How does hydration help with anxiety?
The scientific evidence for how regular refreshment helps your mental health
High-quality refreshment solutions are not a luxury or accessory for the office, but a health benefit for their staff. Our last piece on the subject of hydration and lifestyle covered how it helps improve sleep, which is a foundational pillar for managing and improving one’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Here, we elaborate further on the importance of regular hydration so that facilities managers and other end-users can more confidently trust in these refreshment solutions for a healthier workforce and better workplace. Distributors can also use this information to equip themselves on the many benefits of our products.
Water and cognitive function
You’ve almost certainly learned by now that humans are mostly water. Well, the human brain is 75% water, and regularly nourishing it by drinking more water isn’t just for optionally optimising performance in special moments, but for maintaining fundamental function.
Every day, we lose an average of two to three litres of water through standard bodily functions such as sweating, passing waste, even breathing, and must compensate for lost fluid as a result. A dehydrated brain works harder to accomplish the standard mental and bodily actions of a normal one. And this is not even accounting for the additional stresses which beset us going about our day, in and out of the workplace.
All the evidence points one way: more drinking water means better mental health; meaning lifted and well-maintained mood, management of stressful daily tasks and a more focused mind. These positive effects are potent and almost immediate.
There is a wealth of published medical research connecting regular drinking water intake with a less anxious mind, including this 2018 study. We can also tell in detail what happens to a water-deprived mind thanks to this dehydration study conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology. This study found that its water-deprived test subjects had trouble focusing on performing well in matters of “complex problem-solving, coordination, and attention.” Even the littlest of things and the most mundane of tasks were badly affected.
Stunted cognitive function means more anxiety, as a brain unable to keep up with life’s routines and setbacks is more prone to stress, and a stressed mind will not manage to keep to a consistent routine or manage tasks. This will worsen existing mental health conditions, such as depression.
Attentive and consistent hydration is more than a pick-me-up in the present moment, but money in the bank, as it is linked to long-term wellbeing; warding off dementia and other stages of neurological breakdown that tend to come with age.
And the office is where your staff will spend most of their daily working hours. A good, healthy habit encouraged in a workplace where we will spend most of our daytime hours means a better, healthier future.
Beyond eight glasses – how much drinking water you really need
Many of us are familiar with general, one-size-fits-all statements like doctors recommending you drink eight glasses of water a day. The truth, as usual, is more nuanced.
Your ideal intake will differ depending on your gender, height, weight, age and level of activity. See this very helpful breakdown from the Mayo Clinic for a more detailed instruction and the true averages – which amount to 3.7 litres of fluid for men and 2.7 for women.
One important takeaway here is that too many people wait to feel the cue of thirst before actually taking a swig, where they would be better suited to low but consistent intakes of water throughout the day.
But remember that hydration is multifaceted. Though we recommend well-chilled, properly filtered and high-quality water as your primary source of intake, about 20% of what you need will come through food, with additional beverages (such as coffee) also playing their part.
Where business comes into it
Facilities managers who want to see the modern office survive these trying times are being proactive by making their workplaces more accommodating to the needs of staff. You can see our full piece on this phenomenon – including why hydration matters so much for this goal.
By keeping staff around premium refreshment solutions you’re encouraging them to care better for themselves, and keep up this vital building block of daily stress and anxiety management. Such a perk should be included in the sales pitch of every keen distributor.
Conclusion – drink well, drink regularly but don’t use it as a catch-all
The most important thing to remember here is that dehydration is both preventable and controllable; sticking to regular water intake will help you reduce the risk of opening yourself up to more stress and worsening existing problems.
Please bear in mind that when it comes to your mental health, hydration comes as a supplement to an overall controlled lifestyle consisting of regular exercise, a balanced diet, consistent sleep and (if required) additional help recommended by your doctor, such as medication or counselling. Drinking more water can help lessen and manage symptoms of depression and anxiety, but should not be considered a “cure” or quick fix.
If you’re curious about the other benefits of a drinking water solution for you or your business, you can revisit our sleep quality investigation see this feature on water and workplace morale from our Learning Centre.
Those of you interested in providing the best possible water dispensers and taps for the office can view our collated model comparison.Once you have made your decision, be sure to browse our store and then get in touch so you can be linked to a distributor. If you would like to provide these solutions, fill out a form to become a distributor today.