how you should rehydrate, water is the best choice. Sports drinks, such as Gatorade, can be helpful for athletes who need to replenish electrolytes.

How can I get my body to absorb more water? ›

Water Absorption: Is Drinking Water Enough?
  2. Drinking on an empty stomach. Make sure you're drinking water on an empty stomach, especially during and after cardio-intensive exercise. ...
  3. Slow down. ...
  4. Salting it up! ...
  5. Eating your fiber. ...
  6. Get your beauty rest. ...
Oct 22, 2019

What color is diabetic urine? ›

Transparent and lacking in color

Transparent, colorless urine could also be a sign of some other health disorders, including diabetes and kidney disease, or from taking diuretic medication.

How many times should you pee a day? ›

What's normal and how many times is too frequent to urinate? Most people pee about seven to eight times per day, on average. If you feel the need to pee much more than that, or if you're getting up every hour or 30 minutes to go, you might be frequently urinating.

How long does it take for 8 oz of water to reach the bladder? ›

If you drink 8 oz. of water , it will usually be in your bladder within 20 minutes, so maybe a good idea to plan your void, if your bladder does not warn you. Also there is no health benefit to large volumes of water.

How much water should you drink by age? ›

How much fluid to drink each day
Infants 0–6 months*0.7 litres
Girls 9–13 years1.4 litres (about 5–6 cups)
Girls 14–18 years1.6 litres (about 6 cups)
Men 19 years+2.6 litres (about 10 cups)
Women 19 years+2.1 litres (about 8 cups)
9 more rows


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