Water and Brain Function
Start With Hydration
Brain cells need two times more energy than other cells in the body. Water provides this energy more effectively than any other substance. Water is also needed for the brain's production of hormones and neurotransmitters. Nerve transmission requires one-half of all the brain’s energy (1).
Studies have shown that if you are only 1% dehydrated, you will likely have a 5% decrease in cognitive function. If your brain drops 2% in body water, you may suffer from fuzzy short-term memory, experience problems with focusing, and have trouble with math. When your brain is functioning on a full reserve of water, you will be able to think faster, be more focused, and experience greater clarity and creativity.
Treatment for all issues should start with drinking plenty of water daily. Seventy-five percent (75%!!!) of us walk around dehydrated. The brain is composed of 73% water, and cannot function at its best if you are dehydrated. Carry around a reusable water bottle with you at all times. Follow the motto: "If you think, drink!" This means that every time you think about drinking water, take a drink. We have a survival mechanism that tells us we are starting to get thirsty before we even do. By the time you realize you are thirsty, dehydration has already occurred.
What Dehydration Causes…
Dehydration can cause a list of ailments and symptoms that are very similar to a disease. A simple glass of water (or ten glasses) can help eliminate these symptoms. Dehydration can cause brain fog, fatigue, lack of focus, sickness, and overall malaise. Sound familiar? Get drinking!
Symptoms of dehydration include:
- Dry mouth
- Decreased urination or deep yellow urine
If you think, drink! Benefits to being hydrated all day lead to a 30 to 50% increase in metabolism. Filtered water is best.
Start the following Three-Step System as soon as possible:
- Purchase a 32-ounce (or larger) water bottle and keep it near you at all times. When you go out, take water with you. Whenever you look at your water bottle, take a drink. If you think, drink! Your goal should be to drink two of these a day (a total of 64 oz).
- Start your hydration right when you wake up or before your first meal. Drink as much as you can.
- Purchase a BIG Berkey Water Filtration Kit or an under sink water filter.
Madhavi Gupta, M.D. is the founder and CEO of Best Nest Wellness. Dr. Gupta is a board-certified neurologist and has won The People’s Choice Award as a favorite doctor three years in a row. She holds a degree in biochemistry and humanities from MIT, completed her neurology residency in New York City, and completed her fellowship in headache medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.