Water Intake, Hydration, and Cognitive Performance in Children
- Gertrude Gentile-Rapinett, PhD
- Nestlé Research Centre Lausanne
- In children, dehydration is associated with a reluctance to participate in difficult tasks, a loss of psychomotor skills (movement driven by mental processes, as opposed to reflexive movement), reduced cognitive function, and an impaired short and long-term memory.
- Depending on the child’s current hydration status, supplementing water can either improve or worsen cognitive performance.
- Habitual hydration is imperative for optimal cognition in humans. Although this has not yet been extensively explored in pets, we should aim to ensure that our pets have an unlimited access to water (unless contraindicated) and that there are minimal fluctuations between dehydrated and hyper-hydrated states.