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7 Ways Dehydration Could be Impacting Your Ability to Learn

by Trisha Dunbar 4 months ago in health
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You may want to grab a glass of water…

7 Ways Dehydration Could be Impacting Your Ability to Learn
Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

How much water do you drink a day? Do you get your fluid intake from other resources, such as tea or juice? If you are anything like me when you start to feel thirsty or have a mild headache you grab some water. However, at this stage, you are already dehydrated.

Strangely in the very early stages of dehydration, you may feel hungry rather than thirsty! Your brain is aware of a need, can't always distinguish between food or liquid. 70% of the time it will be the water you require rather than solid food!

Here are 7 ways dehydration is slowing you down, shortening your attention span thus impacting your ability to learn…

1. Bad Headaches

If you don’t have enough water in the body your brain tissue shrinks and starts to pull away from the skull! Now that kind of sounds terrifying doesn’t it. This notion is what eventually leads to a dehydration headache. Also, the flow of oxygen to the brain is lowered as dehydration causes lower blood volume. This makes it more difficult to concentrate and process new information. Have I convinced you to go get a glass of water yet?

2. Faster Heartbeat

When you are dehydrated the heartbeat has to work overtime to pump blood around the body. If there is less fluid in the body the heart will not fill and will need to beat faster as a consequence. Sometimes this can be mistaken for an anxiety attack or worse. It’s going to be hard to learn a new skill in this state, right?

3. Easily Annoyed!

Heard of the term “Hangry”? Well, it’s not just a lack of food that can make us irritable. Very mild dehydration can also impact our moods and ability to think clearly. It makes sense when you think that over 75% of our brain is water! This will impact on focus and your body is seeking out fuel.

4. Feeling Sleepy?

A lack of energy feeling sluggish and unmotivated? These can all be signs of dehydration. How can you focus and pay attention when you are running on such little energy!

5. Stinky Breath!

Do you know the saying “Go lick a wound”? Well, actually there is some truth to that as saliva contains antibacterial properties. However, if you are dehydrated your saliva may not be able to function properly this can lead to a bacteria build-up in your mouth, causing … stinky breath, gross. How will this impact learning? Say goodbye to any face-to-face study buddies — unless they are online!

6. Chronic Dehydration Impacts on Kidney Function

Your body will be unable to get rid of all the toxins in your body and this can result in problems with your kidneys, such as infections or overtime damage occurring! When lacking water your body redirects blood to the most important organs such as your heart, lungs, and brain! Therefore neglecting other organs, that are also pretty valuable to our general well-being.

7. Breathing Difficulties

You can lose some of the liquid in your body just by breathing! When dehydrated airways will restrict to preserve the water your body has left. So you may feel a bit short of breath and this can impact underlying conditions such as asthma. This will also have an impact on focus and attention as your brain is not getting enough oxygen to work correctly.

In Summary...

If you are learning a new skill and want to improve your focus and attention you might want to grab a glass of water to improve your ability to take in new information.

Originally posted by Trisha Dunbar in Language Learners Journal, 2017.

© Trisha Dunbar


About the author

Trisha Dunbar

Rambling of written words | Reader of things | Drinker of coffee | Doer of stuff | Welcome to my profile 😊

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