How To Improve Your Memory and Concentration with Water

A common desire between all my clients is to solve the issue of procrastination and how to get out of a slump.  Some of us wish there were a magic wand or even a magic pill we can take to solve the problem. Well maybe there is a magic potion: water.

When we are dehydrated it limits the amount of water that reaches our brain and can induce a range of symptoms such as reduced focus, limited memory, fog, drowsiness and impatience.  Does this sound familiar?  Do you feel yourself suffering from one or all of these at the middle or end of your working day?

Most of us don’t drink enough water, yet when our body is composed of 70% water, it makes senses to drink more if it when our body is so dependent on it.

Drinking water and brain function are integrally linked. Lack of water to the brain can cause numerous symptoms including problems with focus, memory, brain fatigue and brain fog, as well as headaches, sleep issues, anger, depression, and much more. We lose about 2.5 litres of water every day just through normal bodily function and waste. Health Ambition says:

“Your thirst is only noticeable when the concentration of your blood increases by about 2%, and dehydration only starts at about 5%”

So what happens to our brain if we drink less than that?


The brain has a large proportion of water & fat.  It makes sense to supply the body with good fats and good clean water.  In fact, water gives the brain seems to fuel the brain with a supply of electrical energy for brain function including memory processes. Brain cells typically need more energy than any other cell in the body and water is a good source of this energy.

The brain needs water to produce neurotransmitters and nerve transmission requires half of all the brain’s energy.  So it just makes sense that when the brain has a healthy supply of water that you will be more focused and think more clearly. Because your brain does not store water, it is important to keep a constant, healthy supply of water to your system throughout the day.


If you find yourself in experiencing brain fog, lack of focus, tiredness in the afternoon, short temper, headaches or lack of clarity this is symptomatic of dehydration. It only takes a small amount of dehydration to cause a significant decrease in your cognitive abilities.  It need only be a drop by 1 or 2 percent for you to start experiencing some of the side effects or for your short term memory to become fuzzy.

If you continue to work in a dehydrated state, you can actually cause your brain cells to shrink in size and mass. This is most common with older people why may have been significantly dehydrated for many years. It has even been linked to dementia. Interestingly, brain inflammation associated with brain injuries inhibits the detoxification of harmful substances from the brain. Water is essential for detoxification. When we are hydrated the exchange of nutrients and detoxification becomes more efficient;


  • Keep a bottle of filtered water close by.
  • Add super green liquids or powders to your water to improve alkalinity.
  • Drink before you get thirsty.


  • Just drink coffee, soda or juice.  It’s not the same.
  • Drink wait until the symptoms present themselves, you’re already dehydrated.

What are your tips for staying hydrated? What else do you do to improve your memory and concentration?

Leave your comments below.

About the Author:

Barbara Clifford (The Time Tamer) is a time management & stress management enthusiast based in Alice Springs, Australia. She has spent over 20 years working in time precious and stressful industries such as film, hospitality and marketing. She has always had a burning passion for creating order and making sense of things. She is sought after like a beacon in a sea of chaos to provide professional development in the business environment through workshop training, coaching, mentoring, online training programs, webinars and as a guest speaker around Australia. Her professional experience has included contracts with small business, Not For Profits, Aboriginal Organisations, Media, Marketing, Aged Care, Universities, Health Services and Cruise Ships. Follow Barbara on Twitter @barbclifford.

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