Just do not dehydrate! Little drinking affects our brain power

Everyone knows the days when the concentration tends to zero and our brain takes much longer to master the simplest tasks. A large glass of water could help in many cases. Scientists have studied the results of dozens of studies and found that even minimal dehydration leads to noticeable impairment of our cognitive abilities.

Only a few days survive the human body without hydration. Water is essential for many body functions. But the quickest way to make a brain shortage is to lose weight.

Melinda Millard-Stafford and Matthew Wittbrodt from the Georgia Institute of Technology have shown in a recent meta-analysis that even minimal dehydration can significantly decrease the performance of our mind. Even before we even feel thirsty, our ability to concentrate, among other things, subsides.

The scientists evaluated 33 earlier works that investigate the relationships between the water balance in the human body and brain functions. Their results were published in the journal "Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise".

Already a loss of water of two percent of body weight leads to impairments in tasks that require attention, in the coordination of muscle activity and in the so-called executive functions of the brain. These include mental arithmetic and orientation on a city map.

What scientists see as a minor dehydration is not uncommon. A water loss of two percent of the body weight can be achieved in warm temperatures with a moderate effort such as hiking after about two hours.

Water loss even at rest

Even those who do not do sports lose their fluids constantly. A long day at the desk without adequate hydration can also dry our body at the right temperature and humidity.

Many people start the day with a lack of fluids. The longest period that our body normally has to do without water is at night. And although we do not exert ourselves physically, we release fluid to our environment via the skin and the breath.

Our brain is 75 percent water. Every cell needs a certain ratio of water and different substances in order to function. If too little liquid is available, this balance is disturbed. Water is also needed to transport nutrients to the brain and flush out wastes.

In addition to impairment of cognitive abilities, insufficient supply of water to the brain can also lead to mood changes and pain.

How much water does a person need?
There is no blanket statement on how much each person should drink daily. Many factors such as age, height, gender, climatic conditions and physical activity affect the individual needs.

As a guide, experts at the American Academy of Sciences cite averages of 2.7 liters of water for adult women and 3.7 liters for adult men.

But it makes more sense than to orient oneself by statistical values, to listen to one's own body. The Canadian University of Windsor calls dry lips, low blood pressure, dizziness, and constipation as possible signs of incipient dehydration.

The University of California at Davis also recommends using your own urine as a gauge of dehydration. With sufficient fluid supply, it should be light and almost odorless. The darker and odorier it is, the more it indicates a lack of water.

How to ensure a sufficient supply of water

To avoid dehydration, you can combine two strategies: habit and reward. A common recommendation is to develop the habit of first drinking a glass of water in the morning after getting up.

Some doctors also recommend drinking a glass of water before meals. Because according to the tips of the University of California, we sometimes confused the signals hungry and thirsty. While the body actually needs fluid, maybe we'll give it a sandwich instead. In addition to the adequate water supply, a glass of water before eating can also counteract obesity. You feel full faster when you have a drink before eating.

The reward system is based on who makes the hydration particularly enjoyable. Taking disciples of taking a sip from the water bottle over and over again is not the only way to stay hydrated. Many fruits and vegetables have a high water content. We can cover a part of our fluid requirements. In addition, the bland water can be spiced up with a dash of lemon juice or fresh herbs.

Coffee and tea fans should, however, pay attention to an additional water supply. Caffeine-containing beverages do not extract any liquid from the body, as is often assumed by mistake. But they also do not contribute positively to the water supply. The fluid balance remains at zero after its consumption, so to speak.

If you drink green tea all day long, for example, you may fall into the trap of providing your body with enough fluids. Therefore, the University of California recommends that you always drink a glass of water when consuming caffeinated drinks in a ratio of 1: 1.

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