Most of the human body is composed of water. Therefore, all organs need water to function properly. Thus, you must be clear that hydration is essential for your brain.
We all have physiological mechanisms to eliminate excess water, if necessary, and thus maintain body water balance . For this reason, a maximum recommended intake is not known for water.
That does not mean that there are no consequences of taking it too much; However, the recommended amount per person may vary depending on their weight, age, health status, level of physical activity, among others.
Dehydration and physical activity
During intense exercise, the loss of body water can even lead to:
- Severe alteration of thermoregulation.
- Increased respiratory rate during exercise.
- Tingling and numbness of limbs
- Collapse, especially if physical exercise is performed in conditions of extreme heat.
All organs of the human body need water, hydration is essential for your brain too. Therefore, as detailed in a study published in Nutrition Reviews , even mild levels of dehydration can cause alterations in mood and cognitive functioning.
The brain and hydration
According to research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health , hydration is essential for the brain, since water accounts for 75% of brain mass. Among other things, water is involved in electrolyte balance and metabolism.
Therefore, it is essential that all people try to maintain the balance of entry and exit of water. When fluids that are lost through sweat, urine and other mechanisms are not replaced, several consequences can occur.
Among these, cognitive performance is one of the most affected. According to this same investigation, functions such as:
- The short term memory.
- Surveillance attention.
- The reaction of choice.
- Working memory
In turn, dehydration causes variations in body water distribution, which could lead to low pressure in the brain that is associated with confusion, dementia and lethargy.
Many studies are still inconclusive on the mechanisms that occur specifically in the brain under conditions of dehydration, but they indicate that the attention and memory processes are affected first.
Dehydration can also affect your mood, you may feel tired or irritable. You can even think that you are hungry , when in fact the body is asking for water.
Adequate hydration is important for proper functioning of the brain. When we are properly hydrated, brain cells receive oxygenated blood and the brain stays alert. In this way, he manages to perform his duties without difficulties.
How to recognize the signs of dehydration?
At first, it is difficult to recognize that the decrease in cognitive performance has to do with dehydration. Therefore, we must pay attention to other signs such as:
- Excessive thirst
- Dry mouth
- Cold dry skin
- Muscular fatigue
- Decreased urine and lack of desire
- Decreased blood pressure, headaches and dizziness
- Lethargy and irritability
If this symptom occurs, it is important to check if there is an adequate intake of liquids and mineral salts. If not, it is an aspect that must be reinforced. Also, if there are signs of severe dehydration, it is necessary to request immediate medical attention.
Adequate hydration is essential for the brain and its respective functions. When you have a low fluid intake, problems associated with cognitive performance may occur . Therefore, it is important to consume water and drinks that provide electrolytes.