Is Your Glass Half Empty? Mild Dehydration Causes Pessimism
According to a new study on dehydration and mood, the optimist may view her glass as half full because she drank that water already. While mild dehydration didn’t appear to affect cognitive function in the young women who participated in the study, it did dampen their moods and caused them to perceive tasks as much harder than when well-hydrated.
For the study, which appears in the January 2012 issue of the Journal of Nutrition, researchers induced mild dehydration among 25 subjects and measured their performance on tests of memory, concentration, and mood. When dehydrated, the women were more negative, had trouble concentrating and were “more fatigued, and this was true during mild exercise and when sitting at a computer,” explained University of Connecticut professor and lead researcher Lawrence E. Armstrong, PhD in a WebMD story.
Dr. Robert Glatter of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City told WebMD that the study should serve as a reminder to stay hydrated. “Just a small change in state of hydration was enough to affect mood, ability to concentrate, and lead to development of headaches,” he said. Dr. Glatter recommends consuming moderate quantities of water, both during and after exercise.
It turns out that, as actress Jennifer Aniston famously warned last year, not drinking enough water can make you “cranky.” While Jen’s right that regularly filling your water glass could improve your mood, if you want to be really smart, you’ll get that water from the tap.
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