Dying of thirst is a pretty obvious sign that you’re feeling dehydrated. Besides the expected, your body also communicates with you that it is dehydrated in a number of not-so-obvious ways. Preventing dehydration is important, as this condition can cause symptoms like unclear thinking, mood swings, constipation, and even kidney stones. After all, the human body is composed of about 65% water so it’s no wonder we need it to feel our best. So, without further adieu, here are a few indirect ways your body is telling you it needs more water.

The physical symptoms

The obvious indicators of dehydration such as dark urine, dry mouth, and feeling thirsty are pretty common. Although, you probably didn’t know there are other physical signs that show you aren’t getting enough water. Bad breath, for instance, is a common symptom of dehydration. When you don’t drink enough water, your natural levels of saliva decrease. Because saliva contains compounds that fight bacteria, less saliva in the mouth can cause odor-inducing germs to run rampant. Pretty gross, right? If you happen to notice your breath isn’t smelling very pleasant, try chugging a large glass of water and see if that helps reduce the odor.

Another physical indicator of hydration is a lack of sweat. As counterintuitive as it may seem, your body ceasing to sweat in hot conditions is a major issue. When this happens, water levels are so low that the body is trying to hold onto absolutely all the fluid it can. A lack of sweat is also your body’s way of expressing you may be suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Yikes! If this happens to you, drink some water immediately. In extreme cases, you may even need to head to the Emergency Room for IV fluids.

Mind tricks

The body can also communicate it’s dehydrated through mental symptoms. Feeling confused or not acting like yourself can be an early signal that your body needs water. Keep this subtle hint in mind if you are enjoying the outdoors on a hot day or otherwise working up a sweat. This quick observation followed up with a cool glass of water can easily prevent dehydration. Another not-so-obvious sign of dehydration is sudden food cravings. When your liver doesn’t receive enough water, it tells your brain that you’re hungry – very hungry. When, in reality, your body is craving water rather than food.

How to increase your water intake

If you’ve experienced any of the aforementioned symptoms, it’s safe to say you should be drinking more water. Generally, it is recommended that men should drink about 3.7 liters of water each day, and women should drink 2.7 liters. If you aren’t used to drinking this much water, it can be a bit of a challenge at first. The easiest way to start drinking more water is to purchase a reusable water bottle with a fluid capacity of one liter or more. By investing in a larger water bottle, you can motivate yourself to finish and refill your bottle frequently throughout your day. Try to carry your reusable water bottle on you as much as possible so you don’t unexpectedly get dehydrated while out and about.

Drinking a large glass of water when you wake up, before each of your meals, and after you eat will also keep you on track to stay hydrated throughout the day. For caffeine lovers, try alternating coffee or energy drinks with a large glass of water. These energy-inducing drinks naturally dehydrate your body, which is why it is important to follow your pick-me-ups with some good old fashioned H2O. Happy hydrating!