People who feel like losing their temper might find a glass of water calms them down, researchers claim.
Mild dehydration can alter a person’s mood, energy level and ability to think clearly, according to studies at America’s University of Connecticut.
‘Even mild dehydration – 1.5 per cent loss in normal water volume in the body – that can occur in the course of our ordinary daily activities can degrade how we are feeling, especially for women, who are more susceptible to the adverse effects of low levels of dehydration,’ said Harris Lieberman, one of the studies’ co-authors.
Drink up: Mild dehydration can have an adverse effect on the mood especially in women
Tests showed that it didn’t matter if a person had just walked for 40 minutes on a treadmill or was sitting at rest, the adverse effects were the same.
Lawrence Armstrong, one of the studies’ lead scientists, added: 'Our thirst sensation doesn’t really appear until we are one per cent or two per cent dehydrated.
By then dehydration is already setting in and starting to impact how our mind and body perform.
'Dehydration affects all people, and staying properly hydrated is just as important for those who work all day at a computer as it is for marathon runners, who can lose up to 8 percent of their body weight as water when they compete.'
Research: Test subjects who were dehydrated experienced more difficulty when performing mental tasks
Subjects were put through a series of tests measuring vigilance, concentration, reaction time, learning, memory, and reasoning.
Their results were then compared against those of individuals who were not dehydrated.
In young women, mild dehydration was found to cause headaches, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating.
Female subjects found tasks more difficult although they suffered no substantive reduction in cognitive ability.
Young men experienced some difficulty with mental tasks, particularly in the areas of vigilance and working memory and also experienced fatigue, tension, and anxiety.
Changes in mood and symptoms were 'substantially greater in females than in males, both at rest and during exercise'.
Experts recommend drinking two litres of water a day.