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We often hear about the importance of drinking enough water each day to keep our bodies healthy, but have you ever thought about how water consumption affects the brain? Considering the fact that the adult human body is made up of about 60% water, it seems obvious that all of the cells in the body (including our brain cells) depend on water to carry out essential functions. In saying this, it seems even more obvious that our brains depend on the consumption of water to perform cognitive functions. Put simply, without enough water, our brains can’t operate to the best of their ability. But how does water consumption affect the brain specifically?
Today, Office H2O will be explaining the various ways in which water impacts the brain’s ability to function. There has been a lot of recent research that suggests that water consumption directly impacts the brain. If we want to boost our brainpower as well as our cognitive abilities, water is the answer! Let’s find out why you should be drinking enough water to support a healthy brain.
How Dehydration Impacts the Brain
Before we get to the specific benefits of how water affects the brain, it may be useful to look at exactly how dehydration impacts the brain. According to one study, the brains of dehydrated adults show increased signs of neuronal activation when performing cognitively engaging tasks. According to researchers, this indicates that their brains were working much harder than usual to accomplish the tasks they were presented with.
In typical healthy adults, this extra effort usually manifests as severe changes in mood and fatigue. In populations with less cognitive reserve, however, such as the elderly, this can lead to a massive decline in regular cognitive performance. Researchers in this study concluded that performance of complex cognitive tasks was bound to decline due to the strain from dehydration.
Additionally, it would appear that the impact of dehydration on the brain is particularly significant in women – specifically elderly women. In a study examining the hydration status of 2,506 adults over the age of 60, it was found that women with inadequate levels of hydration showed worse performance on cognitive tasks specifically related to attention and processing speed. While the performance of dehydrated men also declined, it was to a much lesser degree.
Finally, it also appears that there may be some link between dehydration and an accelerated cognitive decline in individuals with dementia. This is because decreased water levels in cells can cause proteins to misfold, preventing the clearance of toxic proteins. This, in turn, causes them to build up in the brain. While it has been observed that there is a link between dehydrated cells and brain dysfunction, it has yet to be identified whether or not dehydration is a cause or an effect of dementia.
The Benefits of Water and the Brain
As you can see from the above studies, there is clearly a significant negative impact on the brain’s cognitive abilities when the body is dehydrated. Apart from the negative effects of dehydration on the brain, however, there are benefits associated with hydration and the brain. According to one study, drinking water can even boost your brain’s reaction time.
In a study by researchers from the University of East London and the University of Westminster, the potential effects of water on cognitive performance and mood among 34 participants were observed. The participants of the study took part in a “water” versus “no water” experiment approximately one week apart. Those in the “water” group were asked to complete a number of mental tasks after eating a cereal bar and drinking water. Those in the “no water” group were given only a cereal bar and then asked to complete mental tasks. The study found that participants in the “water” group had much faster reaction times than those in the “no water” group, especially if they were already thirsty before drinking water.
As much as dehydration impacts your ability to think clearly, it can also make it very difficult to remember things. That’s why it’s so important to stay hydrated – it actually improves your memory! Various studies have shown that mild-to-moderate levels of dehydration can impair short-term memory. According to Psychology Today, your brain may already be affected in terms of memory if you’re even slightly thirsty throughout the day. Those who want to improve their memory should work on staying as hydrated as possible!
How Much Water Should You Be Drinking to Boost Your Brainpower?
Now that you know how hydration, or lack thereof, can affect your brain, you may be wondering how much water is enough. According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, adequate daily fluid intake depends upon your gender. They say that the adequate daily fluid intake for men is roughly 15.5 cups of fluids per day for men and 11.5 cups per day for women. These recommendations, however, cover fluids from water, other beverages, and food. About 20% of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks, such as water. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you’re getting an adequate amount of water daily to support a healthy brain!
Boost Your Water Consumption with Office H2O!
The importance of maintaining a healthy body and mind cannot be understated and, as you see, water consumption is an important part of good health. If you want to boost your cognitive performance and avoid the negative side effects associated with dehydration, you need something that makes boosting your regular water consumption as easy as possible! That’s where Office H2O comes in.
Office H2O’s bottleless water systems make drinking an adequate amount of water easier than ever. Whether you’re looking for a way to make access to water convenient in your home or office, our bottleless water systems get the job done! Stay hydrated each and every day by picking out the right system for you, your family, and your employees.
There are so many reasons to love our selection of bottleless water systems, including the fact that our systems come equipped with a 9-stage filtration process to ensure your water is always fresh and safe to drink. Browse our selection today to find the perfect system for you and boost your water consumption for a healthier mind and body!