One of the biggest imitators of dementia is dehydration. I bet you’ve noticed that when you haven’t ingested enough water, you feel sluggish, can’t think clearly, have difficulty remembering things and have trouble formulating words.
That’s because our brains are 90% water, our bodies are 70% water, and if we do not ingest enough pure, clean water, we cannot operate well.
My dad is a prime example of what happens when you don’t drink enough water. My sister and I thought he might have had another stroke because he was slurring his words more and his memory was declining. He was losing his temper more, and he was just diagnosed with a kidney problem – again.
When we finally got him in to see a doctor (thanks, COVID nonsense), and they actually did a real medical exam instead of a cursory conversation over the phone, the doctor told him he had to drink more water. Dehydration was his biggest problem.
This is not the first time, because he refuses to drink enough water. Why? “I’m too busy to stop and go to the bathroom all the time,” he complains. This from an 84-year-old man who has been retired for nearly 30 years. Sigh.
But this is a problem for many people. They have busy lives, forget to drink, don’t want to drink before taking a long car trip or are working jobs where they can’t just stop and go to the bathroom. Or they’re not allowed to have water at their work stations.
This is a recipe for cognitive disaster, and it happens to healthy people all the time. Stop and think – how much water are you ingesting every day?
One way to figure out how much would be appropriate for you is to take your weight, divide it in 2 and turn that into ounces. So – if you weigh 120 pounds, half of that is 60 – you should get at least 60 ounces of water per day. Just under 8 cups – which sounds about right.
If you’re on lots of medications, have more exposure to toxins, or live in a hot climate – you probably need more. Same if you exercise a lot.
There is a lot of debate about whether you can drink too much water. Like anything else, I suppose too much of a good thing is not a good thing, but I have never met anyone who is over-hydrated – only dehydrated.
So what are some of the best ways to get the benefit of this most important nutrient?
1. If the water in your home does not taste great, or there are issues with it, use a home filtration system. Even something like a filtered pitcher will help.
2. Consciously and mindfully drink your water from a beautiful glass or cup. Treat it like the precious commodity it is.
3. If at all possible, find a safe local spring to source water from straight from the earth. Findaspring.com is a great resource for exploring your area. Collect and store your water in glass containers in a cool dark place.
4. Steer away from water in plastic bottles. There is just so much that is not good about plastic-bottled water, from its questionable sources and quality to the implications for harm to your endocrine system, just don’t drink from plastic bottles. Better to get a good quality filter on your home water system.
5. Eat your water. By consuming fresh fruits and vegetables you are getting hydrated.
Make the conscious decision every day to drink more water. Your brain and your body will thank you.
In Don’t Let the Memories Fade, you will find many more important tips to help improve your health, your brain function and your future. Available in paperback and e-book on Amazon everywhere.