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The Symptoms of Dehydration in Men that You Don't Notice

A man fighting off the signs of dehydration

Need help figuring out just how much water you should be drinking daily? It’s simple: Listen to what your body needs by monitoring the different symptoms of dehydration in men.

If you’ve spent any time on the internet or visited a fitness center recently, you’ll likely be familiar with the age-old conundrum: How much water should you drink daily? Six to eight glasses? Half an ounce for every pound of body weight? Two to three liters?

While experts haven’t yet agreed on how much water one actually needs, one thing that they do agree on, however, is the fact that we all have different bodily requirements. What keeps a 120-pound man with a desk job hydrated might not be enough for an outdoor worker with the same weight who works in the sun all day.

So how can you tell whether you’re adequately hydrated or need to drink more of the good stuff? It’s no rocket science, really. Just look for the following common dehydration symptoms in men, some being more apparent than others.

Symptoms of Dehydration in Men: What You See

You may ask yourself: How do I know if I’m dehydrated? Here are a few common symptoms, ranging from mild to some more severe, that you’ll likely notice when dehydrated.

Your mouth always feels dry, and you’re constantly thirsty

One of the most obvious symptoms of dehydration in men is thirst. It is your body’s first way of telling you that it needs water. Although thirst is not a 100% reliable factor, it sure is the first one to manifest. Since dehydration decreases your salivary glands’ activity, you might also find your throat parched, per the Journal of Gerontology.

But is it possible to be dehydrated without feeling thirsty? Surprisingly, yes. It might be possible that you have a busy lifestyle, and your body ignores the thirst signals from your brain.

Or perhaps you’re quenching your thirst with caffeinated and fizzy drinks or alcoholic beverages — which, FYI, can dehydrate you even further. So when in doubt, just take a sip!

You have a bad hangover

The worst hangover of his life

Ever woken up after a date night of one too many glasses of wine with a pounding headache and an intense need to drink a gallon of water? If yes, then you, my friend, are definitely dehydrated. Before we get into all the nitty-gritty details, here’s a pro tip for you: Every now and then, try going on a sober date to have a good time without risking a hangover the next day

Ok, back to the science lesson! So basically, research shows that the ethanol in alcohol acts as a diuretic, i.e. it makes you pee more. The excessive loss of fluid from your cells can force your body to react negatively; ergo, the splitting headache and the intense thirst. Worse yet, it can also exacerbate pre-existing conditions like migraine.

Before you start to panic, the good news is that you don’t have to gulp down some disgusting hangover cure. The best remedy for dehydration hangovers is to drink one to two glasses of water upon waking up. You should also keep sipping water throughout the day, even if you don’t feel particularly thirsty. About 16 to 32 ounces is enough to help you get rid of your dehydration hangover symptoms.

You’re peeing less than usual

If you’ve noticed yourself peeing less than usual, it might indicate that you’re not drinking as much water as you should. Although not harmful, peeing only once or twice a day is a potential indicator of dehydration. Not drinking adequate water can affect your urinary tract and kidney health, increasing the risk of kidney stones (via Mayo Clinic).

You notice changes in your pee color

The next time you ask yourself, “how do I know if I’m dehydrated?” — check your pee! Changes in your pee color is a common sign of dehydration in men.

If your pee has been a dark color lately and is in a relatively less amount, studies show that it’s likely because you aren’t drinking enough water. Normal pee should be pale yellow, like lemonade.

Since your pee is a waste product that is made up of 95% water, 2% urea, and 3% other waste materials, a dark yellowish color is a clear indicator that your pee contains less water.

You’re constipated

If you’re already eating plenty of high-fiber foods but still having fewer than three bowel movements a week, your mind might be in need of some rehydration.

As poop moves through your intestines, it keeps absorbing water, which makes it easy to pass through your body. If you don’t drink enough water, however, you’ll have fewer bowel movements with dry, lumpy, and hard stools that are difficult to pass, according to Medical News Today.

You have painful muscle cramps

We usually associate muscle cramps with overtraining in the gym, but don’t let this warning sign fool you. It could actually be another sign of dehydration in men due to not drinking enough water after their workouts.

Your muscles use a lot of water and electrolytes during exercise. And when you don’t replenish the water and electrolyte reserves, they can become more prone to contracting or spasming, Mayo Clinic explains.

Water is also responsible for flushing out the toxins from your body, which — if left unchecked — can lead to inflammation and pain.

You feel dizzy, typically after a sudden movement

What it's like to feel dizzy due to dehydration

Perhaps the most severe sign of dehydration in men is dizziness or vertigo, typically in states of high fever, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Since less water in the body translates to lower blood volume and pressure, your brain might not receive enough blood. This can lead to a feeling of lightheadedness, otherwise known in layman’s terms as if the world around you is spinning.

Your heart beats faster, and your breathing gets heavier

Another classic symptom of dehydration in men is heavy breathing and rapid heartbeat. For the same reason, dehydration causes low blood pressure, it can also cause heart palpitations. This is usually characterized by a pounding feeling in your chest, which is your heart beating fast to maintain normal bodily functions.

Similarly, your lungs will also start working overtime to keep up with your heart. So you might also find yourself breathing much quicker.

You have trouble concentrating

Did you know that inadequate water intake can lead to confusion and difficulty concentrating?

Studies show that not drinking enough water can inhibit your cognitive abilities. This is because your brain is nearly 75% water. And when you’re dehydrated, your brain works overtime to complete everyday tasks, which can mess up your thought process. So instead of loading up on walnuts to help your brain function better and improve your decision-making skills, drink a tall glass of good ol’ water (via Psychology Today).

Although young adults have enough energy reserves to compensate for such loss, older men are at a higher risk of decreasing cognitive abilities as their reserves typically diminish with age.

Dehydration Symptoms in Men: What Others See

While we’ve covered all the dehydration symptoms that you may notice in yourself, we went a step ahead and also considered how a dehydrated person would appear to others — say a potential date.

Get a moisturizer; your skin is so dry!

Not all the symptoms of dehydration are severe — some, like dry and cracked skin, just affect your beauty. And at the risk of sounding superficial, they can be one of the most challenging symptoms to live with. Because let’s face it: A plump and hydrated face is one of the biggest turn-ons for girls.

According to Medical News Today, dehydration can lower the optimum fluid level in your skin, making it patchy and rough, and appear more wrinkled than usual.

Since dehydrated skin is also itchy and flaky, your date might subtly suggest that you should invest in good-quality moisturizers. However, the cure is simple: drink more water!

You look haggard!

A man who's extremely tired

“You look haggard. Is there something wrong?” How many times have you been surprised by your date’s unwarranted concern and, frankly, a little insulted? The good news is that the reason behind your sunken expression might just be plain ol’ dehydration.

Dehydration can cause your body’s tissues to become less plump. Since the skin around your eyes is already fragile, minor changes in fluid levels can have an exaggerated effect on your face. So, your eyes may appear sunken or darker than usual, which is a big no-no, especially if you’re trying to become more attractive to women.

Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed today?

Did you know that besides affecting your performance, dehydration can also cause mood changes in younger adults? In fact, irritability is one of the most common signs of dehydration in men.

Research shows that dehydration can make men more prone to feeling irritated, anxious, and tired. So the next time you feel annoyed with your partner for absolutely no reason, ask yourself, “Did I drink enough water today?”

You’re slacking, dude!

You’re slacking, and your gym buddies are noticing this. They’re probably reminding you of your fitness goals too. But nothing seems to be motivating you to do better, and you feel like your stamina has gone way down.

Fortunately, a simple solution might be to increase your water intake. Dehydration by as little as 5% of body weight can lower your workout capacity by about 30% (via Sport Nutrition).

Your breath stinks!

When trying to charm your date, the last thing you want to worry about is putting her off with bad breath. A survey shows that halitosis, aka bad breath, is one of the biggest turn-offs when it comes to landing a potential partner, per NBC News. And with Valentine’s Day around the corner, you likely would want to avoid this at all costs.

You, however, remember brushing your teeth and not eating garlic or onion before leaving for your date, so what might have caused it? Spoiler alert: dehydration.

Your glands secrete saliva, which has antibacterial properties, to maintain your oral health. When you are dehydrated, your salivary production can decrease. This creates the perfect breeding ground in your mouth for bacteria to thrive, so you end up having an unpleasant breath.

If you’ve ever wondered why your skin feels dry on a hot summer day or why your energy levels are down when you’ve been in bed all day, you might be dehydrated. Watching out for the different symptoms of dehydration can help you become more aware of your daily water intake. You’ll be surprised to see just how many of your health issues will start disappearing as you increase your water intake.

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