The old adage, “If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated!” is actually still up for debate among experts, but one thing is certain: Thirst is far from being your only signal that you need to hydrate, stat.
Dehydration occurs when your body is losing more fluid than it’s taking in, according to Robert Segal, M.D., founder and medical director of LabFinder. That can happen with exercise, illness that causes diarrhea or vomiting, and loss of body heat.
And it can lead to some pretty serious problems: Driving when you’re just one percent dehydrated, for instance, can lead to pretty dangerous behaviors behind the wheel, like lane drifting or late braking, according to a 2015 study. Plus, if you’re two percent or more dehydrated, your athletic performance might take a hit, too, as we reported.
When the weather is toasty, it’s easy to remember to grab some water, but as it turns cooler, the chances of dehydration can increase, Dr. Segal notes. For example, if you’re running in chilly temps and you’re wearing multiple layers, it can be tougher to keep hydration in mind.
But you should: When you don’t supply your body with enough fluids, you reduce functioning in every system, including our cells, tissues, and organs, he says.
There’s no one, set water prescription for every guy—it depends on things like diet and activity level. Still, there are some ways to know you’re not getting enough.
Here, 5 signs you might be dehydrated:
1. YOUR MUSCLES CRAMP
2. YOU START CRAVING SWEETS
3. YOU FEEL DIZZY
4. YOU PEE LESS
5. YOU CAN’T POOP