Why You May Still Feel Dehydrated Even When You're Drinking Enough Water

Staying hydrated is a challenging thing to do, especially when you feel like you're drinking too much water. However, some people don't know how much water they should consume daily. An easy way to calculate how much water you should drink is by dividing your weight in half — the remaining number is what you should consume in ounces, per the University of Missouri System. So, for example, if you weigh 180 pounds, you would multiply 180 by 0.5, giving you 90 pounds so that you would drink 90 ounces of water.


If you feel that you're drinking the right amount of water but still feel dehydrated, there are various factors to consider that could be causing dehydration. A few signs of dehydration are headaches, dizziness, dry mouth, dry skin, constipation, etc., via Cleveland Clinic. So, you want to consistently drink water throughout the day instead of waiting until you're thirsty to drink water to prevent any symptoms from occurring. On the other hand, drinking more water can also cause dehydration by losing the essential electrolytes your body needs. Therefore, keeping your hydration levels consistent is crucial to avoid severe internal issues. Here are a few reasons you may still feel dehydrated even when drinking enough water.


You're sweating too much

While being active is an excellent way of keeping your body healthy and strong, it can cause you to lose water when you sweat. For example, if you go to the gym four to five days a week, you'll need to drink more water than someone who only goes once or twice. As a result, you burn more calories and sweat more during your workouts, which causes you to lose electrolytes. If you don't replenish your lost electrolytes, you could start feeling dehydration symptoms. In addition, being dehydrated when consistently working out can cause you to feel weak during your workouts and daily activities. On the other hand, you'll also want to stay hydrated if you don't work out every day but live in a hot location that causes you to sweat easily.


Drinking sports drinks is a great way to recharge your body with electrolytes. However, avoid sports drinks with high calories and sugar, and stick with low-calorie or sugar-free as a healthier choice. Also, drinking plain water won't replenish lost electrolytes or fluids; instead, it'll remove more electrolytes, dehydrating you.

You have an electrolyte imbalance

Drinking tons of water if you're not used to it can help keep you hydrated. However, you might have an electrolyte imbalance if you feel like you're drinking too much and still feel dehydrated. Losing electrolytes throughout the day isn't uncommon, but you want to ensure you're replenishing them. Eating fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, apples, apricots, celery, etc., is essential when increasing your electrolytes since they hold water. However, drinking too much plain water can still make you feel thirsty, which means you're flushing out significant electrolytes like sodium, magnesium, and potassium that the cells in our bodies need.


When you simultaneously eat fruits and vegetables while drinking water, it can keep you hydrated longer than solely drinking water. This is why it's vital to get the proper intake of fruits and veggies in your meals throughout the day. You won't have to worry about increasing your water intake as long as you eat about 400 grams of fruits and vegetables daily, which is about five different servings.

Certain medications can cause dehydration

Taking medication helps with various issues your body might be having, but it might be causing you to feel dehydrated despite chugging tons of water. Northwestern Medicine claims that medications such as laxatives, antihistamines, diuretics, chemotherapies, and blood pressure medicines can affect your hydration. Your doctor should suggest you drink more water than usual to prevent severe dehydration if you're on a particular medication. When you're taking the medications we listed, they could cause you to flush out electrolytes and extra fluids.


If you prefer drinking plain water to sports drinks that boost electrolytes, there are other forms of getting extra electrolytes. For example, Liquid IV works to help hydrate your body and keep you hydrated by having three times more electrolytes than sports drinks. It's made in a powder you add to your water that helps restore dehydration faster than plain water. In addition, if you lack any vitamins from taking your medications, Liquid IV contains Vitamin C, B3, B5, B6, and B12. Sometimes vitamin pills can be too much to keep track of, so obtaining extra nutrients through food or water can help keep everything leveled.

You're hungry

We mentioned the importance of eating fruits and vegetables to help with dehydration, but another cause could be that you're hungry. You can get irritable without eating or drinking water, but it can be hard to tell which one you need the most. According to the PKD Foundation, there are a few ways to tell the difference between hunger and thirst. For example, signs to look out for if it might be hunger are being unfocused, your stomach feeling empty, or dizziness. On the other hand, if you're thirsty, you might feel dizzy, have dry eyes, or have a headache.


Paying attention to your body's feelings can help you determine its needs. In addition, keeping track of your meals and water intake will give you an idea of what you're lacking, per PKD Foundation. If you feel hungry, drink a glass of water, then wait about 15 minutes. You'll either feel satisfied with the water or you'll experience stomach pain, which means you need actual food. However, avoid eating the first thing you see when you open the pantry or fridge; opt for nutritious snacks that will keep you full until your next meal.

You're drinking your water all at once

One problem most people have is drinking their water too quickly or all at once. You've probably heard that you should drink a glass of water first thing in the morning to jumpstart your metabolism. However, some folks will only have one glass and not drink water for the rest of the day. Or, they'll drink two cups of lemon water and wait five hours for more. Drinking your water all at once will make you dehydrated, whereas slowly drinking your water in increments throughout the day will allow your body to absorb it properly.


A way to help you remember to drink water consistently is by setting a timer every half hour or hour to remind you to drink water. On the other hand, buying a liter jug with the time printed on it can also help remind you to drink your water for that hour. Avoid guzzling water in a short amount of time to refrain from having to use the bathroom and flush out the water you drank. Instead, take slow gulps so your body absorbs the water over time.

The rehydration process can take time

Our body comprises multiple tissues, cells, ligaments, muscles, bones, systems, etc., and it can take some time to rehydrate the body when it's dehydrated. You might feel like you've reached your water intake, but the water you've been drinking has traveled to different body parts. Water enters the circulatory system first, then gets distributed to various body tissues, which reduces the amount of fluid in the rest of the body. Thus, making you dehydrated again and causing you to drink even more water.


Staying consistent with your water intake will help balance your hydration if you're rehydrating. While it won't rehydrate you faster, you'll be able to get into a routine where you're drinking enough water without it feeling like a chore. Once the feeling of dehydration goes away, stay persistent in drinking your water every day to prevent being dehydrated again. As a result, you'll feel clear-minded and energetic, and your skin will feel hydrated rather than dry.