Older adults who are exercising regularly often don't drink enough, according to a recent study. This puts them at risk for dehydration, which may subsequently reduce the cognitive health-related benefits of exercise.
Drinking plenty of water during exercise is essential in order to get the full benefits of working out, regardless of age. But while previous studies have shown that dehydration reduces exercise performance and brain function in young people, less was known about its impact on seniors until recently.
Cyclists averaging 55 years old were broken into two groups: dehydrated and normal hydration, before performing a timed thinking-skills test. Those that were well hydrated completed the test much faster after their ride than before, while those in the dehydration group showed little improvement.
This indicates that older adults should adopt adequate drinking habits to reduce cognitive fatigue and get the full cognitive benefits of regular exercise. Drink up!