Every day after brushing teeth I remind my daughter to drink a glass of water but in vain; I ask her to drink water every now and then at school but the water bottle comes back without a slight change in water levels; at home too she doesn’t take the slightest effort to consume water. Maybe all this scenario would change if the beverage consumed had been a soft drink or a cola. Water isn’t bitter nor does it have taste for some people to reject quoting taste preferences. A colourless, odourless and tasteless liquid, water does find itself to be one of the least desired beverages by mankind. Though its advantages might not be evident the disadvantages of not consuming enough water-dehydration-is very clearly evident in the form of headache, dizziness, lethargy and other conditions depending on the severity level.
We expel water in the form of urine and sweat out of the body. Some sweat more and some others, like me, barely sweat even after exercise. Physical activity brings about sweat whose quantity depends on the severity of the activity. We do know that overexertion and excess sweating during sports and fitness sessions can lead to excess fluid loss compared to what individuals consume-this is commonly witnessed in the younger generation who are actively engaged in physical fitness classes or sports practices. Lack of enough hydration has the ability to affect anyone from any generation but there is one segment of the population that’s more susceptible to dehydration-the older generation. Dehydration is not a simple effect and can wreck the body in different ways as mentioned at www.firsteatright.com.
Ageing causes decrease in water reserve due to reduction in muscle mass and even more due to decrease in hormonal signals that invoke thirst and compel a person to drink water. But a new study on a group of older adults shows that inappropriate hydration levels could impact cognitive performance. The research was conducted on a group of 2506 participants (1271 women and 1235 men) aged 60 years and above. Each of them was given three tasks to measure cognitive functioning-the first two measured verbal recall and verbal fluency while the third one measured processing speed, sustained attention and working memory with a list of symbols and numbers. It was observed that lower scores were secure by women on the number-symbol test who were classified as either underhydrated or overhydrated. These individuals displayed poor performance in the test for attention, processing speed and working memory. This raises the question whether insufficient water levels in the body might make difficult tasks even more problematic requiring longer periods of concentration and focus. But what’s surprising is the lack of any association between hydration levels and cognitive performance in older men.
Nevertheless, this is a strong indication for all older adults to focus more on their water intake levels and avoid dehydration to avoid consequences of both, underhydration and overhydration.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.