Need an instant mood booster? Before you reach for the chocolate and scroll through the puppy videos, pour yourself a glass of water. A recent poll suggests that proper hydration may be the key to better moods and increased happiness.
The survey was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Bosch home appliances, and it assessed the hydration habits and happiness levels of 2,000 Americans. Respondents who claimed to drink enough water each day reported higher levels of optimism, energy, and success than those who did not reach their daily water allotment.
In fact, 41 percent of participants who drank six or more glasses of water per day listed themselves as “very happy.” Only 12 percent of participants who drank less than one glass of water per day said the same; 40 percent of participants in the six-or-more category also considered themselves optimistic people, while just 10 percent of volunteers in the one-or-less category could say the same.
Hydration levels impacted the overall well-being of the respondents as well. Those who drank more than six glasses of water daily said that they woke up exhausted fewer times per week than those who consumed far less water.
Wondering how these findings hold up in the scientific community? Research confirms that hydration plays an important role in mood and energy levels because it affects cognitive performance. Dehydration can quickly impair brain function, according to a paper published in the ACSMs Health and Fitness Journal. Originally, as explained in the paper, researchers believed that cognitive performance declined at a 2 percent deficit in body water. Newer studies, however, have shown that even mild dehydration, which is characterized by a 1 to 2 percent deficit, is enough to impair brain function.
Another study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that mild dehydration in young women causes moods to worsen and makes it harder to concentrate. Plus, headache symptoms and fatigue may increase after just a 1.36 percent deficit in body water. A review published in Nutrition Reviews also confirmed that mild dehydration is enough to degrade mood. In addition, analysts found that older adults are more susceptible to dehydration for a variety of reasons, including a lack of thirst sensation and changes in the body’s sodium-to-water balance. As a result, middle to older-age adults may experience slower processing speeds, poorer attention, and poorer memory function when dehydrated.
So, how can you keep up your water intake on a daily basis? You may want to try using more ice. According to poll data from the OnePoll survey, ice may play a key factor in hydration. The study found that 56 percent of the participants said they would not drink water unless it was cold, and 53 percent said that they would simply drink less water if they could not have ice. Nearly 60 percent of respondents admitted that they would drink more water if they had better access to chilled water. A little over half of the respondents agreed that they were obsessed with ice. Upon analysis of the data, poll analysts discovered that the survey participants consumed up to 116 glasses of ice per month, or 400 pounds of ice per year.
Why might ice play be such a driving force of hydration in Americans? The respondents reported that the sensory experience of ice increased their enjoyment of drinking water. The look of ice in a glass, the gentle clinking sounds, the smooth texture, and of course, the cold feeling, were all listed as important sensory factors.
If you’re looking for less expensive motivation than a new ice machine, however, consider purchasing a reusable water bottle. An insulated one will be particularly useful if you prefer cold water. You might also try something as simple as a daily goal. For instance, drink a glass of water first thing in the morning, or replace one cup of coffee or one soda can with one glass of water. If you’re craving a flavor boost, try out infused water or a splash of fruit juice in your cup. If you need a steady reminder to drink another glass, set timers on your phone throughout in the morning, afternoon, and evening. By implementing a few reasonable goals into your daily routine, you may unlock a refreshing boost of happiness.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.