Staying Hydrated Makes You Smarter: Why Your Brain Needs Water

You’re probably already aware that drinking enough water has a number of health benefits.
Water removes toxins from your body, helps keep your skin looking great, influences your
energy levels, decreases your chances of getting a headache, aids your digestive system, and
much more.

But did you know that drinking enough water can also help make you smarter? Our brains are
made of 80% water. To ensure that brains are working as optimally as possible, you need to
stay hydrated.

If you’re among those that struggle with drinking enough water, get into the habit of carrying a
reusable water bottle around so that you remember to sip water throughout the day. You should
also keep a pitcher of water in your fridge (check out guide to some of the
best water pitchers available) to help remind yourself to pour a glass of water instead of
reaching for a soda.

Most people need to drink between 8-10 cups of water a day. Here is how reaching that goal will
provide you with a brain boost.

Improves attention and memory

Drinking water has a physiological impact on cognitive functions. Even when people are just
slightly dehydrated, their brain tissue begins to shrink. As the brain shrinks, it pulls away from
the skull and creates tension. Dehydration also lowers sodium and electrolyte levels, which can
further lower cognitive abilities. The more dehydrated someone is, the less clearly they think.
Dehydration can also make it harder to create long-term memories and can even impact short-
term memory recall.

So if you want to think as clearly as possible, drink up! Staying hydrated improves your ability to
stay alert, so you’ll be able to have a better attention span and memory recall.

Eliminates headaches

Dehydration often leads to headaches, which can lead to further symptoms such as fatigue and
low blood sugar. If your head is pounding and you’re exhausted, you’re going to have trouble
going about your daily functions. Processing information that requires a cognitive response can
be nearly impossible, especially if your headache escalates to a migraine.

If you frequently suffer from headaches, drinking more water may help prevent them from
occurring. Water can also help the current headache go away. So next time you find yourself
unable to cope at work or at school because your head is pounding, grab a water bottle and

Reduces anxiety

It can be hard to perform well on a test or to make it through that presentation when you’re
trying to stop a panic attack. Those with anxiety can sometimes struggle to perform well
intellectually because they’re struggling with negative thoughts or because they feel stressed.
While water cannot make anxiety go away completely, sipping on water can help make people
feel calmer. Part of this is because drinking water is naturally soothing to some individuals.
However, the main reason that this technique works is that mild dehydration can present itself in
the form of anxiety. Symptoms such as dizziness and headaches are common for both anxiety
and dehydration. Sometimes people assume that they’re suffering from anxiety when really
they’re dehydrated.

And once the anxiety is reduced, you’re more likely to think more clearly. Next time you find
yourself worrying obsessively over something that hasn’t happened yet, take a few deep
breaths and a few sips of water.

Increases motivation

If you want to be successful, you have to have some motivation and drive. But feeling motivated
is challenging when you’re feeling sluggish and tired. Dehydration often leads to people not
having enough energy to make it through the day. And if you’re struggling to get through the
day, the last thing you’re going to feel motivated to do is enrich your mind.

Drinking enough water helps get rid of those sluggish feelings and can provide you with a much-
needed boost of energy. This energy can help get you motivated to want to perform well.

Improves overall happiness

Another fact that impacts your cognitive abilities is your mood. If you’re feeling depressed,
angry, or other negative emotions, you might not have the willpower or drive to finish up that
project. Dehydration often intensifies those negative emotions and makes you feel even worse.
Drinking enough water can help you better regulate your mood and keep those negative
emotions from lingering.

And the happier you are, the more productive you’ll be! Drinking enough water provides you
with an overall sense of well-being and happiness, which will help keep you more engaged in
your work.

Tips for drinking enough water

If you’re among those who struggle to drink enough water, you might be wondering how you can
get into the habit of drinking enough water. Most people need to drink between 8 to 10 cups of
water a day.

One good way to meet that goal is to begin carrying a reusable water bottle around. Sipping
water throughout the day is a good way to keep yourself hydrated. You should also get into the
habit of drinking water before or during meals. At first you might have to consciously remind
yourself to grab the water bottle, but eventually carrying the bottle around and drinking water
with meals will become a routine. And once you get into a routine, you’ll get into the habit of
drinking enough water. Some people track how much water they’re drinking in a journal or in an
app so that they know how much water they’re drinking throughout the day.
If you’re among those that dislike the taste of water, considering adding some flavor to your
water with sugar-free flavor mixes or with fruit. Infusing your water with a squirt of lemon juice
can help give it a burst of flavor. Other popular fruits to flavor water with include limes,
strawberries, and raspberries.

In conclusion

Dehydration can lower your cognitive abilities and make your brain work harder than it should
have to. If you find yourself struggling to get through the day because you can’t think clearly or
because you’re sluggish, you need to drink more water!

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