3 Emotional and Mental Benefits of Drinking Water
Since water is something you put into your body every day, many people think of it as having purely physical benefits. The sensation of feeling thirsty is uncomfortable, sure, but don’t overlook the detrimental effects that dehydration can have on your mood and brain function as well. Here are just a few of the important emotional and mental drinking water benefits you get from staying hydrated.
1. Feeling fatigued? You probably need more water.
It’s mid-afternoon, your eyes and brain are tired, and you’re tempted to grab an iced latte. But before you reach for the caffeine, consider this: the sluggishness you’re feeling might be your body telling you it just needs more water.
Water delivers oxygen to the brain and muscles, and is essential for keeping your body energized and your brain alert. Caffeinated beverages can have a dehydrating effect that worsens your fatigue, so instead of chasing a caffeine buzz, choose a cold glass of water, with or without a slice of lemon.
2. Hydration goes down, mistakes go up.
Water does more than just transport oxygen. According to the Cleveland Clinic, it also helps your brain to manage hormones and neurotransmitters that are necessary for cognitive function. In other words, that brain fog you feel sometimes in the middle of an important conversation or task may be due to a lack of water.
In fact, a 2018 study by Nina S. Stachenfeld and other researchers demonstrated that subjects who hadn’t had enough water made 12% more errors in a cognitive test than when they were properly hydrated! Complex tasks like studying, doing research, test-taking, or even gaming require concentration and attention to detail. That next glass of water could mean the difference between merely adequate performance and success on your next task, so drink up!
3. Better water intake is linked to lower depression and anxiety.
Although there are many complex causes for depression and anxiety, and those suffering from them should see a health professional for evaluation, there is a simple habit that can aid emotional regulation: drinking enough water.
In research published in 2018, author Fahimeh Haghighatdoost and colleagues uncovered a measurable relationship between water drinking and depression. Study subjects who consumed more water on average showed fewer symptoms of depression, and vice versa.
Keep on top of your water intake
The connection between drinking water and better brain function is clear, and the lucky thing is that water is one of the most convenient tools on earth for better health, both in body and mind. Keep reading to learn more ways that water benefits your overall health!