Your brain is not a fan of chronic dehydration. Water is essential to your survival, and pretty much a non-negotiable when it comes to your brain working its best. In fact, your brain is made up of 78% water. Your brain cells depend on water to work and to detox; if you don’t get enough, you might face problems like headaches, fatigue, and even sleep issues. Here are some of the brainy upsides of sipping on H2O.
Dehydration can mess with your memory, both short-term and long-term. If you were chronically dehydrated, making the simple step to drink more water might make you feel mentally sharper.
Whiz Mental Math
If your fluids are low, you might feel like you’re bad at things like basic math. Even simple stuff like figuring out how to halve a recipe might feel like a mental marathon. Getting enough water might help you out if you’re suddenly feeling like simple brain puzzles are harder than usual.
Since your brain is in charge of much of your mood, it makes sense that a dehydrated brain makes for a grumpy person. A study done at the University of Connecticut showed that even mild dehydration can cause negative mood changes. So if you’re feeling down, try to drink sufficient water to avoid an even worse mood.
Be a Better Planner
Research has shown that being dehydrated can actually cause a shrinkage of brain tissue. Not good! Inspired by this research, a 2011 study tested the efficiency of the brain when dehydrated. Turns out, that your brain may actually have to work harder to complete basic tasks when it’s dehydrated. The research suggests that chronic dehydration may impair your ability to plan, complete spatial reasoning tasks, and make decisions./p>
Water is essential to feeling your best, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you have a day where you miss your goal. The human body has a very advanced fluid regulation system that helps compensate for imperfect hydration levels. Try to get your recommended ounces per day, but don’t sweat the slip-ups!
An important note: like most good things, more water is not always better. Over-hydration can be deadly (though you have to drink A LOT). Your kidneys can’t process more than 0.8-1 liter per hour so keep your consumption to under 1 L per hour. Remember this helpful rule: drink half of your weight in ounces and you should be golden.