Multipure’s Spotlight for February 2021 is “Health and Fitness,” which means that this month, our blog posts and social media will focus on physical, mental, and emotional health and fitness, and the ways in with which to improve and maintain them.
Water is essential to health. It aids in digestion, blood circulation, and temperature regulation. It maintains the smooth operation of all your organs, and is key to the health of your muscles, skin, and hair. Yet, water is equally as important not just for your physical wellbeing, but also your mental wellbeing.
Water makes up 60%-70% of the human body. Blood consists of more than 85% water, and our brains consist of 70% water. Because of this, just a 5% loss of body fluids can cause up to a 30% loss of energy; a 15% loss of body fluids can cause death. While older guidelines recommended drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, newer, more accurate guidelines recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces of water to maintain proper hydration. By this metric, a person weighing 180 pounds should consume the equivalent of 90 ounces of water a day, or just over eleven 8-ounce glasses of water.
This may contribute to the startling fact that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. This means that 75% of Americans may be experiencing suboptimal fluid levels in the brain, leading to numerous negative mental effects associated with dehydration. The mental effects of dehydration include poor concentration, foggy memory, headaches, and daytime fatigue. These effects are even more pronounced in the developing minds of children and young adults.
Just as concerning as the mental effects of dehydration are the emotional effects of dehydration. Dehydration has been shown to cause various negative conditions including anxiety, depression, tension, moodiness, and loss of sleep.
Dehydration impedes energy production in the brain, affecting the production and regulation of amino acids related to emotions and moods. For example, serotonin is a neurotransmitter closely related to mood, and its impairment can directly lead to issues with your brain’s ability to regulate your moods. This can lead to feelings of dejection, inadequacy, anxiety, and irritability, among other emotional effects.
Dehydration is also a major cause of stress in the body. Dehydration leads to the production of cortisol – the stress hormone – causing higher levels of anxiety, which conversely leads to more stress, and even possibly panic attacks.
What is particularly insidious about the mental and emotional effects caused by dehydration is that they form a vicious cycle: mental fatigue leads to stress which leads to anxiety which leads to depression which leads to mental fatigue. Fortunately, one of the easiest ways to improve your mental and emotional wellbeing is simply to hydrate properly.
A 2018 study in the World Journal of Psychiatry found that drinking five or more glasses of water daily was associated with a lower risk of depression. Conversely, drinking two glasses of water or fewer daily was associated with a 54% to 73% increased risk of depression.
A 2014 study analyzing water intake found that increased hydration decreased feelings of fatigue, confusion, and sleepiness. People in this study who drank 2.4 liters of water or more daily felt happier and more positive than those who drank less.
Overall, proper hydration can alleviate many negative mental and emotional effects, while improving the overall operation of the body. Adequate water consumption can lead to increased energy and focus, improved digestion and waste product management, improved blood pressure and blood flow, and even a decreased risk of colon, breast, or bladder cancer. Furthermore, hydration is just as important when taking medications related to mental and emotional health; many psychiatric medications can cause dehydration, potentially exacerbating mental conditions. Drinking enough water can counteract the negative effects associated with dehydration.
While many people understand at some level the importance of drinking water for their bodies, it is just as important that people understand how hydration affects their minds. The body and mind are mostly water, and what affects one, affects the other. It is imperative that people drink enough water to keep their bodies healthy, and their minds clear, focused, and emotionally balanced. Multipure is here to help people improve and maintain their physical and emotional wellbeing through water. For Life. For You.