Guess what nutrient constitutes 75% of the weight of your brain, transports other nutrients throughout your body (including your brain), AND most people are deficient in? Yes, you are correct! It’s water! Water is the elixir of life! We would die quicker from a deprivation of water than any other nutrient.
Mood and cognitive performance have been shown to be compromised with as little as 1.5% dehydration by body weight (which would be a deficit of 36 oz or 2.25 lbs of water for a 150lb person)1. Considering that the average person loses about 90oz of water a day (through respiration, sweating, urination, and defecation) yet only consumes about 20 oz/day (plus some water from foods/other drinks) dehydration affects many of our brains.
In addition to cerebral consequences, dehydration can also impair one’s ability to regulate their body temperature, place additional strain on joints, add stress to our cellular function, and promote weight gain. Considering how imperative euhydration (adequate hydration) is for our health and the fact that many of us are chronically dehydrated, it deserves special attention.
As the health conscious/health blog reading person you are, you have undoubtedly already heard that drinking water is important. Information about how important water is, is a dime a dozen. Strategies that will help you drink more water on a consistent basis will be worth your water’s weight in gold (assuming you are dehydrated). Here are a couple…
- Make it a habit! For one month, put water at the forefront of your mind. Once it becomes a habit, then you can focus on something else. Set reminders on your phone, sticky notes around your home, or any other means necessary. What would be the best way for you to remember to drink water?
- Find a way to connect drinking water with something that matters a lot to you. Will your children drink more water if you drink more water? Will you perform better at work with more water? Will you feel better after drinking more water?
- Before you eat or drink anything have some water. Before your coffee in the morning, before eating (it will help curb your appetite), and before your 1 or 2 alcoholic beverage(s) of choice.
- Use a large water bottle to save yourself the time and effort of continually refilling
- Add lemon, strawberries, or other fruits of your choice for a little flavor. Also try adding mint leaves.
As always, before focusing your efforts on drinking more water, make sure this is the one new habit you can create that would best serve your brain! If you need any help deciphering what would serve your brain best, schedule yourself a brain health assessment with Dr. Cain!