Water – Your Brain Thirsts for It

Who would think that something so simple as drinking water is sometimes the most difficult thing to do?

It’s a well known fact that proper hydration is important to overall health. Yet, I have to admit, drinking what is generally recommended (approximately half out body weight in ounces; so if you weigh 150 pounds you should drink around 75 ounces ) seems to be a daunting task. Of course this isn’t a definite rule and the quantity of water needed is dependent upon other factors such as exercise and stress but the fact remains we need it and our brain craves it for optimum functioning.

The brain is composed of 100 brain cells or neurons that drive our thinking, learning and feelings. Neurons are shaped similar to a hand extended and fingers spread (dendrites). These spread out “fingers” receive information from other neurons and when one dendrite or finger connects with another a synapse is created. These new connections are made to record new information. Those that are unused are pruned away. This process continually evolves and the raw material for this wonderful orchestration comes from food and WATER! Neurons themselves store water and it is necessary to maintain the tone of the membranes for normal transmission.

According to Dr. Corinne Allen, founder of the Advanced Learning and Development Institute, brain cells hold 2 times the energy than other cells and water is the most effective way to provide them their energy. Furthermore, the water prevents the brain from overheating which can cause cognitive decline and possible damage. Water needs to be drunk throughout the day because the brain does not store it and even if we are sedentary, water is lost through the simple act of breathing.

Dehydration can affect short and long term memory functions. Some symptoms that are exhibited from dehydration are brain fog, depression, focus issues and lack of mental clarity. There have been some studies indicating that prolonged dehydration can cause brain cells to shrink in size mass! But even some of the symptoms associated with short term dehydration should cause us to be mindful of our water input. A brain that functions at its optimum can not only benefit your performance but impact in a positive way onto others at the workplace, family and social gatherings. I am not saying that drinking more water could save the world, but having more people thinking clearly wouldn’t hurt.

“Water is the driving force of nature.” Leonardo da Vinci

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