Jul 20, 2016

Can hydration improve your mental performance?

tour de France cyclist

If you’ve been swept up in the excitement of the Tour de France this week, it’s probably crossed your mind more than once how tough it must be to ride at elite level.

Tour de France cyclists lose, on average, seven litres of fluid during each race stage. They need to drink around 10 litres of fluid, or 20 half-litre bottles, to ensure they still perform at their best, but also to safeguard their health.

But what about us mere mortals, who aren’t competing in what’s often described as the world’s most gruelling endurance race? How can our hydration levels affect our mental and physical performance?

Scientists from the University of California, Davis and Nestlé recently collaborated on a study, published in the journal Appetite, that tested the benefits of drinking water on working memory and attention in a group of children aged 9-12.