Drinking water but still feel dehydrated? Here’s why

25 September, 2023 / words by IALH Editorial Team

Are you drinking gallons of water a day but still not feeling hydrated? This happens more than you might think and there can be a few reasons for it.

How much water should I be drinking?

It’s not the same for everyone, and a general rule is to divide your weight in half and drink that amount in ounces per day. Note it’s not an exact science! Your diet, exercise level and exposure to certain environments can mean you may need more or a bit less. Adequate amounts of water is really important and helps your body temperature regulate, keeps your blood circulating well and controls some hormones too.

If you’re not getting enough, symptoms include headaches, tiredness, dry skin and dark urine.

Other factors impacting hydration could be:

Electrolyte imbalance

If you’re drinking lots of water but still feeling dehydrated or symptoms of dehydration then lack of electrolytes might be why. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of electrolytes due to the potassium, sodium and magnesium among other things. Water dilutes electrolytes, so if you’re not getting enough but drinking a lot of water then an imbalance will occur. Be sure to take in things like bananas, cucumbers and even coconut water to keep things even.

High levels of intense exercise

If you’re doing intense workouts often or going for long runs then you need to replenish your body after sweating it out. If you take on a big gulp of water straight after that workout but nothing much else then you’re actually flushing away those electrolytes we mentioned earlier! You want to take on some water, and maybe a sports drink too to give your body everything it needs.


Some common medicines can leave you feeling dehydrated. Particularly anything used to treat your kidney or high blood pressure. So if you’re on anything like that, these might be the culprit. Diuretics which reduce the amount of fluid in your blood vessels (which helps with persistent high blood pressure) are one type of medicine that might leave you feeling dehydrated or dizzy.

Water intake will be different for everyone, but if symptoms persist be sure to speak to your doctor.


IALH Editorial Team


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