With 1 in 4 people experiencing some form of mental illness every year in the UK, knowing how to look after your mental health is vital. Drinking water can play an important part. Lifestyle, in particular diet, exercise, and relaxation, can have an impact on both your physical and mental health.
If you have suffered, or are suffering from, an issue such as anxiety or depression, making sure you look after yourself will help to support you and to maintain good mental health.
The relationship between drinking water and mental health
On a very basic level, dehydration makes you feel awful. Even just the early signs of dehydration can affect your concentration and mood, leaving you feeling tired and drained.
Headaches are another symptom of dehydration adding to a catalog of symptoms that will leave you feeling down.
Dehydration can cause:
- Mood swings
How much water should you drink a day?
Regularly drinking water throughout the day and aiming for 6-8 glasses is recommended to avoid your body becoming dehydrated.
Should you drink water with a meal?
Drinking water with meals helps you to avoid over-eating – and the slump that accompanies that. Drinking water instead of fruit juice and fizzy drinks will help to avoid the sugar crash that can often be associated with a higher sugar intake. Sugar crashes can leave you feeling fatigued and struggling to find motivation, which can easily add to a low mood.
Drinking water to combat bad drinking habits
Choosing to drink water instead of alcohol or caffeine is an excellent way to support your mental health. Too much coffee can have a negative effect on anxiety while and will worsen anxiety as well as depression.
Exercise and hydration
Drinking water and exercise go hand in hand; staying hydrated will allow you to get the best out of your workout and make sure you replenish lost fluids.
Exercise is important to wellbeing and has been proven to be beneficial to mental health. Making sure you drink enough water should help to give you the ‘get up and go’ to exercise, by avoiding the sluggish feeling associated with the onset of dehydration.
While medication or therapy may be the support that many people need when experiencing mental health issues, remaining dedicated to your everyday wellbeing through good hydration, a healthy diet, and regular exercise will work alongside that to help you maintain good mental health moving forward.
Make sure you give your body what it needs to support a healthy mind – choose hydration, choose healthy, filtered drinking water.
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