How Water Consumption Can Affect Brain Function

Posted June 21, 2021 by in Health + Fitness

Water is everywhere. In fact, it has been estimated there are 333 million cubic miles of water on earth. However, 97.5% of this is in the sea. Only 0.3% of the available water is actually accessible and usable by humans!

This is even more surprising when you realize that the average human is 60% water and can only survive three days without water. Water exists in every cell of your body. It helps nutrients get into the cells, removes toxins, and even ensures your skin cells look plump, ensuring you look healthy. 

It, therefore, stands to reason that when you don’t drink enough water your body is going to suffer. That includes brain function:

A Note on Water Quality

You probably assume that the water from your faucet is safe to drink and good for your health. However, there is a good reason why many households in Australia are investing in water filters. Local water treatment centers removing contaminants and other potentially harmful components of the water. However, they can pick up new contaminants between the center and your home. 

Alongside this, the treatment works add chlorine and fluoride to the water, both of which potentially have negative effects on your health.

Water filters remove these contaminants at your home, ensuring you are drinking the best quality water. 

Why This Matters

When you don’t drink enough you become dehydrated. This means that there isn’t enough water to carry nutrients into cells or remove toxins. Naturally, this makes it significantly harder for the cells in your body to do their job. This is particularly noticeable in the brain where cells are working very hard. 

In extreme cases of dehydration, cells can actually die, this includes brain cells.

But, even with mild dehydration, your brain will struggle to function properly. This means you will find it harder to coordinate your actions or resolve problems. Your brain will struggle. In young people this often shows as tiredness and can cause them to be in a bad mood, providing they rehydrate they don’t generally have any longer-term issues.

But, in older people, the additional brain effort causes fatigue, mood changes, and the brain cells may not recover properly. In other words, the decline in cognitive function can become long-term, even when they are fully rehydrated.

It is not just cognitive function that can be affected. The more confused your brain gets the harder you will find it to do other things, such as standing or walking normally.

The older you are the greater the risk of brain and cognitive issues relating to dehydration. Unfortunately, many older people miss the point of drinking more and compound the issue by being continually partially dehydrated.  

Staying Hydrated

Avoiding brain fog and the decline of cognitive function is surprisingly simple. You need to stay hydrated. This means having a bottle of water handy at all times and sipping regularly throughout the day. Building this into a habit can help you to drink more water and stay hydrated, regardless of what activity you are doing. 

*Photos by Ron Lach