Feeling as grumpy and overtired as a toddler that’s missed her mid-morning nap? Don’t make it worse by starting to think about how you’re underpaid and unappreciated. Instead, do yourself a favour: head to the sink and pour yourself a tall glass of water. One new study suggests a bad mood, headache and general fatigue may be a symptom of dehydration.
A small study by researchers in the US (via Time.com) implies there may be a link between even minimal dehydration and mood. For the study, researchers analyzed the mood and cognitive skills of 25 women. Some of the women were hydrated, while some were only moderately dehydrated. (The dehydrated women were that way as a result of exercise or diuretic.)
Women who were hydrated properly didn’t appear to suffer any negative mental or physical effects after exercise or during cognitive tests, while women who were slightly dehydrated showed signs of headache, an inability to concentrate, fatigue and overall grumpiness both during and after exercise.
How much water should an adult woman be consuming on a daily basis to maintain hydration, and by extension, energy levels? That depends on one’s activity level.
According to the Mayo Clinic, on average women should consume somewhere around 2.2 litres or 9 cups of water a day. (Men are encouraged to consume up to 3 litres or 13 cups a day). Add exercise to the mix, however, and it’s wise to add up to two more cups of water to balance out the water lost through sweat and exertion.
Regular water consumption confers more benefits than you might think. While it helps flush toxins out of the body and facilitates the movement of nutrients, it may also prevent kidney disease. Last year, an Australian study (via NYTimes) linked regular water consumption (up to 3 litres a day) with a decrease in chronic kidney disease.
Don’t go overboard when getting your H20, however. Too much water consumption can overwhelm the kidneys.