Tired female athlete resting after run Tired female athlete resting after run

Why Does Your Brain Go Foggy? The Surprising Impact of Dehydration

Does it happen sometimes that you feel like you can not think straight, or you feel completely foggy and very confused about normal things? It may be due to the lack of water in your body. I am asking because it’s a common problem seen nowadays. However, one can prevent this.

When you are dehydrated it leads to inefficient brain working, slows down cognitive functioning and it is really important to prevent it.

Water and Cognitive Functioning

It’s been researched in studies about brain cognition that dehydration is not the only cause of brain fog. There are other various causes also; dehydration being among the most common causes.

This is because when the water level in your body decreases then the flow of blood to the brain also decreases and that is what leads to slower cognitive functioning. If you keep yourself nicely hydrated by consuming an optimum level of water you can maintain your health and mental wellbeing in a better way.

There can be various cognitive impacts on the body like your memory and attention can be affected very quickly due to dehydration, although long-term memory is not affected as such.

Studies have shown that you can experience short-term memory loss if your brain hydration decreases by 2 percent and prolonged dehydration can also shrink down your brain cells, which is very common among elders who have been dehydrated for years, further causing depression and sleep issues.

The Icy Whiz team interviewed Zev Schulhof, DMD, MD, Iconic Implants, on the issue of hydration and optimal brain function. Here is what he said:

Zev Shulhof
Zev Shulhof

“Optimal hydration is essential for optimal brain function. One of the most important strategies to try is spreading out your water consumption across the day rather than drinking a large amount of water infrequently. This ensures your hydration levels remain more consistent across the day.

If you are struggling to drink enough plain water, consider alternatives such as herbal teas or sparkling water, which can provide some flavor variety while still keeping you hydrated.

If you find yourself experiencing brain fog, especially after consuming large amounts of caffeine or high-sodium meals, or with other symptoms such as dry mouth, it may be a sign that you are dehydrated.”

Preventing Brain Fog Is Possible

So, obviously, the easiest way to prevent your brain from fogging is to drink plenty of water. Stay hydrated as it will help you function better and stay fit. I strongly recommend you drink at least eight glasses of water every day. Although there will be a change in the amount of water you should accurately consume based on your body, age, weight, and exercise levels.

  • You can also consume food items like soups and other beverages which help you keep hydrated.
  • The juices should be freshly squeezed; do not drink processed juices as these contain very high quantities of sugar which can lead to brain fog.
  • Fresh juices not only help with hydration but also provide you with vitamins and minerals which are very necessary for the proper functioning of your body and mind.
  • Also, fruits and vegetables are very high in fiber which is very good for healthy digestion; so if you consume them in a processed manner you lose all the fiber content.

When you consume processed juice, due to the absence of fibers, the absorption of sugar becomes more convenient causing more trouble to the body. It also increases blood sugar levels which might even lead to increased chances of a brain fog.

We interviewed Trista Best, a Registered Dietitian at Balance One Supplements, and asked for some strategies to ensure proper hydration throughout the day. Here is what she had to say:

Trista Best
Trista Best

“Proper hydration impacts our cognitive function and energy in a major way. Studies have found that even a mild form of dehydration, 1-3 percent, can impair brain function.

This includes mood, energy, concentration, and memory. Slight dehydration can create feelings of anxiety and increase headaches.

One way to boost your hydration, outside of taking adequate liquids, is hydrating foods.

Adding snack-able vegetables like celery and cucumber to your daily snack routine is a great way to get extra water in through your diet.

Cucumbers are 95% water making them an easy and inexpensive way to hydrate through food. You can get in extra water by opting for a side of fruit for any meal. Strawberries, grapes, or watermelon can naturally increase the water content of any meal.”

We Can’t Ignore the Water Quality

We have clearly seen that water is necessary for the brain’s proper functioning but what is necessary next is that you need to maintain the quality of the water you intake. It should be free of common contaminants like arsenic and lead so that we can protect ourselves from diseases like cancer, and thyroid. This, not only helps in preventing brain fog but also helps in protecting our essential organs.

The tap water that we get or the fountain water at some places is not very safe since it is polluted and has chlorine, fluorine, and other heavy metals. That’s why you need to filter to improve the quality of drinking water.

Other than just clean and filtered water you can also go an extra mile to keep up with your hydration and prevent brain fog, by including electrolyte-rich beverages in your everyday diet along with high water content ingredients like zucchini and cucumbers.

Dr. Jerry Friedman, DDS, North Jersey Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, talked to the Icy Whiz team about the importance of hydration. With his expertise in the medical field, he offered valuable insights on this issue:

Jerry Friedman
Jerry Friedman

“If you experience brain fog alongside symptoms such as dry mouth or excessive thirst, you may be dehydrated. Brain fog isn’t always a symptom of dehydration, but there are several reasons you may experience it if you haven’t consumed enough fluids.

For example, being dehydrated reduces your blood volume, which in turn reduces the oxygen being delivered to your brain. This can contribute to brain fog, dizziness, and other signs of decreased cognitive function.”

Hydration, Dehydration, and Brain Fog

So, intake of water is one way. But another way is to regulate the consumption of fluids in your body. Make sure you do not consume a lot of sugary and caffeinated beverages as they will dehydrate you even more instead of providing hydration. Also, keep in mind that when you feel thirsty always drink water and if you can’t drink water then substitute it with hydrating beverages only.

There are a few more ways to know if your body needs water, like the color of your urine; if your urine is dark-colored you need to drink more water.

If your mouth feels dry often then you need to hydrate yourself more often. Other symptoms are untimely headaches and unexpected tiredness or fatigue. Whenever you experience such symptoms always hydrate yourself properly; even otherwise make sure to drink water throughout the day and not just when you are thirsty.

If you are somebody who exercises a lot or is into sports, you have to drink a lot more water than regular people. I’ll explain to you why. When you’re sweating, you lose not just water but also other essential fluids and essential salts through your sweat. So, maintain the water intake and rehydrate all the loss and eventually prevent brain fog.

Considering all this what we need to now understand is that consuming water and staying hydrated is very essential but there is a very thin line between proper hydration and over-hydration.

If you drink more water than necessary then that too can be detrimental for your body. It leads to a condition called hyponatremia where the sodium levels in your body become too low which leads to headaches, vomiting, and in some severe cases coma or death.

Personal Trainer and Nutritionist Jasmine Peterson from Next Luxury talked to the Icy Whiz team about the strategies and signs for optimal brain function. Here is what she said:

Jasmine Peterson
Jasmine Peterson

“While it’s common knowledge that drinking adequate water is crucial, incorporating fruits and vegetables with high water content into your diet can significantly enhance hydration levels.

Foods like cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelons, oranges, and strawberries provide your body with essential vitamins and minerals and also contribute to your daily water intake, making hydration a more flavorful and enjoyable endeavor.

Distinguishing between typical thirst and signs of dehydration involves paying attention to subtle cues your body sends. Beyond the obvious dry mouth, dehydration can manifest as a sudden onset of brain fog, unexplained fatigue, or even irritability.

These symptoms can sneak up on you, often masquerading as mere tiredness or stress. However, a distinctive indicator is the color of your urine; anything darker than a pale yellow suggests dehydration.

At this point, brain fog isn’t far behind, as even mild dehydration can impair cognitive functions, concentration, and memory.”

Drinking Water Is Most Crucial

Drinking water prevents brain fog but that is not all, the benefits are so many that the problems anyone would have in maintaining the intake would easily be outnumbered.

It helps you to stay in a good mood, improves your concentration, and allows you to think and articulate better as you get more clarity, thus improving your mental stamina and health.

Guest Author: Saket Kumar

Last Updated on May 19, 2024 by Pragya


Anushree Khandelwal
  1. This article on the connection between dehydration and brain fog is quite enlightening. It effectively communicates the importance of water in maintaining cognitive function and the potential cognitive impacts of dehydration. The article not only highlights the negative effects of dehydration on memory and attention but also provides practical tips for preventing brain fog by staying hydrated. The emphasis on the quality of water, symptoms of dehydration, and the balance between proper hydration and over-hydration adds depth to the discussion. Overall, it’s a valuable read for anyone interested in understanding the relationship between hydration and mental well-being.

  2. The article gives helpful advice for avoiding brain fog by staying hydrated in addition to highlighting the detrimental consequences of dehydration on memory and concentration. The conversation is deepened by the focus on water quality, signs of dehydration, and striking a balance between adequate and excessive hydration. All things considered, it’s a worthwhile read for everyone curious in the connection between mental health and water.

  3. I found this article on dehydration and brain fog incredibly insightful. The detailed explanation about how dehydration affects cognitive functioning, leading to brain fog, was eye-opening. Learning about the impact on short-term memory and the potential shrinkage of brain cells due to prolonged dehydration highlighted the importance of staying hydrated for mental well-being.

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