Feeling Stressed? Have a Glass of Water
Studies have shown that there is a direct link between being stressed and dehydration. How? All of our organs, need water to function properly. If you’re dehydrated, your entire body isn’t functioning well which can cause stress. When we are stressed our bodies release that lovely hormone, cortisol which can lead to a wide variety of other issues which I’ll save for another post.
Hydration is so important for many reasons. Our bodies are made up of about 75% water. We lose water through our breath, our sweat and every time we go to the bathroom. We need water to assist in the transport of nutrients and oxygen to our cells. We need it for our metabolism, digestion and elimination of waste. We need it to lubricate our joints for that intense workout and we need it to help regulate our body temperature.
How Do You Know You’re Dehydrated?
There are several ways to tell. The most obvious sign is thirst. If you feel thirsty you’re already dehydrated. A few other indications of dehydration are:
- Low blood pressure
- Dark coloured urine
- Dry skin
- Rapid heart rate
- Elevated body temperature
Our brain is approximately 80% water. When the water level drops by even 2% we start to experience short-term memory issues also known as “brain fog”. Been there? I have many times!! This is a pretty good indication that you are dehydrated and you may feel a little stressed, anxious and irritable. Also, when our bodies are dehydrated it triggers our fight or flight response and keeps it in an elevated state which further increases stress levels. Proper hydration enables us to think clearly and stay focused. It can help prevent Attention Deficit Disorder in both children and adults. Since our brain cannot store water, it’s crucial that we stay well hydrated.
To determine how much water you should be drinking for your body weight just take your current weight and multiply by 0.55. Take that number and divide by 8. This is the minimum amount of water you need for your body weight. This number will change depending on the environment or activity level. If it’s a hot summer day and you’re sweating a lot, you’ll need more. Likewise, during a workout you need to be drinking water throughout to keep those joints lubricated for optimal performance and to regulate your body temperature.
So, the next time you’re feeling a little stressed and irritable, instead of reaching for a cup of coffee grab a glass of water, take a deep breath and breathe.