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Dehydration Affects Women's Moods

Two recent studies find that dehydration not only affects your body but your mood as well. Christie Nicholson reports

Mild dehydration is defined as a 1.5 percent loss in normal water volume in the body. And two recent studies with men and women find that, beyond affecting your body, mild dehydration can impact your mood.

Researchers evaluated 51 healthy men and women three times in three months. All the subjects walked on a treadmill to induce dehydration. The researchers then tested the subjects' alertness, concentration, reaction time, learning, memory, reasoning and mood level.

They found that dehydration in men caused difficulty in memory and alertness. In women dehydration caused little reduction in cognitive ability, but did cause significant fatigue, tension and anxiety. Such changes in mood occurred regardless if the subject was exercising or at rest.

The results of the study with male participants were published in the British Journal of Nutrition and the women's results were in the Journal of Nutrition, an American publication.

So you don't need to be performing in a triathlon.  Even if you're deskbound--and especially if you're a woman--your body and your brain might need a shot of H2O.

--Christie Nicholson

[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]

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