Thursday, March 12, 2020

Age-Proofing Your Brain – Water, 4

If you don’t drink enough water, your brain will direct the body to steal some fluid from elsewhere in your body. At any given time your bladder has the largest potential reservoir of fluid anywhere in your body—urine. If the brain gets desperate for fluid, it may instruct the body to concentrate the urine in your bladder, trying to obtain some additional liquid—which it can then send up to the brain. In my book, that puts a different spin on the term pee brain. Candace B. Pert PhD, author of Molecules of Emotion pointed out that the sensations for hunger and thirst are quite similar and easily confused; a confusion that often begins during early childhood. Parents often feed babies when they are thirsty, instead of giving them water to drink. This means that growing up and in adulthood many eat because they think they are hungry when actually they’re thirsty. When you mistake thirst for hunger you may be tempted to overeat or drink some food (e.g., milk, fruit juices, and shakes) or down unhealthy snacks. Ingesting extra calories from foods and beverages, rather than giving your brain and body the water they need, can have implications beyond dehydration: an exhausted digestive system, weight gain, and so on. More tomorrow.

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