Did You Realize Even Mild Depression Can Be Lack Of Water?

Even mild dehydration may affect our moods and ability to concentrate. In a new study of 25 healthy women, mild dehydration dampened moods, increased fatigue, and led to headaches.

The women in the study had an average age of 23. They were not superbly fit, nor couch potatoes.

Each woman was tested after treadmill exercise and again after treadmill exercise plus a diuretic pill, which was designed to force dehydration (urine loss).

The women were given a battery of tests measuring their concentration, memory, and mood when they were dehydrated and when they were not.

Overall, women’s mental ability was not affected by mild dehydration. But they did feel the tasks were more difficult. They reported more fatigue and felt down.

This was similar to earlier results from the same researchers in a dehydration study on men.

But “women were more fatigued and this was true during mild exercise and when sitting at a computer,” says researcher Lawrence E. Armstrong, PhD. He is a professor of environmental and exercise physiology at the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory in Storrs, Conn.

The findings appear in The Journal of Nutrition, Jan 2012.

The message is clear: think about hydration and take regular steps to prevent it. That means drinking fluids with meals and between meals.

Take special care to drink extra if you are exerting yourself and, of course, in hot weather.

How Much?

Forget the 6 – 8 glasses a day nonsense. That’s a typical hoax that “everybody knows”. It’s dangerous and will stress your kidneys. People with even mild heart failure should be particularly careful.

The correct way to gauge your fluid levels is to watch the color of your urine; it should be clear or just mildly yellow. If you have dark urine, you are way under-hydrated.

There is also another cute test you can do:

Put your hand palm down on your lap and watch the veins distend. They should stick out clearly on the back of your hand.

Now raise your hand slowly up to head height and watch the veins. When they collapse will tell you how hydrated you are. If by chest height your veins start to disappear, you are dehydrated. If your hand goes up to eye level without collapsing, you are OK for fluid.

Neat huh?



  1. The page with the book” what I want for you” I can not press Submit… because it is under right down. Please fix it. also how do I get it out of the way, so I can see what is behind it please? I want the book, What I want for you, my daughter has to go for surgery on Tuesday she has advanced breast cancer, she has a husband and two son’s 7 and 2. thank you kindly

  2. With reference to hydration there was significant scientific reasearch done in the late 1990’s (at a USA University which I can not recall at the momment) which clearly found drinking around 3 mouth fulls of water every 20mins and no fluids with meals and begin drinking again 1hour after a meal worked best for most people. This was taken up by sports coaches at the time, hence the water bottles that are used through the game now where that was not previously allowed.
    However it is not quite that simple. If the brain is not regulating hydration, just doing the above does not always fix the isue. A procedure is required to re-engage the circuits.
    Often, tight shoulders and/or a stiff neck is really a hydration issue.

  3. I am not questioning the study results, per se, but am wondering about the effect the diuretic may have had on the mood, feelings of fatigue, etc. Whenever a study includes the use of a pharmaceutical agent, I wonder about the results. Are those results, in part, due to unrecognized side effects of the drug?

  4. I always thought that the reason for not drinking water or anything with a meal had to do with dilution of the stomach acid needed for digestion. I have since heard differently. I guess I just judge it on how dry the food is. I definately will not drink milk with a meal.
    I had my gallbladder and appendix removed 35 yrs ago and since then if I drink milk with a meal I’m in the bathroom within 15 min of drinking it.
    Since then I also cannot drink any alchohol other than beer or a glass of wine.
    BTW since I wanted the incision to remove the gallbladder just above the navel my Mayo surgeon decided to remove the appendix also, the doctor said I didn’t need either of them. Mayo doctors were like “gods” at the time so I didn’t argue.

    Did the hydration test, urine is pretty clear, and the hand test tells me I am dehydrated. I would like to know why raising the hand would cause the veins to collapse if one is dehydrated.

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