Dehydration has long been known to slow physical performance. Now there’s evidence that too little water can hurt cognitive performance, too, making complex thinking tasks harder.“
This article details the effects of dehydration on a person’s mind, along with how easy it to become dehydrated without even noticing. This article is relevant to everyone who drinks water (meaning everyone). It has particular relevance to those who exercise or want to begin exercising. Even if you’re not currently pursuing physical activity, dehydration is likely still subtly affecting you.
What are the Costs of Dehydration?
According to the writer Allison Aubrey, when dehydrated by 1%, a group of women made 12% more mistakes while playing a moderately complicated card game. It’s frightening to imagine those kinds of numbers being applied to something more important and complex. There aren’t many jobs that come to mind where thinking a little bit faster wouldn’t be helpful, or critical. Even thinking about 12% more mistakes on something like a student exam gives me a pang of anxiety.
How Easy is it to Become Dehydrated?
Scarily easy! According to this article, moderately hiking for one hour can dehydrate your body by 2%. That equates to losing about a liter of water. However, most people didn’t feel thirsty or think they were dehydrated while at this level. That means dehydration likely is affecting many of us who aren’t exercising who simply aren’t being mindful about drinking liquid frequently throughout the day. On the bright side of all of this, coffee is a viable source of water, so you coffee fans can comfortably enjoy your morning pick-me-up without worrying about it dehydrating you.
Read more about the effects of dehydration at the original article: NPR