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Even a small drop in hydration level can have widespread effects, making every system in your body work harder.

  • Cognition becomes impaired. Skin becomes drier. Muscles tire and become prone to fatigue and cramping.
  • Blood thickens, placing a burden on your cardiac system.
  • Waste can build up in the body, potentially resulting in painful kidney stones. (Learn more about the vital role your kidneys play in detoxification — and how you can support them at, “How to Optimize Your Kidneys’ Natural Detoxification Process.”)
  • Chronic dehydration may cause the stress hormone cortisol to rise and metabolism to slow.
  • Signs that you are dehydrated: thirst, a dry mouth, headache, difficulty concentrating, irritability or apathy, dizziness, cramps, chills, nausea or vomiting, head or neck heat sensations, and excessive fatigue.
  • The color of your urine is a fairly reliable way to gauge your hydration status — as are your body’s mucous membranes and skin. But by the time you notice these signs, you could already be dehydrated.

The best way to monitor your hydration and ward off dehydration is to stay ahead of the game: Sip water and consume hydrating foods throughout your day. (For more, see “The Importance of Hydration For Daily Detoxing“).

This was excerpted from “Drink Up” which was published in the May 2022 issue of Experience Life magazine.

Sarah Tuff

Sarah Tuff Dunn is a Colorado-based outdoors, health, fitness, and nutrition writer.

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