Cranky? Have a Drink (of Water)

Study suggests that even mild dehydration can affect women's moods. So let's drink up to perk up!

We women get a such bad rap for being the beautiful, emotional creatures we are, but admit it: We can be some moody wenches sometimes. Whether it’s hormonal -- PMS, pregnancy, menopause -- or astrological (Geminis are notorious for mood swings; Pisces swim in their emotions; don’t ever cross a Scorpio) -- we're not always whistling Dixie. But the next time you feel the crank coming on you might be able to head it off by simply sipping a tall glass of cold water.

According to a Scientific American podcast, researchers evaluated 25 young women (average age 23) by having each subject walk on a treadmill to induce dehydration (defined as 1.5-percent loss in normal water volume in the body). In a three month period, these women were evaluated for cognitive performance, mood level and symptoms of dehydration -- three times while in motion and three times at rest. These studies, published in the Journal of Nutrition, found that even a mild case of dehydration can bring on a mood change in women, regardless of whether the woman was exercising or resting.

Hmmm, so that might explain why sometimes I get surly post-workout if I forget to drink water while exercising. Or why if I’m sitting at my desk for too long, I suddenly feel the urge to punch my computer screen. Now, I’ve been known to have a glass of wine at night to unwind from a stressful day. But maybe if I become a stickler for keeping a bottle of water within arm’s reach throughout the day, I won’t get so agitated. Now, if anyone knows how to turn water into wine we could probably wash away all of our bad moods!

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