You are not hungry, you are thirsty. Drink water and feel the difference.
Water is the essential component of our body since it constitutes around 72% of our body based on age, weight, and size of a person. Drinking enough water everyday has amazing health benefits.
Let’s dig deeper the first thing is dehydration, when we are not drinking enough water and how it affects brain.
What is dehydration?
Dehydration occurs when we lose more water and the lost water is not replaced.
How does dehydration impact the brain?
Human brain is made up of about 75 percent water, the primary way that dehydration affects the brain and changes how it functions is by reducing flow of water everywhere in the body.
This lowers blood flow in key organs, which means less oxygen travelling to all parts of the body, including the brain.
Research shows dehydration is linked to depression and anxiety, because mental health is driven primarily by the brain’s activity. A mild dehydration can quickly affect mood.
The most common theory is that it’s one of the human body’s signalling systems that something is not right and should be dealt with.
As dehydration increases, cognitive function reduces, leading to confusion and disorientation. Severe dehydration can lead to unconsciousness, coma and could cause death.
It is important to think of water as a nutrient your brain needs.
Dehydration and mental health?
Dehydration affects quickly and impairs your senses and thinking process. If you combine this with mood issues it could actually lead to more dangerous situations.
Drinking water regularly throughout the day is an easy, effective method to take care of mental health.
Start with a glass of water first thing in the morning. Drink two or three glasses between meals.
Carrying a water bottle is best practice everyone should follow. Headaches and change in mood could happen quickly to those who are dehydrated and to those who are prone to mood changes are quite sensitive to dehydration.
Taking antidepressants and mood stabilisers isn’t about feeling good, it’s about thinking clearly and thus acting responsibly. Drinking adequate water keeps the brain sound and allows us to think clearly.
This enhances the probability of mind to perform optimally as needed.
Staying hydrated by drinking enough water is a fundamental aspect of good physical, emotional, and mental health.
How dehydration contributes to depression
Depression is a complex mental illness and it would be simplistic to say that dehydration is a direct cause for depression.
Dehydration and depression are causally connected; in fact, a chronic dehydration could result in symptoms of depression.
Dehydration Drains the Brain’s Optimal Performance.
Many of the brain’s functions require it’s optimal performance however dehydration shuts the functioning of the brain by reducing oxygen and blood flow.
The resulting disorders that result from this chronic dehydration can lead to depression.
Dehydration impedes your brain’s serotonin production.
Depression is frequently found in people with reduced levels of serotonin level, which is a critical neurotransmitter that heavily affects mood.
Amino acid tryptophan creates serotonin, but sufficient water is needed to release it.
Dehydration increases stress in your body.
Stress is one of the most important contributors to depression, along with a sense of powerlessness and inability to cope with stressors.
When under chronic stress, adrenal glands produce extra cortisol, then your adrenal glands are exhausted, resulting in reduced electrolyte levels.
Drinking sufficient water can help cope with the negative psychological and physiological influence of stress.
Dehydration and anxiety
Not drinking adequate water puts you at risk for increased anxiety symptoms, and possibly the cause for higher anxiety levels later.
Dehydration causes stress, and when the body is stressed, the body experiences depression and anxiety as a result.
Even if you never experienced anxiety, drinking adequate water can promote feelings of relaxation.
Dehydration and panic attacks
Panic attacks usually have physical triggers, and one important trigger is dehydration. When dehydrated, you expose yourself to many of the symptoms that trigger panic attacks, such as:
- Muscle fatigue or weakness
- Increased resting heart rate
- Feeling lightheaded
- Head Pain
While sufficient hydration may not stop the panic attacks, their frequency is reduced, or some important triggers are removed.
You should increase your fluid intake accordingly of following situation:
- Intense workout sessions.
- Illnesses with fever or diarrhoea.
- Hot or humid environment.
- Pregnant/breastfeeding womens.
- Chronic health issues.
If urine is a dark yellow color consistently, that means you’re very dehydrated. Drink some water and thus optimally improve the brain’s function.
Keeping yourself adequately hydrated is not a cure of mental issues. Seeking the assistance of a certified mental health professional is always a smart choice.