Maintaining proper hydration is essential for overall health. Without water, your cells cannot function, so humans can only survive for a few days without fluids (1Trusted Source).
Unfortunately, many adults and children don’t drink enough fluids, which can lead to chronic dehydration ( 2Trusted Source ).
In addition, diarrhea, vomiting, and excessive sweating can lead to acute or short-term dehydration ( 2 , 3Trusted Source ).
Dehydration affects many aspects of health and can be life-threatening in severe cases, so it is important for adults and children to know the signs and symptoms of dehydration.
This article describes 8 signs of dehydration in adults, as well as the most common signs of dehydration in infants and children.
8 Signs You’re Dehydrated
Here are 8 signs of dehydration to look out for.
Keep in mind that these symptoms may indicate an underlying medical condition unrelated to dehydration. If you experience one or more of these symptoms, it is important to see a professional for proper treatment.
If you’re dehydrated, you may feel more tired than usual ( 2Trusted Source ).
That’s because dehydration affects every aspect of your health, including your sleep-wake cycle.
One study of more than 26,000 Chinese and American adults found that shorter sleep duration was associated with a lack of hydration, and found that those who were adequately hydrated slept longer than those who were dehydrated ( 4Trusted Source ).
Being dehydrated can lead to more fatigue during exercise.
One small study of 14 male athletes found that acute dehydration of 3.2% of body weight increased fatigue and impaired exercise endurance ( 5Trusted Source ).
- Urine is dark in color and there is little urine
If you don’t drink enough fluids, your urine will be dark and you won’t urinate as much.
In fact, looking at the color of urine is considered a practical way to determine dehydration ( 6Trusted Source ).
When your body stores more water and doesn’t pass it out, your urine becomes darker. For this reason, urine is more concentrated with waste products like sodium and urea ( 7Trusted Source ).
The goal is not to have completely clean urine. Instead, the ideal urine color is pale straw-yellow.
Remember that other factors can affect the color of your urine, including medications and B vitamins that can make your urine bright yellow.
- Dry skin, reduced skin elasticity, chapped lips
Some of the most common signs of dehydration are dry skin and lips, and decreased skin elasticity ( 8Trusted Source ).
If you have dry skin, dry mouth, dry or chapped lips, dehydration may be contributing to these symptoms.
Remember that dry skin and chapped lips can be symptoms of many other conditions, so it’s important to get a proper diagnosis if you’re drinking the ideal amount of water and still have dry skin and chapped lips. .