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How Do Dehydration and Mood Swings Work?

How Do Dehydration and Mood Swings Work?

Our body has a big relationship between dehydration and mood swings.

Feeling Moody? Take Some Sips Of Water

When we drink a lot of water, it improves our emotional health, too. Dehydration has the potential to increase anxiety, depression, and other lower energetic mental states.

Hydration can quench thirst, keeps your digestive system running smoothly, and cools your body. Some recent studies show you can improve your mental health by getting enough water daily. Mental health IS part of physical health.

Our brain actually shrinks when we are dehydrated. Fluid deprivation affects our mood rapidly. Drinking water can actually affect our brains within 5 minutes of drinking it.

Studies Show Connections Between

Dehydration and Depression

In a 2018 project, over 3,000 adults were researched for dehydration and mood swings. Some patients drank more water, while others drank significantly less water. Those who drank more water showed a lower risk of anxiety and depression than those who drank less amounts. Patients who drank two glasses of water a day showed a 54-73% increase in depression. Anxiety was also more prominent for patients who drank less than the daily recommended amount of water.

A study in 2014 measured the mood/water intake of 54 patients. The results showed when patients increased water consumption to 2.4 liters/2.5 quarts or more daily. The results showed:

  • decreased confusion, fatigue, and sleepiness
  • increased happiness and positivity

In a study of dehydration and mood swings in 2015, healthy women were monitored. The results showed lower water intake was connected with greater tension, depression, and confusion. A study of men in 2011 showed similar results. In both studies, the men and women were all otherwise healthy.

My Personal Experience With Dehydration and Mood Swings

Hmmmm. What about someone like me? I drink much more than the daily recommended amount of water. Have you read Cybele’s post about Water, Your Body, & Stress/Mood ?

It was interesting how these studies showed what happened with people who typically drink enough water. They went through a temporary experience of increased negativity when they reduced water intake.

Even though I drink MORE than enough water daily, I do experience mood swings on the days when I fail to drink as much. I guess once my body is used to the daily quota of water. So it is unhappy with smaller amounts of water.

No wonder I was extra tired on my travel days last week! We had a couple of long drive days. We didn’t get to drink as much water on those days. For one thing, it was difficult to get enough water while on the road. Another thing – the more I drink, the more I have to pee. Bathrooms were few and far between on those days on a jeep trail. Good thing I am a country girl – I know how to squat near a bush on the trail.

Have you seen my video “Squat and Pee On the Trail”? hahahhaha!

Dehydration and Mood Swings In My Life

Whenever we have a big family celebration day, I concentrate extra hard upon staying hydrated with water.

I’ve been practicing this routine of hydrating for special days such as:

  • Our kid’s weddings
  • Our bridal showers
  • My big retirement party
  • A full day of riding a historic train
  • Special field trip days with the students (not family, but you know)

It is really tempting to drink soda, coffee, champagne, or alcohol during these special events. Yet I recognize the high emotional demand of the day requires a lot of hydration support. So I know I MUST drink water exclusively on these days. Well…. maybe a swig of champagne for the toast. But that’s it.

Life flows like water.

Joys, sorrows, laughs, and tears ebbing in and out.

Emotions are the ripples of life.

Support your body, so the ripples can be fully experienced.

by Pam Schmidt

Enjoy your healthy life!

Pam Schmidt

Chemical Minimalist

Mindfulness Mentor


P.S. Snag a private consultation with me to get clear on your next steps toward your Chemical Minimalist, happy, healthy life!

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