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#2 Hydration & Nutrition
Proper hydration and nutrition help balance your mood.
Current science indicates that:
(1) Even mild dehydration (1.5% loss in the body's normal water volume) can affect mood, energy levels, and judgment, and
(2) Balanced nutrition relates to the chemical balance in the body.
Scientists recommend a minimum of 2 liters of water a day (8-ounce glass x 8) to refill the minimal body fluid loss.
They also recommend minimizing the consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and sugar.
 Brandis K., Fluid Physiology, Ch3.1 Water Turnover. Link
 Ganio MS, Armstrong LE, Casa DJ, McDermott BP, Lee EC, Yamamoto LM, Marzano S, Lopez RM, Jimenez L, Bellego LL, Chevillotte E, Lieberman HR. Mild dehydration impairs cognitive performance and mood of men. British Journal of Nutrition. 2011;106(1) :1535-1543. Link
 Rao TSS, Asha MR, Ramesh BN, Rao KSJ. Understanding nutrition, depression and mental illnesses. Indian Journal of Psychiatry. 2008;50(2):77-82. Link
What you can do with this knowledge
- Have a cup of water first thing in the morning and carry a water bottle with you. Refill the bottle a few times during the day so you know if you are drinking enough.
- Check your urine color. If it's pale, good. If it's dark, you need more water.
- Eat balanced meals and maintain a stable blood sugar level during the day.
- Be aware of when to drink and where you'll have to urinate. Ever been caught in traffic and have that urge? Not fun.
- Drinking an extreme amount of water in a short time can cause water intoxication. No, it doesn't make you high. It can kill you.
- Be aware of what you eat. People have different sensitivities to different foods (e.g., gluten).
- An easy read about the research behind hydration.
- A CNN article on the importance of hydration.
- A WebMD article on the importance of eating the right food.
- For further exploration, use the search keywords: dehydration nutrition mental health.
- "Even Mild Dehydration Can Alter Mood" by Colin Poitras: 2012. Link
- "From bad breath to car accidents, dehydration is a real health threat" by Linda Melone: 2015. Link
- Food to Balance Your Mood by Star Lawrence: 2002. Link