According to a study, even seniors need to stay hydrated when exercising because it can help them "reap the full cognitive benefits of exercise."
The researchers involved in the study delved deeper into the connection between hydration status before engaging in physical activities and exercise-enhanced cognition among the elderly.
While earlier studies have determined that dehydration can negatively affect the brain function and exercise performance of young people, not much is known about its effect on older individuals.
The researchers, who hailed from New England, said, "Middle-age and older adults often display a blunted thirst perception, which places them at risk for dehydration and subsequently may reduce the cognitive health-related benefits of exercise."(Related: Need another reason to drink more water? Check out these amazing health benefits.)
For the study, the scientists observed a group of recruited recreational cyclists. The participants had an average age of 55, and the group joined a large cycling event on a warm day, with the temperature measuring 78 to 86 degrees F.
The cyclists took part in a "trail-making" executive function test where they were instructed to quickly and correctly connect numbered dots on a piece of paper using a pencil. The test was done before and after the event.
Executive function involves the skills required to "plan, focus, remember and multitask." Regular exercise can help boost intellectual health and executive function.
The research team tested urine samples from the participants before they exercised. The volunteers were also divided into two groups, the first being normally hydrated with the second being dehydrated, based on hydration status.
People from the normal hydration group had a significantly improved completion time for the trail-making test after cycling, especially when compared to their pre-cycling test results.
Even though the individuals in the dehydrated group also finished the post-cycling test faster, the time reduction wasn't that noticeable compared to the first group.
The results of the study implied that the elderly must stay hydrated to significantly lower cognitive fatigue. Seniors must also stay hydrated while exercising to potentially maximize the benefits of regular physical activity.
Aside from boosting brain function, staying hydrated offers other benefits like:
You can learn more about how hydration and regular exercise can help you live longer at Longevity.news.