A recent study by Caroline Edmonds and her colleagues from the University of East London and the University of Westminster has shown that when people are thirsty, they tend to respond more slowly in performing tasks. Interestingly, extended response times were not associated with actual physical dehydration, but more with the experience of being thirsty.
In the experiment, participants abstained from fluid overnight on two separate occasions. The following day, on the first occasion, they were given 500ml of fluid to drink before performing a specified task and on the second they were given no fluid to drink before performing the same task. Their reaction times were measured and only those who were subjectively thirsty demonstrated compromised reaction times – the level of physical hydration itself was not the issue!
What can we take from this novel finding? Well, we at number 96 plan to make sure, from this moment on, that our water cooler is always topped up – specially during the warmer weather. We figure, at least for ourselves, we need all the support we can get when it comes to maintaining optimal cognitive performance!
So if you’re wandering down Harley Street and feel in need of a cooling draught, please do press the buzzer – we’ll welcome you to our waiting room (water cooler to the right of the fireplace, pictured above) with open arms.
Written by Jacqui Hogan