A Link Between Depression and Dehydration?

By , Category : Brain Function

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A new study shows that even mild dehydration can influence mood.Drinking water seems like a simple thing to do. Just go to the nearest tap, fill up a glass, and drink. But somehow, many of us put off grabbing a glass of water until it’s too late.

Dehydration sets in without us even realizing it. Not only does this put a damper on physical health, but it can also affect how you feel emotionally and mentally.

In a study just completed at the University of Connecticut, researchers studied the effects of mild dehydration on cognitive function. Twenty-five females participated in three eight-hour, placebo-controlled experiments involving a different hydration state each day.

These different states included: exercise-induced dehydration with no diuretic, exercise-induced dehydration plus diuretic, and normal body water content. The researchers then measured cognitive performance, mood, and symptoms of dehydration for each experiment.

RECOMMENDED: Why scientists think drinking water could also help you eat healthier.

What happened to the participants during their different hydration states? Some not-very-good things! Significant adverse effects of dehydration were found at rest and during exercise. The participants had, according to the researchers, “degraded moods,” increased difficulty completing tasks, lower concentration, and headache symptoms. And all of this resulted from just a 1.36% level of dehydration!

So make sure you make time to have a few quick drinks of water throughout the day.
Sources for Today’s Articles:
A Link Between Depression and Dehydration?
Armstrong, L.E., et al., “Mild dehydration affects mood in healthy young women,” J Nutr. February 2012; 142(2): 382–8.

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Dr. Victor Marchione, MD

About the Author, Browse Victor's Articles

Victor Marchione, MD received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1973 and his Medical Degree from the University of Messina in 1981. He has been licensed and practicing medicine in New York and New Jersey for over 20 years. Dr. Marchione is a respected leader in the field of smoking cessation and pulmonary medicine. He has been featured on ABC News and World Report, CBS Evening News and the NBC Today Show and is the editor of the popular The... Read Full Bio »