Too much family togetherness...or just a little too much dehydration?

Too much family togetherness...or just a little too much dehydration?

Too much family togetherness...or just a little too much dehydration?

By Mary Lou Block, RDN, LMNT     

A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream is a great Shakespearean comedy, but mid-summer day’s dreams might be great comedies, too.  I mean, don’t conversations become a little humorous when summer family togetherness reaches a peak?

There have been times this summer I have made a perfectly legitimate and interesting conversation point, when a confused look crosses my husband’s face.  He responds with something like, “I have no idea what you are talking about!”  I think to myself, “I can’t believe he’s day-dreaming when we are talking,” or “There must be something terribly wrong with him.”

It’s a point of humor and relief to me to realize that this might not be some relationship difficulty, but rather a dehydration issue.

I say this because…
We tend to be dehydrated.
Summer heat dehydrates us even more.

Here is how a lack of water might complicate communication:

  • A slight decrease in hydration (1.36%) has been associated with depressed mood, increased perception of task difficulty, lower concentration and headache.
  • Dehydration is associated with a deterioration in mental performance.
  • A 1-2% dehydration is shown to decrease alertness and ability to concentrate.
  • Mild dehydration increases perceived tiredness.

It is worth noting that these symptoms are found in young and old, male and female.  It seems to me that decreased mental acuity, increased depression, and headache just might affect a good conversation—even with someone you love. 

So the next time your summer conversation goes south and you hear your spouse or kids say, “I have no idea what you are talking about,” don’t stress about your relationship.  Just chuckle as you hand out bottles of water and say, “A round of drinks for everyone!”



Photo Attribution: Pure water photo created by freepik -

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