Mild dehydration impairs Brain performance and Mood- British Journal of Nutrition-2011

Thank you Dr. John Briffa for this article

Mild dehydration impairs cognitive performance and mood of men. British Journal of Nutrition. 7 June 2011 [epub]- Ganio MS, et al.

This study shows that dehydration does have the capacity to affect brain function and mood.

Requirements for water vary according to a variety of factors including weather, temperature, how active you are, how much you sweat and how much water you get from food you eat.

Drink enough to keep urine pale yellow in color throughout the course of the day.

The men were subjected, on separate occasions, to each of three test conditions:

1. 40 minutes of walking on a treadmill with quite a steep incline (5 per cent) at a speed of 5-6 km/hr in a temperature of about 28 degrees centigrade (about 82 Fahrenheit). The men were also treated with the drug frusemide – a diuretic that speeds dehydration.

2. Same conditions as above, but instead of being given frusemide, the men were treated with a placebo.

3. Same conditions as above, while the hydration status of the men was maintained (in other words, they were not allowed to become dehydrated).

Conditions 1 and 2 were designed to induce dehydration of two severities-one with frusemide being more severe.

Condition 3 was designed to act as a control- individuals expended about the same amount of energy in the same heat but did not suffer dehydration. The study subjects were subjected to tests of mental function, fatigue and mood.

Dehydration was found to reduce vigilance, working memory-ability to actively hold information in the mind needed to do complex tasks such as reasoning, comprehension and learning.

Fatigue during exercise was worse during dehydration. Measure of tension and anxiety were greater too.


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