The Connection Between Mental Health and Hydration
Staying hydrated is hailed as one of the most fundamental ways to improve your physical health.
Some benefits include maintaining a healthy immune system, flushing out toxins, supporting joint function, and absorbing nutrients from the food you eat.
In addition to all of these great advantages, hydration also significantly correlates with your mental health. In short, the more hydrated you are the better you’ll feel.
Sure, you might have heard this before. But how does it work?
The first thing to remember is that your mental state and physical state are not as divided as you may think. And mental health has tons of physical factors.
Dehydration not only takes a toll on your physical well-being but also has negative effects on your mood. In fact, just like in your physical health, there are several areas of your emotional and mental health that can be directly impacted by your water intake.
Keep reading to learn more about the specific mental health aspects you can improve by staying properly hydrated, identifying key signs of dehydration, and how to stay on top of your water intake!
Like all mental health issues, anxiety is a complex condition with several different root causes. However, because hydration is such a prominent part of a healthy life, dehydration makes you more vulnerable and can result in an increase in anxiety.
And while thankfully dehydration won’t always trigger an anxiety attack or a panic attack, that uneasiness can linger and become more and more overwhelming over time.
While dehydration has a clear correlation to anxiety, studies have shown that it has an even stronger connection to depression.
Poor hydration can lead to, or worsen, depression in three different ways. Let’s talk about them:
- Decrease in brain's energy: Our brains are like computers, and if we let the battery run out, we can’t get too much work done on it. The kind of dysfunction and mood disorder that results from a lack of hydration and nutrients often falls within the scope of depression.
- Low serotonin production: Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is crucial for a healthy mind, but its creation relies on water. In fact, lack of water can affect several different amino acids responsible for creating neurotransmitters linked to your mood.
- Increased stress in the body: Dehydration is one of the most prominent causes of stress in your body. And when you’re stressed, you produce more cortisol.
In short, dehydration has several devastating impacts on your brain’s functionality.
Improper hydration leads to a vicious cycle. The longer you go without proper hydration, the more stressed you become, and ultimately, the less active you are.
Think back to a time when you felt tired, sad, or simply checked out. Perhaps at work, or on your couch. Did you find it easy to get up and do something to make yourself feel better? Probably not.
This is a prime example of the connection between your mind and body.
Fatigue caused by insufficient hydration can only lead to more dehydration and an even lower emotional state.
Energy & the Production of Endorphins
We can go on and on about the negative effects of dehydration, but what about the positive effects of proper hydration?
Well, it turns out that there is some truth to those self-care Instagram posts that claim water will solve everything.
We don’t mean that water on its own will rid you of all the negativity in your life. But sufficient hydration keeps your brain working at its fullest potential which can stabilize your mental health.
With that stability comes more energy, and with a boost in your energy, you can stay active and help your brain produce endorphins - commonly known as happy hormones!
Note that you don’t need to spend hours at the gym to release endorphins. Moderate exercise like dancing or taking a stroll through the park will do just fine!
Signs of Dehydration
So, now that you know that dehydration may be the root cause of your unusual emotional health decline, let’s talk about some familiar signs.
Our fast-paced, active customs can at times encourage us to work past pain or discomfort. But being reckless with your health should not be viewed as a good sign of endurance.
Identifying dehydration requires you to listen to your body (and mind) and take action instead of putting off the discomfort or ignoring it altogether.
Here are some common indicators of mild to moderate dehydration:
- Increased thirst or hunger
- Dry mouth
- Darker urine
- Dry, tight skin
- Uncommon muscle cramps
- Unexplained headaches
- Rapid heartbeat
This is not to say that you’re experiencing dehydration every time you get a headache.
But staying properly hydrated will always help you manage and prevent all of these ailments - as well as the negative impacts that dehydration has on your mental health.
Hydrating with Alkaline Water
While the above-listed signs are great indicators of what your body and mind need to function at their highest level, they are also signs that you’re already suffering from moderate dehydration.
And as doctors say, prevention is the best medicine.
Prioritizing your hydration on a regular basis is the best way to ensure that you are actively preventing a decline in your mental health!
And with your DYLN bottle, you can get the proper water intake on the go, along with some amazing bonus benefits!