Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Effects of hydration status on cognitive performance and mood

  • Natalie A. Masento (a1), Mark Golightly (a1), David T. Field (a1), Laurie T. Butler (a1) and Carien M. van Reekum (a1)...
Abstract

Although it is well known that water is essential for human homeostasis and survival, only recently have we begun to understand its role in the maintenance of brain function. Herein, we integrate emerging evidence regarding the effects of both dehydration and additional acute water consumption on cognition and mood. Current findings in the field suggest that particular cognitive abilities and mood states are positively influenced by water consumption. The impact of dehydration on cognition and mood is particularly relevant for those with poor fluid regulation, such as the elderly and children. We critically review the most recent advances in both behavioural and neuroimaging studies of dehydration and link the findings to the known effects of water on hormonal, neurochemical and vascular functions in an attempt to suggest plausible mechanisms of action. We identify some methodological weaknesses, including inconsistent measurements in cognitive assessment and the lack of objective hydration state measurements as well as gaps in knowledge concerning mediating factors that may influence water intervention effects. Finally, we discuss how future research can best elucidate the role of water in the optimal maintenance of brain health and function.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Effects of hydration status on cognitive performance and mood
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Effects of hydration status on cognitive performance and mood
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Effects of hydration status on cognitive performance and mood
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding authors:N. A. Masento, E-mail: n.masento@pgr.reading.ac.uk; Dr C. M. van Reekum, fax +44 118 378 6715, E-mail: c.vanreekum@reading.ac.uk
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1 F Gomez-Pinilla (2008) Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function. Nat Rev Neurosci 9, 568578.

7 JE Greenleaf (1992) Problem: thirst, drinking behavior, and involuntary dehydration. Med Sci Sports Exerc 24, 645656.

9 D Passe , M Horn , J Stofan , et al. (2007) Voluntary dehydration in runners despite favorable conditions for fluid intake. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 17, 284295.

10 SN Thornton (2010) Thirst and hydration: physiology and consequences of dysfunction. Physiol Behav 100, 1521.

11 K D'Anci , F Constant & I Rosenberg (2006) Hydration and cognitive function in children. Nutr Rev 64, 457464.

13 MN Begum & CS Johnson (2010) A review of the literature on dehydration in institutionalized elderly. e-Spen Eur e-J Clin Nutr Metab 5, e47e53.

17 MM Wilson & JE Morley (2003) Impaired cognitive function and mental performance in mild dehydration. Eur J Clin Nutr 57, S24S29.

18 E Jequier & F Constant (2010) Water as an essential nutrient: the physiological basis of hydration. Eur J Clin Nutr 64, 115123.

20EFSA (2010) Scientific opinion on dietary reference values for water: EFSA panel on dietetic products, nutrition, and allergies (NDA). EFSA J 8, 1459.

21 D Cohen (2012) The truth about sports drinks. Br Med J 345, e4737.

22 H Valtin (2002) Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Really? Is there scientific evidence for “8 × 8”? Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 283, R993R1004.

24 PM Gopinathan , G Pichan & V Sharma (1988) Role of dehydration in heat stress-induced variations in mental performance. Arch Environ Heal 43, 1517.

25 C Cian , N Koulmann , P Barraud , et al. (2000) Influence of variations in body hydration on cognitive function: effect of hyperhydration, heat stress, and exercise-induced dehydration. J Psychophysiol 14, 2936.

26 C Cian , P Barraud , B Melin , et al. (2001) Effects of fluid ingestion on cognitive function after heat stress or exercise-induced dehydration. Int J Psychophysiol 42, 243251.

27 K D'Anci , A Vibhakar , JH Kanter , et al. (2009) Voluntary dehydration and cognitive performance in trained college athletes. Percept Mot Skills 109, 251269.

29 P Lindseth , G Lindseth , T Petros , et al. (2013) Effects of hydration on cognitive function of pilots. Mil Med 178, 792798.

33 GL Ackland , J Harrington , P Downie , et al. (2008) Dehydration induced by bowel preparation in older adults does not result in cognitive dysfunction. Anesth Analg 106, 924929.

42 N Pross , A Demazières , N Girard , et al. (2012) Influence of progressive fluid restriction on mood and physiological markers of dehydration in women. Br J Nutr 109, 313321.

43 HR Lieberman (2007) Hydration and cognition: a critical review and recommendations for future research. J Am Coll Nutr 26, 555s561s.

46 J Suhr , J Hall , SM Patterson , et al. (2004) The relation of hydration status to cognitive performance in healthy older adults. Int J Psychophysiol 53, 121125.

48 P Tomporowski & NR Ellis (1986) Effects of exercise on cognitive processes: a review. Psychol Bull 99, 338346.

52 CJ Edmonds , R Crombie & MR Gardner (2013) Subjective thirst moderates changes in speed of responding associated with water consumption. Front Hum Neurosci 7, 363.

55 CW Bourque (2008) Central mechanisms of osmosensation and systemic osmoregulation. Nat Rev Neurosci 9, 519531.

56 HS Comijs , L Gerritsen & WJH Penninx (2010) The association between serum cortisol and cognitive decline in older adults. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 18, 4250.

58 R Maughan , S Shirreffs & P Watson (2007) Exercise, heat, hydration and the brain. J Am Coll Nutr 26, 604S612S.

60 HE Gorby , AM Brownawell & MC Falk (2010) Do specific dietary constituents and supplements affect mental energy? Review of the evidence. Nutr Rev 68, 697718.

61 M Kadekaro , G Su , R Chu , et al. (2006) Nitric oxide up-regulates the expression of calcium-dependent potassium channels in the supraoptic nuclei and neural lobe of rats following dehydration. Neurosci Lett 404, 5055.

62 Y Ueta , A Levy , H Chowdrey , et al. (1995) Water deprivation in the rat induces nitric oxide synthase (NOS) gene expression in the hypothalamic paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei. Neurosci Res 23, 317319.

63 N Toda & T Okamura (2010) Modulation of renal blood flow and vascular tone by neuronal nitric oxide synthase-derived nitric oxide. J Vasc Res 48, 110.

64 PJ Rogers , A Kainth & HJ Smit (2001) A drink of water can improve or impair mental performance depending on small differences in thirst. Appetite 36, 5758.

65 N Neave , AB Scholey , JR Emmett , et al. (2001) Water ingestion improves subjective alertness, but has no effect on cognitive performance in dehydrated healthy young volunteers. Appetite 37, 255256.

68 C Edmonds & D Burford (2009) Should children drink more water? The effects of drinking water on cognition in children. Appetite 52, 776779.

71 D Benton & N Burgess (2009) The effect of the consumption of water on the memory and attention of children. Appetite 53, 143146.

73 J Brunstrom & A Macrae (1997) Effects of temperature and volume on measures of mouth dryness, thirst and stomach fullness in males and females. Appetite 29, 3142.

74 D Labbe , N Martin , J Le Coutre , et al. (2011) Impact of refreshing perception on mood, cognitive performance and brain oscillations: an exploratory study. Food Qual Prefer 22, 92100.

77 DN Bateman (1982) Effects of meal temperature and volume on the emptying of liquid from the human stomach. J Physiol 331, 461467.

78 CP Lambert , D Ball , JB Leiper , et al. (1999) The use of deuterium tracer technique to follow the fate of fluids ingested by human subjects: effects of drink volume and tracer concentration and content. Exp Physiol 84, 391399.

79 F Péronnet , D Mignault , P du Souich , et al. (2012) Pharmacokinetic analysis of absorption, distribution and disappearance of ingested water labeled with D2O in humans. Eur J Appl Physiol 112, 22132222.

86 PN Ainslie , IT Campbell , KN Frayn , et al. (2012) Energy balance, metabolism, hydration, and performance during strenuous hill walking: the effect of age. J Appl Physiol 93, 714723.

87 MJ Kempton , U Ettinger , A Schmechtig , et al. (2009) Effects of acute dehydration on brain morphology in healthy humans. Hum Brain Mapp 30, 291298.

88 N Serwah & FE Marino (2006) The combined effects of hydration and exercise heat stress on choice reaction time. J Sci Med Sport 9, 157164.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 350
Total number of PDF views: 1193 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 1438 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 25th June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.