Could drinking water cure your mental health symptoms? The short answer is, not quite. The longer answer is that drinking water is essential for managing your mental health symptoms. We all know we need water for our physical health, most of us don’t know how important it is for our mental health. Our brains are 75% water, which is even a higher percentage than our bodies. As such, dehydration has a dramatic and immediate effect on your mental wellbeing.
When we are dehydrated, we often function with a “mental fog.” Brains need water to carry out all the intricate processes that they are required to perform every minute of every day. Studies have shown that anxiety, in particular, tends to spike without enough water. Even minor dehydration has been shown to increase irritability and fatigue. Even the act of drinking water can reduce feelings of anxiety in the moment. So next time you find yourself frazzled, reach for some water.
Your ability to think clearly also declines significantly without enough water. In daily life, everyone needs to be able to pay attention and stay focused, and yet dehydration significantly impairs your ability to do this. Dehydration can even result in difficulties with balance and coordination. Chronic habitual dehydration results in an overall increase in anxiety and other mental health symptoms.
Finally, the ability to sleep is essential to mental health. During sleep, your body is repairing and restoring your mind, but without adequate water, these processes can’t function. This leaves you feeling exhausted and foggy, even when you’ve slept. Dehydration is also linked to the inability to fall and stay asleep. This all creates a cycle of symptoms worsening because you never have the chance to fully reset. Anyone who’s struggled with sleeplessness knows that it feels miserable – this is no way to start your day.
Many people prefer to drink only filtered water, which is understandable considering the many water crises that have occurred. However, filtered water is not always affordable or accessible. Consider drinking plain tap water when this is the case, rather than avoiding water. I liken it to the difference between organic and conventional food. Organic is better, but we don’t usually avoid eating other types of food. Water, period, is important. Most people should drink from 6 to 8 cups of water per day, and drinking some tap water may make this more possible. Also, many beverages we consume actually cause dehydration. In my view, at least some consumption of plain water (filtered or tap) is vital to achieving good hydration and the mental health benefits from it.
How do you know if you’re getting enough water? It’s gross, but simple. Check your urine. Is it dark yellow and has a scent? If so, you’re likely not getting enough water. Urine should ideally be light yellow to clear and have little to no scent. The point is, pay attention to your body and it will be easier to make sure you stay hydrated.
Drinking adequate water daily should be your first line of defense in keeping mental health symptoms controlled, particularly anxiety. Having trouble doing what you need to get your mental health symptoms in check? Consider neurofeedback as a good place to start. The way it helps you find calm, effortlessly and efficiently, allows other good things come more easily to you, like exercise and eating better. Fighting things like anxiety and depression often takes a holistic approach, and drinking water and neurofeedback can help.
See my shot-live educational videos on my Restorations Neurofeedback Facebook page. http://Facebook.com/restorationsneurofeedback
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