Stress Awareness Month: Stay Hydrated, Stress Less
April is Stress Awareness Month. It goes without saying that stress and anxiety are not things you’d like in your life. But, with our busy and hurried daily routines, they seem like things which we can’t really part with. Did you know, though, that you could help yourself with something as easy and convenient as it is to drink water?
That’s right, the link between stress reduction and water is one which is well and properly documented. All of our internal organs, including our brains, need a stable amount of water to function reliably. If you are dehydrated, regardless of the reason for it, your body is just not functioning properly – this is something which could lead to stress.
It is imperative to understand that stress, depression, as well as anxiety, are notably different conditions. Nevertheless, a lot of individuals experience them in a combination. For example, stress could easily lead to depression and anxiety as well.
Brain and Water
Now, different studies link depression to the state of dehydration. This is mainly because an approximate 85% of your brain tissue is made out of water. With this said, when you are dehydrated, you don’t produce as much energy in your brain and, hence, the lack of water could easily be the culprit of any condition which is associated with stress.
Additionally, studies have indicated that dehydration raises cortisol levels—the stress hormone—making it harder to deal with everyday issues. "Being just half a liter dehydrated can increase your cortisol levels,” says Amanda Carlson, RD, director of performance nutrition at Athletes’ Performance, a trainer of world-class athletes. “Staying in a good hydrated status can keep your stress levels down. When you don’t give your body the fluids it needs, you’re putting stress on it, and it’s going to respond to that.”
Mind the Water
Needless to say, you need to be careful about the type of water that you are drinking. Contaminated water, for example, could easily cause a range of health issues. It is a well-known fact that lead, for example, could cause a lot of damage to your nervous system. One of the most commonly observed results when drinking lead-filled water is actually depression. One of the best ways to protect yourself from this, though, is to take advantage of a water filter that reduces contaminants like lead.
Avoiding Certain Liquids
While pure, clean water could help you handle conditions such as anxiety, other liquids could actually induce it. Caffeine-rich ones are the ones that you should mind the most. In other words, beverages which have caffeine in them are no-go. You can conveniently replace tea, soda, and coffee with water – this is likely to be one of the best starting points out there.
What is more, alcohol is a well-known wrongdoer as it dehydrates you. For instance, if you go ahead and drink 12 ounces of beer, it would require you to spend 36 ounces of water to get rid of the beer – this is definitely going to have its toll. And, consequentially, when you stop giving your body the water that it needs, it is going to start taking it away from your body parts such as brain, bones, and muscles, for instance.
With all of the above, it is quite important to ensure that you get yourself the necessary amount of water on a regular, daily basis. This might seriously help you reduce the levels of stress and anxiety.