“Drink more water” we hear it everywhere, quoted on social media, designed on water bottles, a sign on the walls of gyms and spas, even the famous basketball star Steph Curry says, “drinking water is essential to a healthy lifestyle…”it seems simple enough, but does it merit all that exposure and hype?
The short answer is yes. While water is not a magical remedy to solve all the world’s problems, it certainly has the ability to improve our health both physically and mentally and make an impact on our day to day.
Our entire body needs water to function properly, in fact 70-80% of our brain tissue is made up of water which is why our levels of fluid and hydration can impact our mood. Research has shown a correlation between water intake and mental health. When we are dehydrated, we can increase the risk of anxiety and depression and experience other fluctuations like confusion and fatigue.
During the day we are constantly losing water through unavoidable bodily functions like breathing, sweating and urination. Meaning as much as we are losing, we have to replenish it to keep our body and mind’s equilibrium intact. A pair of studies published a few years back had researchers induce mild dehydration in their focus groups. The groups experienced fatigue as a result of dehydration and degraded moods and less ability to concentrate.
What can I do?
There is enough scientific evidence out there to prove the basic fact, our body needs water to function. So how can you make sure you are increasing your water intake throughout the day without having to devote tons of time and focus on it?
Start simple, here are some easy steps you can take each day to make sure you are giving your body what it needs.
Easy Access: make sure you have a water bottle with you that you can fill up throughout the day so whether it’s at work, in a class, in the car, at the gym or running errands you have the ability to fill up when needed. And to make it fun why not think about decking out your water bottle with a motivating quote or fun design to keep you motivated. Link here to some fun options
Gentle Reminders: Technology like our phones, smart watches, you name it has a way of keeping us notified throughout the day on our emails, texts, social media engagements, calendar invites you name it. We are being nudged about what needs our attention according to our phones so why not add in a notification that is helping our health. Add in a reminder on your phone throughout the day to check-in and remind you to take a sip or two.
Eat-up: Close to 20% of your water intake can come from food that you eat, so add in some delicious fruits and veggies that have a higher water content to help keep you hydrated and well fed. Some easy fruits and veggies to include can be strawberries, peaches, watermelon, cucumber, celery, zucchini, and lettuce.
Life can be full of challenges and dealing with mental health disorders like anxiety and depression can seem like another hurdle. The good news is that while you are on your journey to mental well-being there are simple things you can do each day to help you along the way, like just adding water.
Interested in other ways to improve your mental health? Reach out to us at Heading, our team is always available to talk and see what options are right for you.