Drink up to improve brain health

YouTube video

Exercise is like medicine for the mind and body, particularly in aging adults. Regular physical activity not only provides physiological benefits, it also reduces the risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other declines in mental function associated with aging. In his Share Your Research Talk, Brandon Yates provides an overview how proper hydration during exercise can help maximize the health benefits associated with exercise. He also discusses why this is particularly important in older adults, who are often chronically dehydrated.

0:00 Introduction
2:53 Exercise and aging adults
4:27 Aging and the brain
5:39 Hydration and health
7:36 Endurance exercise study design
10:12 Performance review
15:21 Future directions

Speaker Biography: Brandon Yates is a Ph.D. student at the Indiana University School of Medicine at the Indiana Center for Musculoskeletal Health. He studies the effects of dehydration and exercise on physiological and cognitive functions, particularly in aging populations. Brandon earned an M.S. in kinesiology from the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut and a B.S. in kinesiology from Indiana University.

Kevin McLean (iBiology): Producer
Brittany Anderton (iBiology): Producer
Eric Kornblum (iBiology): Videographer
Jiefei Yuan (iBiology): Editor
Chris George (iBiology): Graphics
Maggie Hubbard (iBiology): Graphics

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under
© 2007-2021 Science Communication Lab™. All rights reserved.


Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information.

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  1. The more recent iBio presentations like this one have a lot of busy elements on screen that detract from the content being presented. Any attention given to a growing array of dots or a moving grid beside the piece submitted by the presenter is attention lost from the content.

  2. Interesting insights. But don't you think that using a group of athletes whose probability of having exercised for most of their lives who have different physiological outcomes than that of general public? So would the results shown here possibly be something that shouldn't be generalized exactly because of the lack of diversity and representation of health dynamics that can be seen in the general population . I can see how athletes would be the only situation where people of very vast range of age can be put to a common intensive exercise regiment. But even then wouldn't the population size of older adults in these groups be smaller and very far from the representation of average health of people of that age group. Wouldn't this make the relationships seen in the data questionable when extrapolated to the general public ?

  3. Nicely presented BUT I don't think you can conclude anything about drinking and brain health from this, contrary to the suggestion in the title.
    It was an acute experiment on obviously physically healthy adults undertaking quite an extreme experience – like being in a lab, this does not reflect every day life.
    Concentrating your urine is normal physiology. Having concentrated urine does not mean that you are dehydrated. (You could have weighed them before and after?)
    Acute brain shrinkage in response to deliberate dehydration is temporary and very different from brain atrophy.
    Observational, so you cannot conclude that any hydration differences were causative. Maybe they were less fit, so struggling to keep up, drinking less to save time, and simply more tired at the end.
    The improvement in test performance was interesting but could have a number of explanations. Nervous in advance – keen to get the free beer later – etc. Was there a control where people repeat the test after 6h without having cycled 100 miles?

  4. What are the metrics that delineate "acute dehydration"? Were any of the century cycle subjects pre/post event even close to this, acute dehydration, standard? How quickly can one rehydrate to an adequate level? We are blessed to be almost always surrounded by potable water in the US. Most all those cyclists were prepared for hydration, and the only thing preventing this is the subject's refusal to ingest adequate liquids along the ride. Would liked to have known if after the century ride most/few participants remained adequately hydrated throughout the distance.

    Regardless of age, if you are going to constantly ingest water/liquids throughout the day, you are going to most likely need to evacuate more as well.

    I will concur, exercise is the most awesomest medication!!!

  5. Great presentation! Thanks for this. I think it would be a very good idea for this approach to be mainstreamed into geriatric an pre-geriatric healthcare recommendations. Should include how to exercise for folks with chronic problems like preexisting injuries to joints, etc. Looking forward to your book.

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