Whatever the latest food trend—chia seeds, coconut flour, kale chips—you’re on it. But you might be skimping on the most basic thing you can do for your health: chugging enough water. 

“I see this happening a lot with busy women,” notes Pamela Peeke, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Maryland and author of Body for Life for Women. “They become so absorbed with work, answering e-mails and texting that they neglect to grab a water bottle.” Soon they’re parched and draggy.

Other signs of milddehydration: muscle cramps, dizziness and headaches. Women who are even slightly dehydrated may find it harder to concentrate than those who aren’t, according to a recent study in The Journal of Nutrition. And if your body is regularly running low on water, you’re more likely to be constipated, too.

Dehydration tends to happen most during the summer months. “On top of transporting nutrients to your cells and protecting your kidneys, water regulates body temperature,” Dr. Peeke explains. As you heat up, your skin starts pumping out water to cool you off, which can put you at a deficit if you’re not careful. But don’t sweat it—our expert guide makes it easy to stay quenched all season long.

(To be continued…)

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