Inability to focus and constant daydreaming can be signs of many things, but most of all, brain fog. A common issue that many people struggle with, brain fog can get in the way of your daily routine, making everyday items more difficult to undertake. If you miss feeling sharp and “on the ball”, there’s one place to check first that could be the reason behind your symptoms.

“If I’m going to work with somebody and help them to have a better memory, the first thing I say is: ‘How much [water] are you drinking?'” neuroscientist and author of Biohack Your Brain Kristen Willeumier, Ph.D., tells Mindbodygreen. Since the human brain is 75 percent water, it obviously needs this vital component to function properly. So, if you aren’t drinking enough high-quality water, your brain will likely start to show it.

“[Water is] going to help keep your blood pressure normalized; it’s going to help flush out [waste] from your cells; it keeps your cells metabolically active and healthy,” she explains. Each of these helps your noggin perform daily tasks with ease, without it, you’ll likely feel the difference pretty quickly. Perhaps most important to note, it only takes a little dip in hydration levels — like a one percent dip — for you to start showing symptoms.

Dehydration can impact even the simplest of tasks

With just a small decrease in hydration levels, your brain power can start to wane. Showing signs of distress like cloudiness and fatigue, this phenomenon also impacts your ability to perform physically. Women’s Health cites a few studies that correlate dehydration with brain fog and a decline in physical prowess. “There’s already a lot of quantitative documentation that if you lose two percent in water it affects physical abilities like muscle endurance or sports tasks and your ability to regulate your body temperature,” study author, Mindy Millard-Stafford explained.

As for their study, they found that just a two percent decrease in body mass from dehydration can impact basic functions. “The simplest reaction time tasks were least impacted, even as dehydration got worse, but tasks that require attention were quite impacted.”

To avoid becoming dehydrated, the recommended amount of water to drink is half your body weight in ounces, Mindbodygreen reports. Obviously, environmental and occupational factors impact this amount — so, if you live in a hot climate or work out a great deal, that amount should only increase. Plus, “you can get 20% of that water from hydrating fruits, vegetables, or green juices,” Willeumier adds.

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