Wikipedia says a human being can survive three to five days without water. Survive, not thrive, not live a healthy life, not even function well. How anxious do you think you would be after just one day without water?
Is There a Connection?
There are many studies that have shown a link between a high risk of anxiety and dehydration. In most studies, the affect on anxiety levels was “mild but significant”. That doesn’t really sound very clear. Let’s see if I can manage to clarify.
Water Can Lower Your Risk
In a study from 2018 reported by healthline, people who drank more water had lower risk of anxiety and depression than those who drank less. The connection with depression and dehydration is stronger, though research showed anxiety was higher in subjects who drink enough.
Another study was conducted on the effects of water on the mood. People who usually drink a lot of water feel more tense and less calm if their intake is decreased. Conversely, when the water intake of subjects was increased, they felt happier, regardless of their normal water consumption.
Regardless of the source of the studies, the outcomes are similar. Water intake can influence many facets of your life that lead of your overall happiness beyond anxiety, like depression, confusion, fatigue and sleep. In other posts I have discussed the importance of sleep as it relates to anxiety.
Methods for Increasing
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends between nine and twelve cups of water per day, depending on age, activity levels, sex and how much you get through fruits and veggies.
But what about all that water? How can you force yourself to drink so much? Never fear, I have tips!
A steady reminder to drink more water is to bring some with you. Whether it be to work, the gym or to run errands, if it’s always there, you are more apt to take a sip!
When you’re still trying to develop the water habit, set alarms. There are apps available for your phones, too. Make some noise that’s hard to ignore.
Check your progress throughout the day. If you wait until late in the evening to find out that your intake is still way below your goal that really doesn’t allow you to correct for the day.
Eat fruits and vegetables that are high in water content. It’s possible to get up to 20% of your daily intake from your food. A few examples of these would be watermelon, spinach, strawberries and cantaloupe.
Try to get to your goal early. If you’re still guzzling water right up until bedtime, you will be creating sleep deprivation issues with additional bathroom trips!
Staying hydrated is a simple way to reduce some of the anxiety in your life. Calculate how much water you to prevent a decline in your mood.
Fill your water bottle and take it with you everywhere. Drinking enough water helps your physical and mental well-being. Make hydration part of your self-care!
Comments and feedback are always welcome!