Water and Well-Being: The Link Between Hydration and Mental Health

Woman drinking a glass of water

Proper hydration is essential for good physical health, but did you know that it also plays a critical role in mental health? The human brain is approximately 73% water, and dehydration can have a significant impact on our cognitive function, mood, and overall mental well-being.

The Effects of Dehydration on Brain Function and Mental Health

Dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches, and dizziness, which can impair our ability to focus, concentrate, and make decisions. When we’re dehydrated, our brain cells shrink, and the exchange of neurotransmitters, which are responsible for sending signals between cells, becomes less efficient. This can result in mood swings, anxiety, and irritability.

In addition to these short-term effects, chronic dehydration can lead to more serious mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that even mild dehydration can negatively affect mood, increase anxiety, and impair cognitive performance. In contrast, proper hydration has been shown to have positive effects on mood and cognitive function.

The Mental Health Benefits of Adequate Hydration

Drinking enough water throughout the day can help improve mental clarity, reduce stress levels, and boost our mood. Adequate hydration also supports the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, appetite, and sleep. When we’re properly hydrated, our bodies can more effectively produce and regulate serotonin levels, which can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Read our blog on how to drink more water.

It’s important to note that not all drinks are created equal when it comes to hydration and mental health. Caffeinated and sugary drinks can cause dehydration and exacerbate symptoms of anxiety and depression. In contrast, Natural Mineral Water, which contains essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium, may help support mental health by promoting proper hydration and providing essential nutrients.

In conclusion, proper hydration is not only essential for physical health but also plays a crucial role in mental well-being. Dehydration can cause cognitive impairment, mood swings, and even contribute to mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. Drinking enough water and staying properly hydrated throughout the day can help improve mental clarity, reduce stress, and boost mood. To support optimal hydration and mental health, ensure your drinking enough water to keep your body and mind happy.

Did you know?

In an effort to support mental health and well-being, South Downs Water has selected West Sussex Mind as its charity of the year. At South Downs Water, we understand the crucial role that mental health plays in the lives of individuals, families, and communities. We believe that supporting mental health initiatives is an essential component of promoting overall well-being. By supporting West Sussex Mind, we aim to help raise awareness, reduce stigma, and provide support to those who may be facing mental health challenges. 

Additionally, as highlighted in our blog, we recognise that supporting hydration and wellness is a critical factor in feeling good. Through our partnership with West Sussex Mind, we hope to make a positive impact on the lives of those facing mental health issues while also promoting the importance of proper hydration and overall well-being.


During the month of May, West Sussex Mind is asking businesses to Wear it Blue to show their support for mental health, increase awareness and raise funds to help deliver mental health support to those who need us most.