When it comes to treating depression and other mental health concerns, there are numerous therapy options. Counseling, exercise, medicine, adequate sleep, nutrition, and pure drinking water, and meditation are just a few of the tried-and-true methods. Treatments like these in the field of mental health are well-known and widely used today. On the other hand, hydration is a basic strategy that is only now beginning to gain traction.
Significance of Water
Water is essential for the proper functioning of every system and organ in your body, including your brain. Water makes up around 75% of your brain’s volume. Because your brain’s activity and functioning mostly determine mental health, new research has found a correlation between sadness and dehydration.
According to the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Connecticut, a 1.5% drop in body water volume can have a substantial impact on your energy levels, clarity of mind, and mood. However, thanks to innovations like water filters, most people can afford to avoid the effects of dehydration.
Effects of Dehydration
Dehydration affects your brain’s capacity to function correctly, making you more susceptible to depression and less able to combat it. To assist our clients in living their best lives, we are dedicated to helping them stay hydrated and healthy. Continue reading to see how staying hydrated can help you avoid and combat depression.
Depression: What Is It and What Causes It?
Depression is a multifaceted mental health condition that is influenced by numerous physiological and neurological systems. According to the Mayo Clinic, a persistent feeling of sadness and a loss of interest are symptoms of depression. Sufferers of depression experience several mental and physical side effects due to their altered state of mind.
People who suffer from depression frequently report fatigue, sleep problems, a lack of desire, and an overriding sense of helplessness. Psychological, social, and biological factors are all thought to contribute to depression. As the increasing study has demonstrated, these pressures alter brain function, resulting in the symptoms we collectively refer to as “depression.” Hydration is a critical step in the fight against and control of brain function disorders that lead to depression.
Depression as a Result of Dehydration
Why does dehydration worsen depression? Lack of water impairs the performance of your body’s systems. Depression can be exacerbated by dehydration because of the way it inhibits your brain’s ability to manufacture energy. The energy generation in your brain is impeded if you do not drink enough water and are dehydrated. This has a significant impact on your ability to think clearly and effectively.
When you are dehydrated, your brain’s normal functions slow down or stop altogether due to a lack of energy. This is especially true if you’re stressed or anxious. Shutting down certain brain functions has been linked to depression, according to the research.
Lack of Serotonin
Depression is aggravated by dehydration because it prevents your brain from producing serotonin. Known as “the happy chemical,” serotonin is a key neurotransmitter in your brain, increasing your overall sense of well-being and pleasure. Dehydration, which reduces your brain’s ability to manufacture serotonin, is a major cause of sadness and is aggravated by low serotonin levels.
Tryptophan, an amino acid, is converted by your body into serotonin. To turn tryptophan into serotonin, it must be transported across the blood-brain barrier, but this activity necessitates a lot of water. There will be insufficient tryptophan in your brain for conversion to serotonin if you are dehydrated. You will experience anxiety, depression, irritability, and feelings of inadequacy due to dehydration because it reduces the number of other amino acids in your brain.
Increased stress is the fourth way that dehydration can lead to depression. Most people associate sadness with stress, and when you don’t drink enough water, your body is caught in a vicious cycle of stress and dehydration that only worsens with time.
When you are under stress, your adrenal glands overproduce the stress hormone cortisol. Chronic stress, on the other hand, wears out your adrenal glands, making them less effective. Aldosterone, a hormone produced by your adrenal glands, controls your body’s fluid and electrolyte levels. A drop in aldosterone production causes dehydration. Water consumption can make you feel less stressed, which in turn lessens the symptoms of depression.