Water…be happy the natural way
February 20, 2012 Leave a comment
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.
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.
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.
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