Hydration, mood state and cognitive function - Introduction
IntroductionCognitionI. Defining and measuring cognitionI.1. What is cognition?I.2. How is cognition measured?I.3. Nutritional interventions in the field of cognitionDehydration II. Dehydration and cognitionII.1. Dehydration above 2% body mass lossII.2. Dehydration below 2% body mass lossII.2.1. Exercise-induced dehydrationII.2.2. Mild dehydration achieved through water deprivationII.2.3. Voluntary dehydrationII.2.4. Recommendations for future researchEffect of cognitionIII. Effect of water intake on cognitionImpact on moodIV. Can a change in water intake impact mood?Hypothesized V. Hypothesized mechanisms linking water and cognitionDietary reference VI. Dietary reference values for waterConclusionConclusionReferencesReferences
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If the human body is composed of about 60% water, the human’s brain can contain about 75% water. Hydration is actually essential to human homeostasis and survival. As part of its body functions, water contributes to the maintenance of normal brain functions (EFSA 2011; Lieberman 2007). Cognition is involved in everything we do, including perceiving, thinking, remembering, as well as feeling emotions and exerting control over our environment. One can thus wonder how brain functions related to cognition can be influenced by hydration status. Several studies have investigated the effects of dehydration and of increased water intake on cognition.
This document aims at defining cognition and giving an overview of validated methods that allow the assessment of cognitive functions. Then, it offers the state of the art knowledge on hydration and cognition, and provides official recommendations for daily water intake.