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Staying Sharp: Water and Your Brain

Posted by Helen Beamer on February 28, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Staying hydrated is important for your body, especially your brain.Stay Hydrated_ Water Your Brain.jpg

Here are four reasons to fuel your brain with water throughout the day:

  1. Water helps you think. When you are dehydrated, there is less blood flow to bring nutrients to the brain and to remove toxins from the brain. In older adults, dehydration can result in slower brain processing and decreased attention. That’s true for people of all ages. So drink a glass of water to prevent fuzzy thinking.
  2. Water lifts your mood. The amount of water you drink daily could influence your state of mind. In one study, participants who limited their water intake reported feeling less calm and satisfied with their lives. Try drinking some water to boost your spirits.
  3. Water can ease a headache. Dehydration may precipitate a headache. In contrast, increasing water intake could shorten duration and intensity of migraines. If you are prone to headaches, stay well-hydrated as a prevention measure.
  4. Water improves health outcomes in a stroke. According to a study cited by the American Heart Association, a person’s level of hydration can impact their recovery from a stroke. Better levels of hydration at the time of the stroke lead to better health results. Maintaining good habits with fluid intake could make a difference in a potentially life-threatening situation.

Older adults are more likely to become dehydrated due to age-related changes in kidney function, body water percentage and thirst perception. You can encourage increased water intake in older adults in the following ways:

  • Fill a glass of water to accompany every meal
  • Use bendy straws
  • Give a cup of water to sip with medications
  • Make it easy to access water – keep a glass close at hand
  • Offer water at the preferred temperature – straight from the tap, refrigerated or with ice
  • Include a slice of lemon or cucumber to infuse water with added taste
  • Take water along on walks and outings
  • Serve foods with high water content, such as watermelon, strawberries, celery, tomatoes, zucchini, cabbage and grapefruit

If you know an older adult who needs assistance at home, ComForCare/At Your Side Home Care can help. We offer companionship and personal care services, including meal preparation, transportation and medication reminders. Count on us for the help you need.

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Topics: Aging, Healthy Living

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