Monday July 16, 2018

Drinking water boosts mental skills in exercising elders

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Water fasting can be harmful Wikimedia commons
Water fasting can be harmful Wikimedia commons
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Older people who indulge in physical activity should increase their amount of water intake, to reap the full cognitive benefits of exercise, researchers suggest.

Dehydration has been shown to impair exercise performance and brain function in young people, but less is known about its impact on older populations.

The findings showed that hydration boosts performance on test of executive function that includes the skills needed to plan, focus, remember and multitask following exercise. Exercise has been shown to improve intellectual health, including executive function.

An elderly woman exercising.
Exercising elderly can drink water to boost their mind.

“Middle-age and older adults often display a blunted thirst perception, which places them at risk for dehydration and subsequently may reduce the cognitive health-related benefits of exercise,” said researchers including Brandon Yates, of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, US.

The study, presented at the American Physiological Society (APS) annual meeting at Experimental Biology 2018 in San Diego, explored the association between hydration status before exercising and exercise-enhanced cognition in older adults.  The team recruited recreational cyclists (average age 55) who participated in a large cycling event on a warm day (78-86 degrees F).

Also Read: Knee pain can trigger depression in elderly

The cyclists performed a “trail-making” executive function test–quickly and accurately connecting numbered dots using paper and pencil — before and after the event.

The team tested the volunteers’ urine before they exercised and divided them into two groups — normal hydration and dehydrated — based on their hydration status.

Drinking water boosts mental skills in exercising elderly.
Drinking water boosts mental skills in exercising elderly. Pixabay

The normal hydration group showed noticeable improvement in the completion time of the trail-making test after cycling when compared to their pre-cycling test. The dehydration group also completed their post-cycling test more quickly, but the time reduction was not significant.

“This suggests that older adults should adopt adequate drinking behaviours to reduce cognitive fatigue and potentially enhance the cognitive benefits of regular exercise participation,” the researchers said. IANS

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Consuming 4 Cups of Coffee Daily May Help Boost Heart Functions in Elderly

The team found that caffeine was protective against heart damage in pre-diabetic, obese mice, and in aged mice

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Consuming 4 Cups of Coffee Daily May Help Boost Heart Functions in Elderly
Consuming 4 Cups of Coffee Daily May Help Boost Heart Functions in Elderly. Pixabay

Drinking four cups of coffee daily might be a healthy addiction, especially in older adults, as it can enhance the function of heart cells as well as help recover from heart attacks, say researchers.

The study, conducted on mice showed that coffee promotes movement of a regulatory protein into mitochondria — cell powerhouse — which then enhances their function to protect cardiovascular cells from damage.

The protein called p27, an inhibitor of the cell cycle, was present in mitochondria in the major cell types of the heart.

In these cells, mitochondrial p27 promoted migration of endothelial cells, protected heart muscle cells from cell death and triggered the conversion of fibroblasts into cells containing contractile fibres — all crucial for repair of heart muscle after myocardial infarction or heart attack, and did so at a concentration that is reached in humans by drinking four cups of coffee, the researchers said.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

“Our results indicate a new mode of action for caffeine, one that promotes protection and repair of heart muscle through the action of mitochondrial p27,” said Judith Haendeler from Heinrich-Heine-University’s Medical Faculty in Germany.

“…enhancing mitochondrial p27 could serve as a potential therapeutic strategy not only in cardiovascular diseases but also in improving health span,” she added.

Also Read: Californian Court Warns “Coffee causes Cancer!”

In the study, published in the journal PLOS Biology, the team found that caffeine was protective against heart damage in pre-diabetic, obese mice, and in aged mice.

“These results should lead to better strategies for protecting heart muscle from damage, including consideration of coffee consumption or caffeine as an additional dietary factor in the elderly population,” Haendeler said. (IANS)