Feeling a Little Down? This Drink Might Help!

By , SparkPeople Blogger
One of the biggest changes I’ve made to my diet over the years was to increase the amount of water I drink.  When I started working for SparkPeople over 7 years ago, I probably drank about 2 glasses of liquid a day (outside of exercise).  I’d have a glass of orange juice for breakfast and a glass of milk for dinner, and that’s about it.  Being surrounded by people who drank water throughout the day made me more conscious of how much I was having and the fact that I probably needed to be drinking a little more.
As soon as I started drinking more, I noticed a difference in my energy level and my mood.  I felt better overall.  I’m not saying that everyone needs to start chugging the H2O, but in my case, I think I was probably dehydrated most of the time.  New research shows that not drinking enough could be affecting your mood and cognitive abilities. 
The study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, “tested mood, concentration and mental skills in 25 women who either were given enough fluids to remain optimally hydrated or were induced into a mildly dehydrated state.”  The women’s mood and cognitive abilities were tested during exercise and at rest.  Although being dehydrated didn’t seem to affect their performance on mental tests, it did affect how difficult they perceived the tasks to be and also affected their moods.  Many women experienced headaches, loss of concentration and lower moods.   Participants’ hydration levels were about 1% below optimal, so it didn’t take much for them to start experiencing these negative symptoms.    

Everyone is different, so experts no longer say that each person has to drink 8 glasses of water daily.  One of the best ways to know if you’re drinking enough is to check the color of your urine.  If it looks slightly yellow, like you squeezed a lemon in it, you’re probably okay.  Any darker, and you might want to drink a little more.   There are other benefits to drinking water, especially if you’re replacing your daily soda or energy drink with a glass of H2O.  Ever wonder how much water you should be drinking during exercise?  Here are some easy tips for how to drink more.  
What do you think?  Do you notice changes in your mood when you’ve not had enough water to drink?

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Drinking water definitely has many advantages. Report
I used to kinda sorta more-or-less pay attention to my water intake, till I has a problem donating blood. I was too dehydrated, and they couldn't get much of anything. I'll never let that happen again. Now I pay attention on the days I donate, and on the days I don't. That pretty much covers it. Report
I have a 24 oz bottle and I try to drink at least 3 of those daily. When I exercise I drink more. I don't know if my good mood and excess energy is due to the water or exercise, but I'm loving it! Report
I usually drink a lot of water, but the other day I needed to have a blood draw done. After a few (painful) attempts, the technician couldn't find a vein and had to get the doctor, who also couldn't access one. He ended up having to do the draw from the back of my hand (OUCH!). I asked him what the problem was, that I've never had problems with a blood draw, and he asked me how much water I had had that day. Turns out I had coffee just about all day long and no water. Just one day of very little water turned into a very painful experience. Talk about an eye opener. Yes, we dehydrate that quickly. Lesson learned. Report
I feel better overall when I drink water regularly throughout the day and I can feel it at night if I haven't been drinking water--I just feel sluggish and not flexible. Report
I drink lots of water usually but didn't realize it could make me feel sluggish if I didn't. I know my iv treatments are very difficult if I feel dehydrated. Report
I have always loved water maybe thats why I've been in good mood most of my life no matter what is happening in it. Does not seem to help me in my weight lost. Report
When I was young, I hated water. But I forced myself to try to drink more water. My body craves it now and I drink it all day long. a slice of lemon, may help if yhou don't really like water. Report
I allso feel less hungry when I dink watter. Report
To know how much water to drink a day you take your weight divide in half thats how many oz. of water you drink a day. My weight is 215 I need to drink 108oz a day as you loose weight your water intake goes down. I have an app to help me keep track its called water your body. Report
I like orange juice it works well for a filler Report
I never use to drink much water but now I'm drinking 8 - 10 cups per day. I feel so much better Report
I have always been a water drinker. I do notice when I do not get my water my body feels sluggish and tired.

Recently have been trying to get in more water and find that my body craves it now. I am aiming for 64 ozs a day using my water bottle which tells me the ozs. I haven't noticed a mood change, but my body feels better. Report
LOL, I never used to drink a lot of water, and when I began to increase, yes I had to per all day, but I felt so much better, then my body adjusted, and no further extra potty breaks. After I had my daughter, the homecare nurse, we opted to leave the hospital in 24h w a home visit rather than stay 48h, asked if I was getting eight glasses and I laughed. I told her I would be.sooo dehydrated with only eight glasses, I probably avg about 16, 20 in the summer. And I feel horrible when I don't drink as much as usual. Report
I drink 3 quarts of unsweet tea, lemon water or grapefruit water per day with no problem. I don't like plain water. Report
I really don't understand how everyone gets 8 glasses of water per day. Whenever I manage to do it, I spend half the day in the bathroom and have to plan where I go around it. I understand the need to get more, but 64 ounces a day? I'd sure like to see more real studies like this. I drink nothing but water (after my morning coffee) and it is almost impossible to get 8 glasses without being uncomfortable all day - and I'm usually the last one to need to stop in my family. Report
I started drinking more water after reading an article that tied lack of H2O to sinus problems. I used to suffer from sinus infections every change of seasons, but since I've upped my water consumption, I've noticed a definite decrease in sinus problems.
Now I feel "off" if I don't get at least 8 glasses a day. Report
I often struggle to get in enough water....Diet Coke is so much more entertaining!! Report
This is one of the hardest things for me! I do better with exercise and diet than I do in drinking that water everyday! Report
Drinking water is the best thing I can do for my energy level. I used to feel sluggish during the day in the past and I thought it had to do with stress from the work environment but somehow I noticed (don't really remember how) that my energy level would be much different (better) when I consumed water during the day. Now I keep a 32oz nalgene bottle on my desk at all times. Aside from helping with my energy level, it gives me a justified reason to get up from my desk and walk [to the bathroom, at least] and it helps with my fixation of always having something in my mouth, an oral fixation that used to sabotage my weight all the time. Hey, water is free & calorie free, personally I don't think it can get better than that! Report
I adore water, and am lucky to live where the tap water is tasty! Report
so that's why I"m down! more water for me, we'll see how I think Report
One if the reasons why so many people drink so much soda is because it is always out where we can see it from television adds to billboards and vending machines—the list goes on…
If you need help to encourage yourself or your family to drink water try advertizing it at home by placing a clear pitcher of ice water on the table. If your tap water doesn’t taste good of even its chlorinated buy a filter, I have one that installs under the sink and has its own faucet. However, there are several good filters on the market to choose from. If that doesn’t do it for you or if you simply want your water to look more attractive and have a little more flavor try squeezing a few lemons and limes into your pitcher and putting some lemon and lime slices into the water to make it more attractive. I don’t believe in adding anything else to my water and counting it as water, because artificial sweeteners can hinder your ability to taste truly sweet food, and both artificial sweeteners and colors have been linked to many health problems.
Go Water!!! Report
I've been a big water drinker really ever since I joined SP back in 2007. I've had to make a few adjustments recently. I had lapband surgery in September 2011, and one of the keys to success is to NOT drink when I am eating, which is something I had done. As a result, I found I was not drinking as much water as before, so now I am making a point to drink the glass of water I take with me to bed each night -- that way I start the day with 2 cups of water already in the system.

But yes, water is a key for me! Report
Drinking adequate water just before meals takes away that hungry feeling that destroys some people's best efforts at dieting. If you drink two glasses before breakfast, lunch and dinner you have pretty well accomplished the water drinking goal and you have a big plus of not wanting that little bite of something else after the meal is over. Report