National Hydration Day: 3 Benefits of Hydration for Brain Health

We’ve all been told to drink more water and to stay hydrated (especially when we’re running and exercising) but what actually are the health benefits of drinking water? Water is highly important for all our bodily functions and organs, but did you know it can play a big part in our brain health too?

The effects of dehydration can be severe for the brain; your brain functions at a lower level when you don’t drink enough throughout the day. This can then affect your mental resilience and can lead to symptoms like memory loss, poor focus, slow processing of information, irritability and headaches.

The good news is, good hydration can be an easy way to support the brain, with plenty of benefits. Here are our top three…

  1. Good hydration improves your focus

Water helps your brain cells communicate with each other, clears out toxins and waste that impairs brain function, and carries nutrients to your brain. This all falls apart if your fluid levels drop. Staying hydrated has been linked to:

  • Faster decision-making and improved performance on cognitive tests
  • Better concentration and enhanced short-term memory
  • Higher test scores in an educational context
  • Improved focus and decreased mental fatigue
  • Stronger cognitive functioning across the board, including more alertness, less confusion, and even improved learning

So next time you’re feeling a little lethargic or lacking in concentration, enjoy a glass of water and feel the benefits!

  1. Good hydration can improve your mood

Your body needs to be well-hydrated to manufacture hormones and neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin (important chemicals that regulate your mood), and also to ensure the proper functioning of these neurotransmitters and chemical processes.

Several studies have linked moderate levels of dehydration with significantly impaired mood, including lower rates of self-reported happiness and increased rates of depression and even anxiety, so keeping your fluid levels topped up throughout the day can really support your overall mood.

  1. Good hydration can improve your sleep

When you sleep, your brain heals itself, flushes out toxins, and even generates new neurons.

Drinking more water can help support a good night’s rest. Your body’s water levels influence your internal sleep-wake cycles, your body temperature, your metabolism, your hormones, and many of the other functions that are linked with sleep health. Research suggests that this may be why people who are dehydrated tend to experience shorter sleep cycles. This is why getting enough sleep may lead to brain health benefits such as:

  • A better memory
  • More mental alertness, focus and concentration
  • Enhanced psychological well-being and better moods
  • Faster response times
  • More balanced levels of brain hormones and neurotransmitters

In a global survey, British adults ranked the worst in the world when it comes to sleep duration and sleep quality, followed by Canada, Ireland and the United States. Where do you think you would rank?

Don’t forget to track your sleep on the HealthNev app, Find more here!

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