Hydration Trend topics: Effects of hydration on mental and cognitive processes in children and adults

Thursday 11 de September 05:15 pm

 

Dr. Matthew Ganio

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Dr. Matthew Ganio

Dr. Matthew S. Ganio received his Master’s degree from the University of Georgia, his Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut and did post-doctoral training at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Exercise Science at the University of Arkansas and Director of the Human Performance Laboratory. 

Dr. Ganio has brought in over $400,000 in grants, published over 50 peer-reviewed articles, and published several book chapters related to his research on hydration, thermoregulation, and health. Specifically, Dr. Ganio is investigating the mechanisms by which cardiovascular and thermoregulatory responses may be altered in healthy and patient populations. He is also interested in the interaction between physiology and perceptual outcomes such as mood and cognition. This is highlighted in recent findings that mild dehydration leads to mood and cognitive detriments in men and women.

Dr. Ganio is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Athletic Training and Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, and serves on the Medical and Science Advisory board of the Korey Stringer Institute. He is a member of the American Physiological Society, the American College of Sports Medicine, and American Society of Nutrition.

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Trend topics en hidratación: Efectos de la hidratación sobre los procesos mentales y cognitivos en niños y adultos

Trend topics en hidratación: Efectos de la hidratación sobre los procesos mentales y cognitivos en niños y adultos

Trend topics en hidratación: Efectos de la hidratación sobre los procesos mentales y cognitivos en niños y adultos

Trend topics en hidratación: Efectos de la hidratación sobre los procesos mentales y cognitivos en niños y adultos

Conclusions

Dehydration in children has an effect on cognition, particularly on memory, and therefore if children are not encouraged to drink liquid throughout the day, they will have hydration problems in the adult age for not covering their fluid intake requirements. 
This fact stands out in Dr. Mathew Ganio´s presentation at the Active and Healthy Lifestyle Symposium. Dr. Ganio is Assistant Professor in Exercise Science and Director of the Human Performance Laboratory at the Arkansas University.

Based on evidence, Dr Ganio reported that studies show that almost 80% of children tested are dehydrated before starting sport activities and they may be starting their school day with some dehydration. 

Dr. Ganio presented the results of tests that measured the effects of dehydration on cognitive performance, especially in children. Some studies with adults showed that although dehydration increased visual errors, the mood of participants was not impacted by dehydration and that there is not always a link between negative mood and negative cognitive performance.

The link between cognitive performance, hydration levels and activity in children is different from that in adults. Because they are more active, children generally need a higher fluid intake, although it is not known the extent to which they are aware of their need of rehydration. However, a study carried out with children over 10 showed that dehydration had an effect on their memory.

“It is recommended that schools provide food and drinks and that teachers and school heads encourage children to drink liquid in whatever form they like the most”, he said. “We need to keep children hydrated, and we have to do that with the drinks they like”.
Studies with adults show that, as mood is part of the brain cognitive function, it can be affected by dehydration. The impact can be easily assessed with simple visual exercises that measure the speed with which a decision is made and how good that decision is. “These are the visual vigilance tests used for air controllers”, he said. “There is no doubt that dehydration causes cognitive impairment, but the important thing is to measure the relationship between dehydration and cognitive performance”. 

Dr. Ganio recommended that people be educated on dehydration, what it is, what the adequate fluid intake is, the need to change the culture. He added that there are no scientific data that back the recommendation of a specific daily fluid intake. Each body has its own requirements. 

“Variables such as age, sex and activities change the fluid intake requirement to prevent dehydration, so that the recommendation will depend on each individual case”.