The blood contains 83% of water, the lungs are 90% water, while the kidneys and muscles contain 73% of water. We lose water through perspiration and urine in big amounts every day, and we must replenish it.

Many of us have been told to drink between 6-8 glasses of water a day, but when I ask patients about their water intake, I am told 2 cups is the daily average.

Generally, males need to consume 3 liters (12 cups) per day and females need to consume 2.2 liters (9 cups) per day for optimal hydration.

Failing to consume the recommended amount can lead to mild dehydration manifesting in multiple symptoms.

11 Signs You’re Not Drinking Enough Water:

1. Headaches

As the body tries to preserve water and reabsorb it from anywhere it can, lack of the liquid in the body may lead to headaches. This occurs due to the brain losing moisture and shrinking and pulling away from the skull, effectively triggering pain receptors and causing headaches.

2. Joint pain

Water is a lubricant for our joints and allows bones to slide when the joints move. If the body is lacking water, the joint will be left deficient of nutrients and may cause damage to the cartilage.

If you’re dehydrated, the cartilage may be damaged beyond repair which will result in joint pain.

3. Hunger and weight gain

Our body is a smart complex machine, but it’s also glitchy and can’t tell thirst from hunger. The hypothalamus (the part of the brain responsible for regulation of hunger and thirst) is often confused and may respond to thirst with hunger.

So, the next time you’re feeling hungry, put the sandwich down and take a glass of water instead. This will also prevent you from overeating and the subsequent weight gain.

4. Less frequent urination

In general, people pee 6-7 times a day. If you’re urinating less than that, you’re probably dehydrated and there’s less fluid available to excrete from the body.

Our kidneys try to retain as much fluid as possible in order to prevent dehydration which makes them work harder than they need to.

In order to prevent problems, we suggest drinking the recommended amount of water every day.

5. Dark yellow urine

The normal color of the urine is yellow, so if you notice that it has changed to dark yellow, it means that you’re dehydrated. This is due to the lack of fluids in the kidneys, which excrete waste materials, toxins, red blood cells and protein in the urine which are then excreted from the body.

6. Constipation

Constipation is one of the most common symptoms of dehydration. When the body isn’t properly hydrated it will try and absorb water from everywhere it can, including the colon. In order for the colon to pass stools, there has to be some water in it, so lack of water will make your stool harder to pass.

7. Fatigue

According to one scientific study, lack of water in the body is responsible for fatigue as well. The blood volume rises in cases of dehydration and the heart works harder to pump blood, which results in tiredness. So, the next time you’re suddenly tired, avoid the cup of coffee or energy drink and drink a glass of water instead.

8. Thirst and dry mouth

Feeling thirsty is a sign that you are already dehydrated. Besides the excessive thirst, you may also experience dry mouth which means that you need to start drinking water immediately.

9. Poor immunity

Dehydration increases the amount of toxins in your blood, which affects the immune function in the body. Drink plenty of water to get rid of the toxins, and help your immune system to fight against infections.

10. Dry skin and pronounced wrinkles

Lack of water in the body will cause dry skin and promote wrinkles. Both problems may be caused by other factors as well, but before you spend money on expensive treatments and products, try increasing your water intake first.

Dr. Diana Howard, a popular dermatologist says that dehydration is to blame for skin inflammation, itching, sensitive skin and irritation.

Once the skin loses moisture, the cells shrivel and make the skin look older, and the best way to nourish your skin is to drink more water.

11. Your Eyes Are Dry

By now it should be clear that drinking water affects more than just your mouth and throat. A lack of water intake leads to dry, bloodshot eyes (again, think of that last pounding hangover). Without water in the body, your tear ducts dry up. If you’re thinking “So what if I can’t cry?”, realize that this could cause much more harm to your eyes, especially if you wear contacts on a daily basis.