Water Affects Mood
While we know that it’s important to drink water for optimal physical functioning, a 2009 Tufts University survey found that a lack of adequate water consumption also has a tangible impact on our mood.
The study’s subjects were 31 male and female student athletes who performed 60-75 minutes of high-impact aerobic activity while mildly dehydrated. These students reported feeling more tiredness, depression, confusion, tension or anger than the control group who engaged in similar activities.
The Tufts research team also studied the impact of the dehydration of the athlete’s cognitive abilities. While there was some negative influence on cognition, it was concluded that a stronger correlation between mild dehydration and mood exists.
The study’s authors consider the amount of dehydration (losses of 1-2 percent) comparable to the mild dehydration many people experience on a daily basis by drinking insufficient amounts of water.
So, how much water should we drink on a daily basis? The amount differs based on variables such as your weight, activity level and the weather. The generally recommended amount is eight to nine glasses of water a day. According to Kristen E. D’Anci, PhD, one of the Tufts’ study’s lead researchers, “eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day never hurt anybody.”
Another general indicator of adequate water consumption is the amount and color of your urine; if you produce about 6.3 cups of urine daily and it is colorless to slightly yellow (i.e., not dark and concentrated), this is a good indication that you are consuming enough water.
Don’t wait, however, to feel thirsty, as thirst is generally a sign that you are already slightly dehydrated. And as strange as it may seem, it is possible to drink too much water, resulting in water poisoning, which can lead to death. As is useful in so much of life, let common sense and being mindful of how you feel be your guide.