We all know that staying hydrated is important, but did you know that it is also key to maintaining good mental health? Being dehydrated can affect your mood as you're more at risk to experience anxiety and depression, which doesn't come as a surprise when you consider that our brains consist of 73% water. Do you drink enough water?
There have been multiple studies showing the link between dehydration and anxiety, a 2018 study showed that those adults that drank more water experienced less anxiety and depression than those who drank less. This Mental Health Awareness Week, we want to stress the importance of staying hydrated.
Hydrate for your Mental Health
Lack of water impedes serotonin production, so we must be drinking the recommended 6-8 glasses of water a day to stave off dehydration and keep our brains and bodies functioning properly. Serotonin affects our emotions as well as motor skills and is considered a mood stabiliser, so when it comes to keeping our mental health on track, we really don't want to have a lack of serotonin produced.
Signs of dehydration:
- Dry Mouth
- Dark yellow urine
- Dry lips and eyes
- Reduced urination
So how can you make sure that your fluid intake is high enough?
We know that we need to drink enough water to stay hydrated, but how do we make sure that we manage to meet the daily recommendation? It's not always easy to remember how much water we've drunk throughout the day, especially if we're actually already dehydrated as this can cause aspects of memory loss. We've compiled a list of some ideas you can use to make sure you keep on track of your water intake.
Drink water with regular activities. For example, drinking water every morning when you wake up
Eat water-rich fresh fruits and vegetables
Create a water tracker that you can mark off every glass you've drank
Use an app to track glasses of water drank throughout the day
A bit of bonus advice is to get your water intake well in advance of bedtime to avoid bathroom trips, as waking up numerous times throughout the night will affect how much sleep you're getting, which can negatively impact your mental health.
Hydration is our passion, so our main advice is to ensure you stay hydrated to stave off mental health problems as well as improve your health in general. However, this year's theme for mental health awareness week is loneliness. If you're experiencing loneliness, there are great resources available to help you, so please check these out.