Unless you track your water intake, it can be hard to know if you’re meeting your recommended daily intake. Drinking too much can also cause issues, but, statistically, it’s far more likely that you aren’t drinking enough. Dietitians of Canada recommends 2.2 liters of fluids per day for women and 3.0 liters per day for men.
While these fluids can come from a number of different beverages and even foods, water is one of the best sources for hydration. Despite the fact that water represents such a basic human need, it’s often overlooked even though inadequate consumption has an impact on every area of our health. Not sure where you stand with your water intake? Here are five signs that you aren’t drinking enough:
What’s Your Shade of Yellow?
We’ll start with one of the most obvious signs. Dark yellow to amber urine signals that you aren’t drinking the right amount of water. Urine should be a pale yellow color.
Are You Regular?
Let’s address issues around number twos while we’re on the subject of body waste. Unexplained constipation (e.g. constipation not caused by overindulging in cheese or nuts) can often be resolved by increasing your water intake.
Do You Get Sick A Lot?
If you’ve noticed that it seems to take you a little too long to kick colds and other bugs, your immune system may be suffering from inadequate water intake. Staying hydrated boosts your immune system, so it’s important to drink up (water, that is!). It should be noted that there can be other more serious causes for a weakened immune system, so check in with your doctor to share your concerns.
Do You Have Dry Skin?
It stands to reason that if you’re not hydrating properly, your skin will show it. If your skin is flaky or itchy with no other obvious explanation, it could be that your water consumption (or lack thereof) is impacting your skin. It’s also believed that not drinking enough water makes skin age faster, so drink up!!
Is Your Mouth Feeling Dry?
Not only does not drinking enough water dry out your skin, it can also dry out your mouth. And a dry mouth often leads to halitosis (read: bad breath). And nobody wants that.
So, you probably already know that you should be drinking more water. The challenge is remembering to drink those eight glasses of water. The solution? Create new routines around water consumption to keep yourself on track. Always drink a full glass of water before each meal (this has the added benefit of filling your tummy so you don’t overeat). Another great strategy is to get yourself a large water bottle with markings so you can identify every 250 milliliters you drink. Using a sharpie, write your target times (10 am, noon, 2 pm, etc.) to consume ¼ of the bottle, ½ of the bottle, and so on. This will keep your water consumption consistent and on target throughout the day. Bottoms up!