Effects of changes in water intake on mood of high and low drinkers

PLoS One. 2014 Apr 11;9(4):e94754. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094754. eCollection 2014.


Objective: To evaluate the effects of a change in water intake on mood and sensation in 22 habitual high-volume (HIGH; 2-4 L/d) and 30 low-volume (LOW; <1.2 L/d) drinkers who were asked to respectively decrease and increase their daily water intake.

Method: During baseline HIGH consumed 2.5 L and LOW 1 L of water/day. During 3 controlled intervention days HIGH's water intake was restricted to 1 L/day whereas LOW's was increased to 2.5 L water/day. Several mood scales (Bond & Lader Visual Analog Scale (VAS), Profile of Mood States, Karolinska Sleepiness Scale, Thirst & Emotional VAS) were administered at different time points during the study. ANOVA including intervention, time point and intervention by time point as fixed effects on mean values (i.e.; baseline data vs. mean of 3 intervention days) for each mood scale was performed.

Results: At baseline HIGH and LOW were comparable in mood state, except for thirst scores (estimate = 17.16, p<0.001) and POMS depression-dejection scores (estimate = 0.55, p<0.05) which were both higher in the HIGH vs. LOW. In HIGH the restricted water intake resulted in a significant increase in thirst (p<0.001) and a decrease in contentedness (p<0.05), calmness (p<0.01), positive emotions (p<0.05) and vigor/activity (p<0.001). In LOW, increased water consumption resulted in a significant decrease in fatigue/inertia (p<0.001), confusion/bewilderment (p = 0.05) and thirst (p<0.001) and a trend to lower sleepiness (p = 0.07) compared to baseline.

Conclusion: Increasing water intake has beneficial effects in LOW, especially sleep/wake feelings, whereas decreasing water intake has detrimental effects on HIGH's mood. These deleterious effects in HIGH were observed in some sleep/wake moods as well as calmness, satisfaction and positive emotions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Drinking*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sensation
  • Thirst
  • Young Adult

Grants and funding

This study was funded by Danone Research. The funder (Danone Research) was involved in the decision to publish, but had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, and preparation of the manuscript.