Hydration has an effect on our mental health
Dehydration may lead to depression, anxiety and cognitive deficits
Hydration and mental health are linked with the brain’s ability to regulate hormones and processes related to physical and emotional wellbeing
Proper hydration helps maintain a state of equilibrium in the body, improves mood and energy levels, and can be maintained with a balanced diet and proper fluid intake.
Hydration is essential for our physical health and bodily function, but what about its impact on our mental wellbeing? Recent studies suggest that there is a strong connection between hydration and mental health. This article explores the evidence that supports this connection and how proper hydration can benefit us both physically and mentally.
What We Know about Hydration and Mental Health
Recent research has found that even mild dehydration can lead to depression and anxiety symptoms in humans, as well as dehydration-related cognitive deficits such as impairments in memory, attention, concentration, and task performance. That being said, severe dehydration can lead to more severe psychological symptoms such as psychosis or delirium. The connection between hydration and mental health appears to be closely linked with the brain’s ability to regulate certain hormones, neurotransmitters and processes related to both physical and emotional wellbeing. For example, dehydration can affect serotonin levels in the brain which are closely linked with mood states such as anxiety, depression, aggression, impulsivity and sleep disturbances. It can also interfere with the body’s ability to maintain adequate concentrations of vital electrolytes like sodium and potassium which are important for neurological functioning. It’s also worth noting that the relationship between hydration status and mental wellbeing is bidirectional: not only does inadequate hydration affect our moods and emotions but feelings of stress or anxiety may also cause someone to decrease their water intake.
How Proper Hydration Can Benefit Your Mental Health
It’s important to find the right amount of fluid intake for you. While there are many recommendations online to drink a certain amount of glasses of water per day it can be more helpful to listen to the cues of your body. The colour of your urine is a good marker, it should generally be a light yellow colour and if it’s much darker than this it’s time to drink more water! Remember that water intake should be spread out throughout the day rather than consumed all at once – this ensures that your body has time to absorb it properly before needing more. In addition to regular water intake, other fluids such as herbal teas and natural juices can help maintain adequate hydration levels especially if you don’t enjoy drinking plain water often. Staying properly hydrated not only helps to prevent dehydration-related psychological symptoms but it can also improve overall mood states by helping promote homeostasis – a state of equilibrium within our bodies – which is key for optimal mental wellbeing. In addition, being adequately hydrated helps keep your energy levels up throughout the day – something we all need when trying to cope with stressors from work or life in general!
Nutritionists Can Help Keep You Hydrated
For those looking for further guidance on managing their hydration levels as part of an overall plan for mental health management nutritionists are ideal partners for this journey. Nutritionists have an extensive knowledge base when it comes to understanding how food choices influence our overall physical and mental wellbeing so they can help provide strategies tailored specifically towards meeting individual needs. For example a nutritionist can help create a personalised meal plan that incorporates foods rich in electrolytes (salts) which help the body retain more water thereby improving overall hydration status while highlighting any deficiencies that might contribute to impaired fluid balance (e.g., low sodium diets). They can also advise on ways of incorporating more hydrating drinks into one’s daily routine or suggest supplements where appropriate if needed for optimal resourcing replenishment such as during periods of intense activity or stress.
In conclusion we now know that there is an important link between proper hydration levels and improved psychological functioning – something we should all strive towards! Working alongside a nutritionist can help ensure optimal physical health as well as emotional wellbeing through personalized plans tailored specifically towards meeting individual needs – making sure you get both the right amount of fluids daily along with beneficial nutrients like electrolytes to promote homeostasis within your body at all times! Contact Planted Nutrition today for a free discovery call and get started on your journey towards optimal wellness.