Water is the basis of life, constantly keeping our organs clean and pumping, our muscles and skin in good health, and our energy levels at their best. Incredibly, new research has found the water may also improve our brain function.
Aside from drinking water, you can also add hydrating foods into your diet to keep your hydration levels up and give yourself an added vitamin boost. Food like peaches, cantaloupes, strawberries, watermelon, tomatoes, zucchini, lettuce, celery, and cucumbers are all made up of more than 90% water.
Researchers at the University of East London and University of Westminster studied how water affects a person’s cognitive performance. The study looked at 34 people with a median age of 29 to see how the performance of thirsty participants differed from the performance of quenched participants on a test. The test looked at the participants’ reaction time, verbal recognition memory, visual memory, and learning ability.
One group was given a cereal bar and water while the other group was given a cereal bar and no water. After performing the test, researchers found that participants who drank as much as they wanted had 14% better reaction times than their thirsty counterparts.
While water was found to help speed up the brain’s reaction time, the participants that drank water did worse on the learning task than the thirsty participants. Since the study only looked at 34 people and had mixed results, more research obviously needs to be done but this certainly further supports the importance of hydration to keep your brain and energy levels functioning as high as possible.
Past studies have found that dehydration creates an imbalance in your brain and makes your brain cells less efficient. Dehydration can affect your short-term memory and the ability to recall from long-term memory. Researchers recommend downing a glass or two of water immediately when you wake up because you have been dehydrating for six to eight hours by morning.