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3 Simple Ways to Overcome Dehydration and Brain Fog Quickly

attention and memory brain health Jan 18, 2023
woman reaching for water and asking, does dehydration cause brain fog?

Have you ever felt mentally tired or foggy, despite getting a good night’s sleep? If so, you could be experiencing dehydration-induced brain fog. Fortunately, there are several strategies available to help you restore hydration and cognitive clarity quickly - even if you're busy or forgetful!

Warning: Reading this may make you instantly feel thirstier. Grab a glass of water and let's talk about it.

Drink and Eat Water-Rich Foods

The simplest way to rehydrate is to drink water as often as you can. However, eating water-rich fruits and vegetables such as watermelons, apples, celery, and cucumbers can also help tremendously. Especially if you struggle with your daily water intake or you don't enjoy drinking plain water 24/7. 

Soups and other broth-based meals are also a great choice because they provide both hydration and nourishment. Herbal teas are another option because they are not only hydrating but also contain natural antioxidants that help fight free radical damage in cells. 

Though dehydration and brain fog may leave you feeling more fatigued, try to avoid reaching for dehydrating fluids such as coffee or alcohol, as they may add to the problem.


Take Natural Supplements

Natural supplements can also be a great option for rehydrating quickly.

Potassium and sodium are key electrolytes that help to restore hydration levels in the body. Supplements like coconut water, which is rich in electrolytes, and spirulina, which helps to alkalize the body, can provide energy and rehydrate the body faster. Additionally, probiotic supplements can improve digestive health so that the body can absorb more liquid instead of excreting it.

Exercise Smarter, Not Harder

Exercise can also be beneficial in helping to reduce brain fog. However, it is important to avoid over-exercising, as this can actually make the problem worse.

Instead, focus on doing low-intensity exercises such as walking, yoga, Pilates, or simple stretching routines. This will help to increase the body’s natural ability to absorb water and regulate its temperature while improving mental clarity simultaneously.

You can resume more strenuous (and sweaty) exercise once you're feeling better. But be sure to increase your hydration even more to account for water loss from intense exercise.



Frequently Asked Questions about Dehydration and Brain Fog

What is Dehydration?

Dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluid than you consume, and your body does not have enough fluids to function properly. 

Symptoms of dehydration can range from mild to severe, including:

  • thirst (though you may not always feel overwhelmingly thirsty)
  • fatigue
  • foggy thinking
  • confusion
  • decreased urination

If dehydration persists, it can lead to serious health complications.

Does dehydration cause brain fog? 

Dehydration can have a significant effect on the brain, such as:

  • difficulty focusing
  • decreased mental clarity
  • brain fog
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • lethargy

Your brain mass is mostly water, and it needs adequate hydration to function properly. According to the American College of Nutrition, being just 2% dehydrated can impair cognitive performance for memory, attention, processing speed, and reaction time.

In addition to poor focus and recall, you’re more likely to be irritable and moody, which isn’t fun for anyone.

What is Brain Fog?

Brain fog is a feeling of confusion, difficulty concentrating, and memory problems. It can be caused by several factors, including dehydration, stress, lack of sleep, and certain medications. 

The severity of brain fog can range from mild to severe and can be very disruptive to your daily life.

What Are the Symptoms of Brain Fog?

The symptoms of brain fog can vary, but typically include:

  • difficulty concentrating
  • memory problems
  • difficulty decision making
  • slowed or sluggish thinking

In some cases, brain fog can also be accompanied by headaches, dizziness and fatigue.

Will Drinking Water Help Brain Fog?

Yes, drinking water can help reduce brain fog. 

But if you’re already feeling foggy and you suspect dehydration may be the cause, pay attention to your activity levels, diet, sleep, and fluids to help restore clear thinking.

If you’ve upped your water intake and you still feel foggy, or worse, you’re experiencing light-headedness, excessive thirst, or changes in your urination, be sure to schedule an appointment to see your doctor right away.

How Much Water Do I Need to Drink A Day?

As a rule of thumb for adequate hydration, aim for half of your body weight in ounces of water per day.

For example, a woman who weighs 140 lbs should consume 70oz of water per day to remain hydrated and healthy.  A man who weighs 200 lbs should consume approximately 100oz of water per day.

Strenuous exercise or exposure to intense heat will require you to add more water to account for water loss in order to avoid dehydration.

How Can I Prevent Dehydration and Brain Fog?

Naturally, the best way to prevent dehydration and brain fog is to drink plenty of water.

You should also avoid alcohol and caffeine, which are dehydrating, even though they are fluids.

Here are some everyday strategies to increase your hydration:

  • Make a conscious effort to drink more water throughout the day
  • Eat fruits and vegetables that are high in water content
  • Add electrolyte-rich drinks like coconut water
  • Carry a reusable water bottle with you throughout the day
  • Set reminders on your phone or smart-watch to drink more water
  • Take breaks during hot or strenuous activities
  • Drink a glass of water before and after each meal
  • Replace sugary drinks, alcohol, or coffee with water throughout the day

Final Words

To avoid falling victim to dehydration, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and monitor for signs that you’re falling short.

Using visual reminders, setting up phone alerts, and creating a habit of always keeping water within reach always will help you stay hydrated, even if you’re prone to forgetting.

Schedule an appointment with your doctor if signs of dehydration and/or brain fog persist.

Stay hydrated, friends!

Questions? Contact Francine Here

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Meet the Coach

Hey there! I'm Francine, a speech-language pathologist turned memory health coach with a passion for helping you overcome your memory problems.

In my practice, I help women just like you trade memory problems for confidence and clarity everyday so you can think clearly and remember easily, without constant self-doubt weighing you down. 

If you're struggling with poor recall and foggy thinking, you're in the right place and I want to help you!


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