dehydration and anxiety: Stressed engineer sitting with his head on his hands at a construction site

Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluids and electrolytes than it can replenish, resulting in symptoms like headaches, lightheadedness, and tiredness. But dehydration also impacts your mental health. 

Anxiety symptoms and panic attacks can be triggered when your body doesn't get the proper balance of fluids and electrolytes. Even mild dehydration can negatively impact cognitive skills and moods.

Recognizing the signs of dehydration is especially important if you are prone to bouts of anxiety and stress. Here, you'll discover the link between dehydration and anxiety and the common symptoms associated with each.

You'll also learn how to effectively manage dehydration by using an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS. It’s a proven alternative for managing mild to moderate dehydration that can affect your mental health. It’s powerful enough to use in extreme circumstances but safe enough for everyday use.

The Link Between Dehydration and Anxiety

dehydration and anxiety: Man clutching his chest in pain while sitting on a couch

Dehydration does not cause anxiety, but it can trigger anxiety attacks and exacerbate symptoms of existing anxiety disorders. In fact, research shows that poor hydration is associated with an increased risk of anxiety, depression, tension, and mood disturbances.

Anxiety is your body's way of keeping you safe and alert in stressful or dangerous situations. An anxiety disorder is characterized by a heightened sense of worry and fear, even when you're not in any immediate physical danger. Anxiety disorders are broken down into three categories based on symptoms and triggers.

When your body is in a constant state of anxiety and unease, your adrenal glands excrete excess cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. Dehydration causes excess stress — when you fall behind on your fluid intake, your body reacts by producing more cortisol, increasing the risk of anxiety.

Dehydration can also negatively affect your mood, and this is commonly linked with anxiety in the study of mental health disorders, leading to an increased incidence of anxiety attacks

One small study examined the effects of hydration on participants that were both in good and poor moods. Participants in poor moods were given a hydration protocol, while participants in good spirits were required to restrict fluid consumption.

The participants who were in a poor mood experienced significant decreases in fatigue, confusion, and sleepiness when they consumed more fluids. The participants that were in good spirits experienced significant decreases in happiness, calmness, and vigor. This study demonstrates the ways in which proper hydration can dramatically affect mood and mental health. In addition to this mood study, other studies have shown that proper hydration is associated with a decreased risk of anxiety and depression.

Dehydration can compound feelings of anxiety and depression. To avoid increasing your risk of anxiety, it’s important to stay properly hydrated throughout the day. Reach for an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS to tackle dehydration. It’s a safe and effective alternative to IV therapy, and its convenient packaging makes it easy to stay hydrated on the go.

How Dehydration Compounds Anxiety Symptoms

dehydration and anxiety: Man holding his head in his hands while sitting on a bench

Dehydration can heighten and prolong anxiety symptoms, including excess sweating, shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating, and poor decision-making. If you don't replenish the fluids you lose through excessive sweating, your body will fall into a state of stress from dehydration. This dehydration-related stress can trigger panic attacks and anxiety.

Shallow breathing is another anxiety symptom that connects to dehydration. Histamine levels in your lungs increase when your body lacks fluid, which causes your breathing to become more rapid and labored. This shallow breathing can also deprive your brain of much-needed oxygen, increasing your anxiety and further impacting your mental health.

Dehydration is also a contributing factor to a decline in cognitive functions such as concentration, short-term memory, and decision-making skills. Losing as much fluid as 2% of your body weight can yield a significant decrease in cognitive skills that are already impaired by anxiety and stress. Generally, this decline is short-term and reversed when proper hydration levels are restored. However, severe dehydration or chronic dehydration can cause long-term damage to mental faculties.

That’s why it’s incredibly important to incorporate an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS into your dehydration protocol.

How To Know You’re Dehydrated

dehydration and anxiety: Woman looking at her tablet in worry while at a construction site

Now that you know the connection between dehydration and anxiety, it’s important to be able to recognize the warning signs of dehydration.

Here are the most common symptoms of dehydration:

More severe side effects of dehydration include kidney stones, kidney failure, fainting, very dark urine, sunken eyes, and a lack of sweat production. Severe cases of dehydration require a trip to a medical professional immediately.

It’s easier to become dehydrated than you may imagine. Extreme heat can lead to heatstroke and heat exhaustion that compound dehydration, but cold weather is also a threat. That’s because winter clothes are made of heavy, non-breathable materials that can increase sweating, especially if you’re working hard outdoors. In addition, your thirst response decreases up to 40% in cold temperatures, making it harder to tell when you need to replenish fluids and electrolytes.

In addition, gastrointestinal illnesses that lead to vomiting or diarrhea, hangovers following excess alcohol consumption, and certain medications like diuretics and laxatives can increase the risk of dehydration.

If you feel like you’re dehydrated, act quickly. Try an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS to tackle dehydration fast. Once you have the dehydration under control, focus on staying hydrated throughout the day to avoid future episodes. By managing your hydration levels, you can reduce the risk of exacerbating anxiety.

Fight Dehydration With DripDrop ORS

Man holding a tumbler filled with DripDrop ORS while outdoors

Drinking enough water is a typical recommendation for anxiety management since fluids help flush out excess stress hormones. But increasing your water intake just isn’t enough.

When you're dehydrated, you lack electrolytes, which are a combination of charged mineral ions that help your body function. An electrolyte deficiency can leave you feeling physically weak and mentally dull. Drinking water doesn’t contain many electrolytes that you need to fight dehydration fast. That means you can’t just drink water when you’re dehydrated — you need a precise ratio of electrolytes to crush dehydration quickly.

Instead, an oral rehydration solution (ORS) — such as DripDrop ORS — is the best way to avoid dehydration. DripDrop ORS is a medical-grade formula with a precise ratio of electrolytes, and it’s a proven alternative to using an IV drip  for cases of mild to moderate dehydration. It also contains half the sugar and three times as many electrolytes compared to sports drinks.

Add a DripDrop ORS packet to your favorite water bottle for a fast and easy way to replenish what your body needs. Plus, DripDrop ORS supplies vitamins like zinc, potassium, and magnesium, which are essential to support your physical and mental well-being.

Avoid Dehydration That Can Exacerbate Anxiety

Man adding DripDrop ORS to his tumbler full of water

The next time you're feeling stressed out, panicked, or tense, stop and think about the amount of fluids and electrolytes you've been consuming. If it’s lacking, there's a strong possibility that dehydration — in conjunction with other lifestyle choices — may be exacerbating your anxiety symptoms.

When you're dehydrated, no amount of water is enough. The human body needs the perfect balance of sodium and glucose to help absorption. For cases of mild to moderate dehydration, DripDrop ORS is a fast, effective, and great tasting remedy that comes in convenient packaging that allows you to have DripDrop ORS when you need it, where you need it.

Medical-grade DripDrop ORS allows you to alleviate mild to moderate dehydration outside of a hospital setting, without the need for costly and painful IV therapy. Our patented formula is powerful enough to help patients suffering from dehydration caused by Ebola and cholera but safe enough for everyday use. Plus, DripDrop ORS tastes amazing and comes in a variety of flavors you can enjoy hot or cold.

Get started with a trial or our most popular multi-flavor pouch for dehydration relief fast. Or, if you're ready to make a purchase, and you're a first-time buyer, enjoy 15% off your order with code: FIRST15.