Can Dehydration Contribute to Your Sugar Cravings? 10 Signs You May Not Be Drinking Enough Water

Did you know that your body is made up of approximately 60% water? A 2% change in hydration levels can cause extreme side effects on the body. So, can dehydration contribute to your sugar cravings?

You should be drinking half of your body weight in ounces. If you weigh 150 pounds you should be drinking at least 75 oz of water, and 1.5 times that if you drink diuretic beverages such as soda, coffee, or tea.

sport water dehydration

Recently, our family had a reality check when it comes to how important it is to stay hydrated and drink water. One evening, my teenage daughter stood up from her chair, blacked out, fell, and then hit her head on a cabinet.

We rushed her to the emergency room to see if she had a head injury, and of course, to find out what caused the fainting. Right away the doctors in the ER asked, “How much water is she drinking?” She definitely was not drinking enough, as we learned that she had drunk just 1 glass of water that day.

After many tests that night, they did not find anything abnormal. They recommended that we see a cardiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital. The cardiologist told us that for 60% of the kids that come in to see him regarding fainting, the root cause is typically hydration. That is an alarming statistic and it is something that is very preventable.

kids water hydration 2

10 common signs that you are not drinking enough water:

1. Headaches

Headaches are one of the most common signs of dehydration.  For people that suffer from migraines, doctors often recommend tracking one’s water intake before taking medication to see if it helps alleviate symptoms.   Here is a great article of the impact of dehydration on headaches.

2. Dizziness

Dizziness can be another serious side effect of dehydration. Without enough water, the brain does not get enough oxygen due to a decrease in blood pressure, The result is reduced circulation, which slows down the speed at which the heart pumps minerals and blood to your organs. To learn more click on this article about the relationship between dehydration and dizziness?

3. Joint Pain

Did you know that 70 – 80% of our joint cartilage is made up of water? In between all of our joints is a thick lubrication called synovial fluid.  When you are dehydrated this can impact the consistency of this fluid between your joints. 

knee pain hydration water

4. Frequent sugar cravings

Do you have frequent sugar cravings?   Believe it or not, we can actually have food or sugar cravings when we are thirsty vs. being hungry.  To learn more, see this article on sugar cravings and dehydration.

5. Depression

How can drinking water impact my emotional state? Being dehydrated can impact how much serotonin your body produces. Serotonin is the feel-good hormone that our body naturally produces. Eighty percent of it is actually made in the stomach and the digestive tract. Many people that struggle with depression have issues producing the appropriate amount of serotonin in their bodies. Here is a great article on How Dehydration Contributes To Depression.

“You can last 21 days without food, but only a 2-3 days without water.”

6. Heat Stroke

When we are overheated, our body naturally cools down by sweating. However, when a person is dehydrated, they stop sweating which prevents them from lowering their body temperature. This can result in heatstroke.

7. Fatigue

Fatigue and low energy are other common side effects of dehydration.  If you are feeling tired and lethargic, grab your water bottle or glass of water and chug away. When I am dehydrated and feeling tired, I will usually feel better in about 20-30 minutes after drinking a glass of water.  Here are some dehydration facts on fatigue.

fatigue water dehydration

8. Dark-colored urine

Is your urine dark yellow or is it clear?  When your urine is dark-colored it is another possible sign of dehydration.

9. Constipation

Do you struggle with having regular bowel movements?  The amount of water you are consuming could be impacting your regularity.  Here is an interesting article on constipation and dehydration.

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10. Dry Mouth

If you frequently have a dry mouth, you may not be drinking enough water.  Being dehydrated can actually affect your oral health.  Your body can’t produce enough saliva when you are dehydrated, as saliva is made up of mostly water.

Just remember to drink half of your body weight in ounces each day (more if you drink caffeinated beverages). By being proactive about your water intake you can prevent a lot of serious side effects of dehydration.

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