moderate Diet Adequate water intake is considered paramount for good physical health. But did you know that not drinking enough water can also affect your mental health? Dr Roma Kumar, Co-Founder and Chief Psychologist, Emotionally told indianexpress.com, “A growing body of evidence suggests that the foods and beverages we consume have an impact on our mental and physical health. “
He noted that many cognitive abilities and moods are affected by the state of water consumption, “Our brain needs to stay hydrated to keep our hormone levels in balance, which makes drinking water extremely important,” she said.
Dr Jyoti Bala Sharma, Director, Neurology, Fortis Hospital Noida, agreed and explained that the brain contains neurotransmitters that carry messages from one part to another. “Dehydration causes hormonal changes that affect the functioning of these neurotransmitters. Moreover, it should be noted that persistent dehydration can also make a person prone to depression and anxiety,” she said.
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Listing out the many benefits of drinking water on mental health, Dr Kumar said:
*It helps reduce cortisol, stress hormones
It helps in maintaining the level of fluid which protects the brain and spinal cord from any trauma and injury.
* It helps in flushing out toxins and metabolic wastes that accumulate in the brain.
* Helps maintain proper blood circulation, and delivers vitamins, minerals and oxygen to the brain.
*Helps form new neurons, and maintains overall brain cell health.
* The body also needs adequate hydration to produce hormones and neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin (the chemicals that control our mood).
* Staying hydrated has also been linked to faster decision making and better cognitive test performance, better concentration, and better short-term memory.
“Also, lack of water can slow down psychomotor responses. It can also make a person vulnerable to stroke, migraine and vein thrombosis as dehydration increases the viscosity of the blood,” Dr. Bala told indianexpress.com told.
symptoms of dehydration
dark yellow urineFrequent going to the bathroom, headache, dry eyes, dry skin or mouth, mood swings, fluctuating energy levels, high levels of mental fatigue.
But how much water should you drink?
While it is recommended to drink four to six glasses of water a day, Dr Kumar said that “the rule of four to six cups daily is for people who are generally healthy. people who have thyroidLiver problems, or heart problems, or are taking medications that cause them to retain water, this amount may be too high.”
Explaining the negative impact of excess water consumption, he said: “Water intoxication, also known as water poisoning, is a disruption of brain function by drinking too much water.” He further shared that excess water can lead to serious conditions such as “seizures, brain damage, coma and even death, as too much water can increase the pressure inside the skull.”
Keeping the above points in mind, Dr. Bala gave some tips to keep yourself hydrated:
*Carry your water bottle everywhere.
Drink a glass of water after coming out of the washroom.
* Keep a color-coded water bottle handy to measure your water intake.
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