Why exercising older adults should drink more water

ANI | Updated: Apr 23, 2018 09:52 IST

Why exercising older adults should drink more water .

Washington D C [USA], Apr 23 (ANI): Older people, who drink more water post workout, reap more cognitive health-related benefits of exercise, suggests a study .

Dehydration has been shown to impair exercise performance and brain function in young people, but less is known about its impact on older populations .

"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," a team of New England-based researchers wrote .

The researchers recruited recreational cyclists (average age 55) who participated in a large cycling event on a warm day (78-86 degrees F) . The cyclists performed a "trail-making" executive function test--quickly and accurately connecting numbered dots using paper and pencil--before and after the event . Executive function includes the skills needed to plan, focus, remember and multitask . Exercise has been shown to improve intellectual health, including executive function .

The research team tested the volunteers' urine before they exercised and divided them into two groups--normal hydration and dehydrated--based on their hydration status .

The normal hydration group showed noticeable improvement in the completion time of the trail-making test after cycling when compared to their pre-cycling test . The dehydration group also completed their post-cycling test more quickly, but the time reduction was not significant .

"This suggests that older adults should adopt adequate drinking behaviors to reduce cognitive fatigue and potentially enhance the cognitive benefits of regular exercise participation," the researchers wrote .

The study was presented at the American Physiological Society (APS) annual meeting at Experimental Biology 2018 in San Diego . (ANI)