Dehydration can impact your mood and overall mental health: Here’s how to tackle it

Dehydration not only affects your body but also your mental health. Here's how dehydration affects your mental health and ways to keep yourself hydrated.
dehydration and mood
Here's how dehydration affects your mood. Image courtesy: Adobe stock
Purvi Kalra Published: 12 Jan 2024, 06:45 pm IST
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A lack of fluid intake can lead to dehydration during the winter season. Dehydration along with winter blues is one of the worst things for your mood. So, whether you are still attending parties or functions, less fluid intake or more alcohol consumption can severely impact your hydration levels, leaving you feeling uneasy or dizzy. If you are feeling dehydrated, understand it not only impacts your body but also your mood. Yes, you heard that right! So, if you are feeling anxious due to dehydration, you need to amp up your fluid intake. Read on to learn everything about dehydration, and the impact of dehydration on mental health.

What causes dehydration?

“Dehydration occurs due to a lack of fluid in the body, hindering the balance essential for proper functioning. This imbalance can result from inadequate fluid intake, excessive sweating, vomiting, or diarrhoea,” Senior clinical nutritionist Dr Priyanka Agarwal tells Health Shots.

impact of dehydration on mood
Staying hydrated keeps you happy and healthy ! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

What are the signs of dehydration?

As water is crucial for various bodily processes, dehydration can lead to symptoms like:

  • Dryness in the mouth
  • Changes in skin texture like flakiness or redness
  • Dark colored urine
  • Constipation
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Constant fatigue or dizziness
  • Nausea or headache

“Severe cases may cause electrolyte imbalances, affecting the heart and kidneys. Infants, older adults, and athletes are particularly susceptible to dehydration. Timely rehydration is crucial, which can be achieved through drinking fluids and, in severe cases, intravenous fluids. Preventive measures include maintaining adequate water intake and adjusting it based on activity levels and environmental conditions,” says the expert.

What is the impact of dehydration on mental health?

Dehydration can impact your mental health in several ways.

1. Dehydration leads to irritable feelings

“Dehydration can significantly impact mood by influencing cognitive functions and emotional well-being. Even mild dehydration may lead to irritability, difficulty concentrating, and increased perception of task difficulty,” says Dr Priti.

Also read: Dehydration in winter: Try these detox drinks if you find plain drinking water boring

2. Can lead to stress or anxiety

“Dehydration affects neurotransmitter function and can contribute to feelings of anxiety and stress. A dehydrated body can feel uneasiness, and a person can be more prone to fall victim to unsettling feelings,” says the expert.

3. Constant fatigue

Dehydration may also lead to fatigue and a decline in overall cognitive performance. Adequate hydration is crucial for maintaining optimal brain function and supporting your mental health.

Therefore, staying hydrated plays a vital role in maintaining mental well-being, and individuals experiencing mood changes should consider assessing their fluid intake as a potential factor.

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Always try to rehydrate yourself with natural drinks like water, fruit-infused water, lemon water, Sattu water, and buttermilk.

impact on dehydration on mood
Dehydration can lead to headaches or feelings of nausea. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Ways to boost your fluid intake during the day

There are several ways to boost your water or fluid intake throughout the day.

1. Always carry water

Make it a habit to carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go, work, or run errands. That will serve as a gentle reminder for you to stay hydrated.

2. Set up regular alarms

Developing habits takes time as we tend to forget what we are supposed to do from time to time. Setting up alarms can help you get used to a new habit. An easy way to amp up your water intake is by setting regular alarms throughout the day.

3. Consume water-rich fruits or vegetables

Some part of your daily water intake could come from the foods you eat. So, incorporate fruits or vegetables that have a high water content so that you stay hydrated.

Winter or not, make sure you are drinking enough water to stay hydrated and avoid problems that may occur due to this problem.

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About the Author

After testing her skill-set in the field of management and marketing, Purvi Kalra is exploring the world of turning thoughts to words. Her penchant for writing stems for being an avid reader all her life. Her work drives her to be better every day. ...Read More

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