Water is crucial when it comes to our brains. Did you know our brains are around 75% water? Brain cells need a healthy balance of water to their job efficiently because neurons need water for electrical transmission - aka: for our brain to work. Water also carries nutrients to the brain and helps flush out the unwanted toxins. So, it makes sense that when it comes to optimal brain function, we need to stay hydrated.
But, let’s face it, most of us probably don’t drink enough water. Being even slightly dehydrated can start to affect our brain function. Studies show that when our brains are dehydrated, our mental agility and short term memory are negatively impacted. We’re more likely to feel sleepy, have trouble concentrating and our computing skills slow down. This is the “brain fog.”
Remembering to drink water throughout the day keeps us alert and maintains healthy brain function. Staying hydrated is also a great way to prevent headaches. No one has time for a headache.
Often when our bodies start getting cognitively impaired, we experience it as feeling low energy or in a bad mood. A study published by The Journal of Nutrition, theorized that the reason even mild dehydration has such a strong effect on our mood is because "Once cognitive or physical performance is degraded, survival may be affected, because the ability to find water or respond to threats is diminished.” So basically, our bodies have a built in alarm system to help us remember that it’s time to drink water! The same study looked at the effect of dehydration on women and found that "key mood states including vigor, fatigue, perception of task difficulty, concentration, and headache were adversely affected by a small change in hydration.”
- Drink water as part of your morning routine! We lose water while we sleep through our sweat and breath vapor. So, before that first cup of coffee, drink a cup of water.
- Throughout the day, when you have the urge to snack, drink a glass of water first. Sometimes when we’re thirsty, our mind registers it as hunger.
- Drink water before each meal - this helps to improve digestion.
Once again, the major take away: drink water. Your brain will thank you.