Water…be happy the natural way

Most people experience mild dehydration, or the state in  which your body contains too little fluid, on occasion. Although severe  dehydration is less common, it can become life threatening, according to the  University of Maryland Medical Center. In  addition to physical symptoms, such as dry mouth and sunken eyes, dehydration  can negatively affect your moods. Drinking enough water each day can help  guard against these mood complications.

Relationship

Although drinking water is not known to directly cause  positive moods, even mild levels of dehydration can hinder your emotional state,  according to Mayo Clinic psychiatrist Dr. Daniel K. Hall-Flavin. If you  consistently are dehydrated and prone to low moods, such as sadness or anxiety,  increasing your water intake might help minimize your mood problems. If your  mood challenges derive from an illness, such as major depression, an anxiety  disorder or hypothyroidism, drinking more water might help prevent the worsening  of your symptoms; seeking proper treatment for the underlying condition,  however, is important.

Research

In a study published in the “Journal of  Psychophysiology” in 2000, eight healthy, endurance-trained men were kept under-  or over-hydrated while exercising on a treadmill for 90 minutes. Researchers  then analyzed the mens’ memory skills, levels of fatigue and moods and found  that dehydration impaired all of these functions. These findings indicate that  short-term, relatively mild dehydration can immediately detract from an active  person’s moods.

Dehydration Causes

If you have a condition associated with dehydration,  staying on top of your fluid needs might help manage your emotional and physical  symptoms. One of the most common triggers, according to the European Hydration  Institute, is an infection that causes diarrhea. When faced with infectious  diarrhea, you can lose a significant amount of water, or up to one liter per  hour, with each bowel movement. Vomiting, which might accompany food poisoning,  flu viruses and pregnancy, also can cause excessive fluid loss. Older adults and  children are more susceptible to dehydration because of their lower body  weights, higher turnover of water and bodily chemicals called electrolytes and  sensitivity to illnesses and infections. Sweat from vigorous exercise or  spending time in hot weather also can contribute.

Prevention/Solution

If you are prone to negative moods or mood swings,  discuss your symptoms with a qualified health care professional to determine  whether an illness is at play. Although people’s specific hydration needs vary,  doctors generally recommend drinking eight or nine cups per day, according to  MayoClinic.com. If you consume other hydrating foods and beverages, such as  fresh fruits and vegetables, soups, low-fat milk or herbal tea, you might not  require as much plain water. If you eat primarily low-fluid foods, such as  breads, potato chips and pretzels, you might require more. If you experience  thirst or your urine appears bright yellow, you might lack water. Keep water  nearby for convenience, particularly during and following exercise and heat  exposure. If water tastes “boring” to you, add a splash of fruit  juice.

information from lancearmstrong.com