Dehydration and Cognition | 48066
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Dehydration and Cognition


Sydney Frank

Dehydration is a common issue that many people will face at some point during their lifetime. Dehydration can cause an abundance of health problems, both physically and mentally. However, many people are unaware that a lack of hydration can impair their cognitive ability, which can be especially harmful to individuals enrolled in a university. College students are often overwhelmed by the chaos of homework and other obligations, causing them to spend little time reflecting on their health and well-being. Individuals may forget to eat or drink water daily, which can have negative consequences for both physical and mental health. Specifically, dehydration can cause a significant decline in a student’s academic performance.

First, eighty percent of the human brain is composed of water. Neurological transmissions cannot occur properly if the brain does not have an adequate water supply. Without enough water, the brain is not able to transmit and receive information effectively. Due to the brain’s decreased ability to transmit and receive information, one’s learning capabilities and performance declines: studies show that once thirst is felt mental performance including memory, attention and concentration decreases by as much as 10 percent. Common ways to tell if one is dehydrated is if he or she experiences fatigue, headaches, or dizziness. Although the recommended intake of water for the average individual is roughly eight glasses a day, this number is not frequently met. Next, according to an article from the Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Learning Network, being dehydrated can alter one’s ability to think clearly: researchers found that athletes who lost fluid equal to 2 percent of their weight took a hit to their cognition. The results also showed that even in a state of mild dehydration, people can have problems forming decisions and focusing.

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