The journal of nutrition, health & aging

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 325–329 | Cite as

Hydration and cognitive performance

  • M. Secher
  • Patrick RitzEmail author
JNHA: Clinical Neurosciences


A clinical link exists between severe dehydration and cognitive performance. Using rapid and severe water loss induced either by intense exercise and/or heat stress, initial studies suggested there were alterations in short-term memory and cognitive function related to vision, but more recent studies have not all confirmed these data. Some studies argue that water loss is not responsible for the observations made, and studies compensating water losses have failed to prevent the symptoms. Studies in children have suggested that drinking extra water helps cognitive performance, but these data rely on a small number of children. In older adults (mean age around 60) the data are not strong enough to support a relationship between mild dehydration and cognitive function. Data on frail elderly and demented people are lacking. Methodological heterogeneity in these studies are such that the relationship between mild dehydration and cognitive performance cannot be supported.

Key words

Dehydration cognitive performance 


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Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer Verlag France 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of geriatricsCHU ToulouseToulouseFrance
  2. 2.University of Toulouse IIIToulouseFrance
  3. 3.Inserm U1027ToulouseFrance
  4. 4.Department of Cardiovascular and Metabolic DiseasesCHU ToulouseToulouseFrance
  5. 5.Unité de NutritionCHU Larrey, TSA 30030Toulouse cedex 9France

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