This past week I have felt lethargic, irritated, tense, and anxious. Attempting to figure out why has left me very confused because there is nothing in my life that should be causing me to feel this way. In fact, I am very happy with how things are going for me right now. Wednesday night, I woke up around 2 am because my mouth was so dry. That was when it hit me. I was seriously dehydrated!
In giving it a bit more thought, I realized that I have not been drinking very many fluids lately. When I am outside and in hot environments I tend to drink enough and keep myself hydrated. However, lately I have been in the office during the heat of the day, and it has been COLD in there! I have to wear pants and a jacket!! As a result of that perhaps I have been less apt to drink as much as I need.
Things came full circle when I looked back to a journal article I had been sent earlier this week regarding hydration status and its influence on mood and fatigue (Read the abstract here). Essentially, what this study found was that dehydration negatively effects cognitive performance and working memory and also results in increased levels of fatigue and tension/anxiety. So next time you find yourself tired or in a bad mood, step back and evaluate your hydration level!
A more detailed post is in the works on hydration and exercise (which will probably be posted to my NutritonNerd column over on the other blog I write for 2x/month).In the meantime, here are some helpful Fact Sheets from the Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition dietetic practice group about Hydration for Exercise (here), Hydration for Performance (here), and Understanding Sweat Loss (here).
What symptoms do you experience when you become dehydrated? Do you find you are more likely to become dehydrated in cold or hot environments? What are some strategies you implement to stay hydrated?