6 Signs you're dehydrated (and what to do about it)


Every system in our body depends on water to function properly. That’s why it’s so important to recognise these signs of dehydration and what you can do about it.

What is dehydration?

Dehydration happens when your body loses more fluids than it takes in and can be accelerated by sweating, vomiting, or if you’re experiencing diarrhoea. If you don’t replace the fluids you’ve lost, dehydration can lead to serious health problems, such as heat stroke.

Dehydration can sneak up on us, particularly after exercising or during hotter months and before you know it, you’re feeling tired and cranky and your performance is suffering. 

Here are 6 signs you're dehydrated and what you can do about it.

Signs of dehydration

1. You’re thirsty 

This one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning because thirst is often the first sign of dehydration. If you feel thirsty, your body is already starting to feel the effects of dehydration and, you should replenish your fluids.

2. Your urine is dark yellow

Another sign that you might be dehydrated is the colour of your urine. Ideally, your urine should be a pale yellow colour. If it’s dark yellow, you need to drink more water.

Check out what happens to your body and the urine colour you can expect at each of the 6 stages of dehydration. 

3. You have a headache

If you’re feeling a headache coming on, it could be a sign you need to take a break and replenish. Headaches are one of the most common symptoms of dehydration, so if you’re feeling one coming on, reach for a glass of cold, refreshing water from your trusty water cooler.

4. You’re feeling dizzy or lightheaded

If you’re feeling dizzy or lightheaded, it could be a sign that you need to drink more water. That’s because when we’re dehydrated, our blood pressure drops, and we don’t have enough fluids in our bodies to keep everything functioning properly. 

The best way to ensure you don’t reach this level of dehydration is by sticking to at least 8 glasses throughout the day.

5. You’re feeling tired or fatigued 

If you’re feeling tired or fatigued, this could be because you’re dehydrated and your body is working harder to function correctly, leading to feelings of fatigue.

Don’t let dehydration get you down - bottoms up! 

6. You have a dry mouth or chapped lips

When we’re dehydrated, our bodies don’t have enough fluids to produce saliva, leading to a dry mouth and, in some cases, chapped lips.

Pucker up and wrap your lips around a filtered glass of water from your water cooler. 

What to do if you're dehydrated

If you think you might be dehydrated, it’s important to take steps to rehydrate yourself.

Now you’re well aware of the 6 signs you’re dehydrated, make sure to keep up your fluids and let those around you know when it’s time to grab a glass of H2O. 

Want to learn more about the effect of dehydration? Check out the importance of drinking water: dehydration explained in six stages.