ANDYSMANCLUB x Britvic – Nutrition Expert Jenny Hardwick on Hydration & Mental Health!

Written by Lucas Whitehead

May 13, 2021

May 13, 2021

After announcing our partnership earlier this week, we spoke to Jenny Hardwick, a member of Britvic’s Nutrition Team, about the links between hydration, nutrition and positive Mental Health.

Good Hydration for a Good Mood

There are increasing amounts of scientific evidence to suggest that what we put into our bodies has
a real influence on our mood. A healthy and balanced diet plays a role in regulating our mood as
does good hydration, so it’s not to be forgotten about! The human body is made up of around 70%
water and it plays several roles from helping to keep your heart pumping to regulating body
temperature, so it’s important that we keep topped up, aiming for 1.5-2L water per day.

What are the effects of dehydration on our wellbeing?

When we’re dehydrated, it can take its toll on our mental wellbeing. Feelings of tiredness, dizziness
and light-headedness are common, and it can impact our emotional state making us more irritable.
Concentration and memory can also be impaired and together these symptoms could leave us
feeling in a poor state of wellbeing. Studies suggest that even mild dehydration can lead to
increased tension and anxiety.

How do you know if you’re dehydrated?

Do you feel thirsty? That’s our bodies way of telling us we need to drink more! Also, check your
pee, if you’re dehydrated your pee will be a dark yellow or orange colour so you need to be drinking
more.

Good sources of hydration

Water is the gold standard for hydration. Free of calories and straight out of the tap.
Tea/ coffee/ herbal tea provide hydration and some extra nutrition if you add milk. Don’t forget to
be mindful of the amount of caffeine you’re having with tea/coffee.

Milk counts as fluid and is a great way to get extra calcium in your diet. Be mindful of the fat
content and choose semi-skimmed or skimmed if you’re managing your weight and full fat if you’re
looking to gain weight.

Sugar free soft drinks such as squash and sodas make hydration a little more interesting. Add a drop
of squash to still or sparkling water to make yourself a refreshing drink. These drinks are acidic so
drink in moderation.

Fruit and Vegetables also contribute to your fluid intake! Cucumber, tomatoes, mushrooms,
watermelon and apples are just a few of the foods which are high in water. It’s also a great way of
reaching your 5-a day. Don’t forget smoothies and juices count too but stick to a 150ml portion per
day.

Top tips for keeping hydrated

  • Keep a water bottle handy wherever you are, if it’s there you’ll drink it! Aim for 1.5 – 2 litres
    a day.
  • Eat your fruit and veg, not only is this great for overall health and wellbeing but it also helps
    you to keep hydrated.
  • Not a fan of water? Add sugar free squash or a wedge of fruit to make it more interesting!
  • Drink more if it’s hot or if you’ve been particularly active

Resources/ References

Feeding Minds, Mental Health Foundation –
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/sites/default/files/Feeding-Minds.pdf

British Dietetic Association & Mind https://www.mindcharity.co.uk/wp-
content/uploads/2016/03/foodmood.pdf

British Nutrition Foundation – Healthy Hydration
https://www.nutrition.org.uk/attachments/article/429/Healthy%20hydration%20for%20adults.pdf

Adan, A. 2012. Cognitive Performance and Dehydration. Journal of the American College of
Nutrition.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/230600141_Cognitive_Performance_and_Dehydration

Merhej, R. (2019), Dehydration and cognition: an understated relation. International Journal of
Health Governance 2019:24(1):19-30. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/IJHG-
10-2018-0056/full/pdf?title=dehydration-and-cognition-an-understated-relation

Ganio (2011). Mild dehydration impairs cognitive performance and mood of men. 389414
1535..1543 (cambridge.org)

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