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Water and Mental Health

Water and Mental Health – this topic might seem a little strange but it is something we might often see on social media, influencers encouraging us to drink more water for our mental health and emotional wellbeing. Is it good advice though? Will not drinking enough have a negative impact on how we feel and how we function?

Studies have found that people who regularly drink less water have an increased risk of developing depression and anxiety. The combination of dehydration, zapping the brain’s energy and cutting down serotonin production can increase depression symptoms.” 

“The same is true for anxiety. When dehydrated, the body is stressed, which causes the adrenal glands to kick into overdrive and releases excess cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone our body uses to fight perceived danger. An increase in cortisol will result in physical responses of higher heart rate, muscle tension and a general feeling of uneasiness.”

Water & Mental Health

A couple of months ago I discovered this for myself. On a fairly warm day, I had to travel for an early morning meeting. I decided to start my day with a coffee on the way, I then drank another two coffees when I got to the meeting and then on my journey back I stopped on and had a cup of tea. In this time I didn’t drink any water and to be honest ate mainly carbs, by the time I got home I thought I might pass out from the headache. I felt awful, I couldn’t think straight, I felt confused and anxious. I realized that perhaps not drinking any water so far that day had been a mistake and within seconds of drinking a pint of H2O I felt dramatically better. Whilst I have always known that drinking enough is important, never before had I appreciated it so much. I try now to always start the day with a large glass of water, and monitor how much water or fruit teas I drink through the day. (I don’t count caffeinated drinks, alcohol or soda)

Our brains are made up of 75% water so it makes sense that if we are not drinking enough water, this would have an impact on how our brain functions. We have another blog on this website that explains this a little more Are you drinking enough water? Hydrate for better mental health

Drinking enough water is an easy quick way to improve how we feel and function physically and mentally. Below are some tips on how to make sure you drink enough.

  1. Be aware of the signs of dehydration.
    • Feeling thirsty
    • Dark yellow strong smelling pee
    • Peeing less often
    • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
    • Feeling tired
    • A dry mouth, lips and tongue
    • Sunken eyes

Knowing the signs of dehydration will mean that you will be able to catch them and take action, before you become too dehydrated.

2. Monitor your water intake throughout the day, Start the day with water. Before your breakfast or with your breakfast. Plan when you are going to drink, a drink with every meal perhaps, or every time you have a coffee you have drink of water too. Use an app to keep a track of what you are drinking, or use a bottle of water with measurements on it, to tell you what you are drinking.

3. Consider swoping out some caffeinated drinks and sodas for other drinks. Look at fruit teas or decaf teas like Redbush. Consider soda water or sparking water, perhaps with fruits and herbs in as an alternative to soda.

Experiment and find a routine that works for you. Pay attention to how you feel if you are drinking more and less water and notice if you feel better mentally when you drink more, does it have an impact on your alertness and functioning?

If you would like to find out more about how I can help you and discuss your particular needs please Call me on 07843 813537. Please leave a message if I can’t answer your call and I’ll call you back as soon as possible. If you have any other questions or enquiries please call or send me a message by completing the online enquiry form.

Water & Mental Health
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