Brain Waves with Debra Rose: June 2022

Your Brain on Water

Psychologically, we know our brains respond to water. We love gazing at the water, looking at pictures of water, being in water. Your screen saver is likely a photo with water. There is a reason ‘water view’ is the most lucrative aspect of real estate. If you are reading this and enjoy Montauk, you understand the human connection to water.

Water is as crucial for our body and brain functioning as it is to our spirit, and chances are you are not consuming enough of it.

With warmer weather finally moseying on into the east end, our need for water consumption increases. Rosé all day? Summer cocktails? Maybe a double espresso or extra ice coffee in the afternoon? We need even more. Technically for every alcoholic or caffeinated drink, we should have another 16oz of water to compensate for it to stay hydrated. If you find you are less energetic, or hungrier and sleepier than usual, you are not having enough water throughout your day.

When you are dehydrated you are simply not as mentally sharp. Your mood, concentration, and memory suffer. You are more likely to have a headache, and often anxiety if you are not hydrating.

Often, the body’s natural requirement for water is sometimes confused for hunger, and the afternoon slump is mistakenly remedied with something containing sugar. Some say drinking water is boring. Is breathing boring? Sleeping? Having water-filled food can help such a watermelon, celery, and cucumbers on a humid summer afternoon. As the days of the season stretch longer and you are more active, keeping water levels high is critical.

Over time, continued dehydration will lead to one’s brain shrinking in mass and size and an onset of symptoms such as depression, and insomnia. Think of elderly people you know that are probably not staying hydrated.

Our body is almost three quarters water, and our brain is about 85% water. We cannot produce the necessary neurotransmitters and hormones without a daily adequate intake of water. Used for delivering the electrical energy to our brain cells, without enough water it’s like driving your car on empty. And since we are constantly losing water through activity like living, moving, and involuntary bodily functions, we must continue consuming. Like our gas tank, our brain does not indefinitely store water. Every function of your body, including maintenance of internal organs, digestion, skin health and metabolism all benefit from proper water intake.

Have water when you wake up, before you go to sleep, even if you are not thirsty. Have water before a meal and throughout the day. Make sure when you travel you always have water. A ‘standard’ daily estimate about we should each have is about a liter a day, more if you are active, drinking alcohol or caffeine, and not feeling well.

Try it for a week and see how your mood, energy, focus, and attention improves. We are surrounded by beautiful water on the outside, and you can beautify your brain and body from the inside with having more water.