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21-01-2019 | Original Article | Uitgave 5/2020 Open Access

Psychological Research 5/2020

Water supplementation after dehydration improves judgment and decision-making performance

Tijdschrift:
Psychological Research > Uitgave 5/2020
Auteurs:
Olivia C. Patsalos, Volker Thoma
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Olivia C. Patsalos and Volker Thoma are co-first authors.

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Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

Previous research has shown that dehydration and water supplementation affect mood and cognitive performance in both adults and children on a variety of tasks that assess memory, attention, executive function, and speeded responses. Given the varied effects of water on cognition, this study explored potential effects of water supplementation, hydration status, and thirst on thinking and decision-making tasks. 29 adult participants undertook a battery of cognitive tests on two separate occasions after having fasted from the previous night. On one occasion, they were offered 500 ml of water to drink prior to testing. Measures of urine osmolality confirmed the group-level effectiveness of the dehydration manipulation. Water supplementation was found to improve performance on tasks measuring cognitive reflection in judgement and decision-making. This increase in performance was associated with differences in tasks implicated in inhibition processes. Drinking water after a 12-h dehydration period increased performance in judgement and decision-making tasks, and this was not explained by differences in subjective thirst or attentiveness.

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