You’ve heard it a zillion times before: drink water. It’s the beauty secret of supermodels and the one piece of advice that never goes away. But now, studies say there’s actually a more cerebral reason to drink up.
Even mild dehydration could affect your emotional reactions, mental stamina and ability to perceive a situation clearly. Our brain cells require a delicate balance of water and elements to operate, and even the slightest balance shift can throw off your basic human efficiency. Scientists at the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory discovered that the half of their participants who were mildly dehydrated perceived mental tasks as more difficult than when they were fully hydrated. They were also easily distracted, and became fatigued much quicker.
If you wait until you’re thirsty to reach for a glass, you’re already too late! “By then, dehydration is already setting in and impacting how our mind and body perform,” says Lawrence E. Armstrong, one of the studies’ lead scientists and an international expert on hydration.
We shouldn’t think of water as something we reach for when we’re parched, but as the fluid our body needs to function optimally. It’s for this reason you should swig two glasses upon waking, after an eight-hour dry spell, and keep it up the rest of the day, sipping at it until it’s an ingrained habit. Really, of all the skills to keep your mind sharp, between the crosswords and the sleep cycles, drinking water could be one of the easiest to follow.
How many glasses of water do you drink per day? Let us know in the comment section below.