Life today requires a degree of mental sharpness and clarity that it may not have in the past. Something as simple as a glass of water can make the difference in terms of what kind of ‘day’ we have. Gentlemen, especially, need today’s excerpt.

Recently two large, carefully designed studies were conducted at the University of Connecticut, USA, to examine the effects of mild dehydration on cognitive function in healthy individuals.  To measure mental function, tests of cognitive performance, mood and symptoms of dehydration were used by the scientists.  One study was conducted with 26 men and another with 25 women.  Both studies examined the effects of mild dehydration on cognitive function using identical procedures.  Men and women all took part in two mildly dehydrated conditions and a fully hydrated condition which could be directly compared using standard statistical procedures. To assess the level of dehydration, body weight was measured using special, high accuracy scales.  Men on average were 1.59% dehydrated, women were 1.36% dehydrated.  Most adults reach this level of dehydration one or more times during the course of a week.

The results showed that, in both men and women, mild dehydration had an adverse effect on mood as well as ability to concentrate. When mildly dehydrated, both men and women were  more likely to feel fatigued and to have diminished cognitive performance, specifically vigilance.  Men were more likely to experience short-term memory degradation when mildly dehydrated, but overall, women were more sensitive to dehydration than men.  For example, women were more likely to report a headache, fatigue, confusion and lack of energy. Women also felt moderate exercise was more difficult when dehydrated.

Source: “Mild dehydration impairs cognitive performance and mood of men.” By Matthew S. Ganio and Lawrence E. Armstrong.