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The Power of Water - Hydration Effects on Mood and Performance

The Power of Water - Hydration Effects on Mood and Performance

It’s mid-afternoon, that unmistakable urge to drink has hit you.

It’s once again been hours since you last drank any water, you’re downing the entire glass to make up for it.

You’ve heard that water is beneficial, heck, you’d be dead in 3 days without it. But prioritising water consumption in the same way you do diet and exercise doesn’t seem to resonate in quite the same way.

But what if you could simply drink your way to more energy, focus and physical performance?

It turns out you can.

The benefits of proper hydration are massively underestimated. Perhaps that’s why a whopping 75% of the population are estimated to be chronically dehydrated.

We know from research that even mild dehydration has negative impacts on cognitive performance and mood2.

We also know that good hydration enhances reaction time and alertness in adults1.

But what about the gains?

A study looking at vertical jump performance found that hydrated athletes demonstrated significantly more force values, resulting in increased jump height and velocity3.

That’s right, better mood, better reaction times and better physical performance. All from water.

But how much water should you drink?

Drink 3 litres of water per day, that’s a manageable goal. This number can vary slightly -  hotter climates, higher activity levels and higher protein diets all benefit from increased water intake.

For an immediate win in the morning, I recommend drinking 500ml upon waking to get ahead of the game. For the next level up, try adding ¼ teaspoon of sea salt. The salt will help your body absorb the water for optimal hydration.

After that, aim for 5-10 glasses of water (250-500ml) throughout the day to hit the number.

So next time you’re feeling thirsty, don’t skimp on it. Remember that adequate hydration is essential if you’re going to perform your best.

 

References

Edmonds, C., Crombie, R., Ballieux, H., Gardner, M. and Dawkins, L., 2013. Water consumption, not expectancies about water consumption, affects cognitive performance in adults. Appetite, 60, pp.148-153.

Ganio, M., Armstrong, L., Casa, D., McDermott, B., Lee, E., Yamamoto, L., Marzano, S., Lopez, R., Jimenez, L., Le Bellego, L., Chevillotte, E. and Lieberman, H., 2011. Mild dehydration impairs cognitive performance and mood of men. British Journal of Nutrition, 106(10), pp.1535-1543.

PT, D., SJ, W., CC, W., CM, H., M, V. and JC, G., 2021. Impact of Hydration Status on Jump Performance in Recreationally Trained Males. [online] PubMed. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32922636/ [Accessed 27 October 2021].

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