Drinking water and eating water-rich foods such as fruits (like watermelon) and vegetables, can be beneficial for fatigue, especially if you are dehydrated. Studies have shown that even mild dehydration can cause moodiness, problems concentrating, headaches, and extreme tiredness.
It is important to remember that everyone and every human body is different. Based on your activity level, body weight, age, and other factors, your water intake needs may vary.
How Water Can Fight Fatigue
In one study, women who had not adequately hydrated after exercise reported difficulty getting work done, more miserable mood, headaches, and fatigue.1 A similar study done in men showed that the negative symptoms of dehydration included poor memory, tension, anxiety, and fatigue.2
Severe dehydration has been shown to cause shrinkage in brain volume as well as poor mood and cognitive performance.3
Adequate water consumption increases blood pressure and arterial vessel expansion (vasodilation), which increases blood flow to the brain, which results in increased oxygen and glucose delivery to the brain cells, thus improving mood, cognitive performance, and energy levels. A similar effect occurs for muscular performance (exercise) as well.
How to Choose the Best Water to Fight Fatigue
It is extremely important that you drink pure water! Most people don’t know this, but improperly filtered tap water is a significant source of disease-causing and fatigue-inducing toxins. This is especially true if you live in the United States, where public tap water is known to be contaminated with harmful chemicals.
An investigation by the Associated Press revealed that antibiotics, sex hormones, anti-seizure medications, and Beta-Blockers were present amongst other medicines in public drinking water supplied to over 40 million Americans across the U.S..4 Even after the success of the movie, Erin Brockovich, which highlighted the dangers of hexavalent chromium in drinking water, the EWG (Environmental Working Group) has found that over 200 million Americans are still showering in or drinking water with hexavalent chromium, which has been shown to cause cancer even in very low doses! 5
Here are some things to consider when you next drink water:
Volatile Organic Compounds
There are chemicals in our drinking water that we don’t even know about. Chemicals like Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) pass through our intestinal lining into our bloodstream and cause damage at a cellular level, altering our DNA and contributing to cancer.
If you drink or use well water, you need to be particularly careful of VOCs. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, VOCs can cause eye irritation, nose and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, allergic skin reactions, fatigue, dizziness, and damage to the kidneys, liver, and CNS.6 More pressing than the small amounts of prescription drugs and hormones, however, is the intentional addition of chlorine and fluoride to the water supply.
Fluoride was initially added to the water supply to improve dental health. This was done without much research into its safety and effectiveness. There is now a mountain of evidence to the contrary, which shows that ingested fluoride is a poison that causes systemic harm resulting in numerous health problems, including fatigue!
In Japan and The Netherlands, fluoridation has been discontinued, and cavities have declined 7, 8, showing that even the association between fluoride and dental health is a weak one. Fluoride also causes kidney disease 9, 10, 11, brittle bones 12, 13, arthritis 14, 15, thyroid damage 16,17, calcification of the pineal gland (which impacts sleep/wake cycles) 18, infertility 19, atherosclerosis 20, cognitive impairment 21 and damage to the mitochondria directly 22, which is bad news for anyone with fatigue.
At the very least, you should be drinking water without fluoride in it.
Chlorine is added to water to sterilize it of pathogens. While it does this quite well, it also causes other problems. The most dangerous of which is the reaction of chlorine with other organic compounds found in water resulting in toxic chemical disinfection byproducts or DBPs.
DBPs have been linked to numerous different cancers, reproductive problems in animals and humans, and neurological problems 23. These are undoubtedly a significant contributor to the growing cancer epidemic in the United States.2425
In addition to the formation of DBPs, chlorine tends to neutralize oxygen. Once ingested, it depletes oxygen, which then directly impacts energy levels!
To ensure that you are not ingesting harmful chemicals with your drinking water, it is prudent to filter your water at home.
The best filters to use include; reverse osmosis filters, distillers, gravity-fed filters, and under the counter water filters from Pure Effects Filters.
If you think that a water bottle is better, let me assure you that it is not. Plastics are rich in hormone-disrupting BPAs and BPSs. The only answer is a good water filtration system and drinking your water from glass containers.
Remineralizing purified water with a pinch of salt or a mineral supplement like Concentrace is also a good idea.26 Some of the longest-lived populations on Earth (living in what is termed the Blue Zones) often infuse their water with lemon juice and herbs. This is an excellent practice as these compounds have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects.
However, as many of these chemicals can be absorbed through your skin while you shower, wash your hands or wash the dishes, it is crucial to install filters on your shower heads too. Water vapors in the shower can be even more dangerous than drinking water, as inhaling these chemicals when we shower sends them straight into our respiratory system and cells, where they can do massive cellular and DNA damage.
Showering is suspected as the primary cause of elevated levels of Chloroform, a known carcinogen.27
Water also contains endocrine disruptors, which mimic and intensify our natural hormones. This can affect obesity.28
The crucial element to making it through a sleep-deprived workday might not be caffeine after all, but a generously-sized glass of water and getting enough fluids. Drinking plenty of water improves circulation, gives you an energy boost, may aid in weight loss, digestion, and detoxification to allow the healing process to occur.
As always, it is recommended that drinking enough water should also be combined with regular physical activity, enough sleep, and healthy eating.
|↑1||Sarah C.P. Williams. “Mild Dehydration Triggers Moodiness & Fatigue in Women.” Live Science, May 30, 2013.|
|↑2||Ganio MS. “Mild dehydration impairs cognitive performance and mood of men.” British Journal of Nutrition, November 2011.|
|↑3||Streitbürger DP. “Investigating structural brain changes of dehydration using voxel-based morphometry.” PLoS One, 2012.|
|↑4||EWG’s Tap Water Database. State of American drinking water.|
|↑5||EWG. (2016). “Erin Brockovich Carcinogen In Tap Water Of More Than 200 Million Americans.”|
|↑6||Toxipedia. Potential health effects from exposure to VOC emissions.|
|↑7||Miyazaki, H. (1996). Changes in caries prevalence in Japan. European Journal of Oral Science, 104(4 ( Pt 2)):452-8.|
|↑8||Kalsbeek H. (1993). Caries Experience of 15-Year-Old Children in The Netherlands after Discontinuation of Water Fluoridation. Caries Research, 27:201–205.|
|↑9||Chandrajith, R. (2010). Chronic kidney diseases of uncertain etiology (CKDue) in Sri Lanka: geographic distribution and environmental implications. Environment and Geochemical Health, 33(3):267-78.|
|↑10||Chandrajith R. (2011). Dose-dependent Na and Ca in fluoride-rich drinking water–another major cause of chronic renal failure in tropical arid regions. The Science of Total Environment, 409(4):671-5.|
|↑11||Liu, JL, (2005). The dose-effect relationship of water fluoride levels and renal damage in children. Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 34(3):287-8.|
|↑12||Czerwinski E. (1998). Bone and joint pathology in fluoride-exposed workers. Archives of Environ Health. 43(5):340-3.|
|↑13||Paiste, M. (2012). Total knee arthroplasty in a patient with skeletal fluorosis. Orthopedics. 2012 Nov;35(11):e1664-7.|
|↑14||Savas S (2001). Endemic fluorosis in Turkish patients: relationship with knee osteoarthritis. Rheumatology International. 21(1):30-5.|
|↑15||P. Roschger, P. (1995). Bone mineral structure after six years fluoride treatment investigated by backscattered electron imaging (BSEI) and small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS): a case report. Bone (Impact Factor: 3.82). ] 16(3):407-407.|
|↑16||FluorideAlert.org. Thyroid. (last accessed (01-10-2014).|
|↑17||Dr. Izabella Wentz, The Thyroid Pharmacist 2015 Fluoride And Your Thyroid.|
|↑18||Luke J. (2001). Fluoride deposition in the aged human pineal gland. Caries Research. 35(2):125-8.|
|↑19||Freni SC. (1999). Exposure to high fluoride concentrations in drinking water is associated with decreased birth rates. Journal of Toxicology and Environ. Health. 42(1):109-21.|
|↑20||Varol E, Varol S. (2012). Effect of fluoride toxicity on cardiovascular systems: role of oxidative stress. Archives of Toxicology. 2012 Oct;86(10):1627.|
|↑21||Tang, Q. Q. (2008). Fluoride and children’s intelligence: a meta-analysis. Biology and Trace Element Research, 126(1-3):115-20.|
|↑22||Fina B.L. et. al. (2014) Fluoride Increases Superoxide Production and Impairs the Respiratory Chain in ROS 17/2.8 Osteoblastic Cells|
|↑23||Kumar Mishra, B. (2014). Human health risk analysis from disinfection by-products (DBPs) in drinking and bathing water of some Indian cities. Journal of Enviornmental Health and Scientific Engineering, 12: 73.|
|↑24||Cantor KP et al. “Drinking water source and chlorination byproducts. I. Risk of bladder cancer.” Epidemiology. January 1998.|
|↑25||Hildesheim ME et al. “Drinking water source and chlorination byproducts. II. Risk of colon and rectal cancers.” Epidemiology. January 1998.|
|↑26||Kozisek, F. Health Risks From Drinking Demineralised Water.|
|↑27||OAW Health. How to avoid the hidden danger lurking in your shower.|
|↑28||Elobeid, M. A. et. al. (2008). Putative Environmental-Endocrine Disruptors and Obesity: A Review. Current Opinion In Endocrinology, Diabetes, And Obesity.|