Drinks to Avoid for Slowing Down Brain Aging and Maintaining Cognitive Health

Our eating habits, including what we drink, contribute to the good health of our brains. Gilmore Health News takes a look at the bad habits that cause the brain to age more quickly.

Sweet Drinks

Sweet Drinks

All our movements, our cognitive functions, our organs, and even our hormone production are controlled by the brain. The way it works, but also the way it ages, is linked to the way we eat and drink. Let’s take a look at some of the bad drinking habits that cause the brain to age more quickly.

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Alcohol consumption is bad for the brain

Alcohol is well-known for its toxicity and high levels of it can kill brain neurons in a short time, so drinking too much to get drunk can cause brain damage. Your brain can recover if the abuse stops, but continuing to drink can lead to toxic effects and even inflammation of the organ. The toxic effects of alcohol also damage other organs, such as the liver and heart.

What’s more, drinking alone on a regular basis can be a sign of addiction. It has been shown that people who drink alone are more likely to develop mental health problems, including dementia.

Excessive alcohol consumption causes neurological disorders, liver disease, and a host of other physical and mental health problems. Alcohol dependence leads to premature brain aging and cognitive impairment.

And even if it’s just a small amount of alcohol, be careful. A study published in Nature Scientific Reports shows that people who drink moderately (less than 3 glasses a day for women and less than 4 for men) have a smaller brain volume than those who don’t consume alcohol daily.

Read Also: Sweet Drinks Including Natural Fruit Juices Could Raise Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes

Finally, drinking alcohol without eating can increase the risk of intoxication and brain damage. When alcohol is consumed on an empty stomach, it is absorbed more quickly into the bloodstream, which can have harmful effects on the brain. Alcohol becomes present in the blood and therefore in the brain within five to ten minutes.

Although each person’s body metabolizes alcohol slightly differently, drinking with food slows down absorption in the stomach. Food also dilutes the alcohol content, so levels don’t build up as quickly or reach such high levels in the blood and brain. So it is advised to combine alcohol consumption with foods rich in fiber or healthy fats (omega-3).

Drinking sodas or too much coffee

The brain needs glucose to function properly, but drinking very sweet drinks is bad for your health. Soft drinks are high in sugar and empty calories, which can lead to weight gain and health problems. Studies have also shown that excessive consumption of sugary soft drinks can increase the risk of dementia and cognitive decline.

It is advised that people gradually reduce their sugar intake by opting for sugar-free soft drinks. In the case of fruit juices and iced tea, glucose levels can be reduced by simply adding water. Another option is to make your own drinks at home and gradually reduce the amount of sugar and don’t worry, your taste buds will adapt.

Read Also: Alcohol Abuse: 6 Ways To Flush Alcohol Out From Your System

In addition, moderate amounts of caffeine have been associated with preventing cognitive decline and reducing the risk of developing Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and can even improve mood and concentration. However, too much caffeine can cause sleep disturbances in some people, leading to faster cellular aging.

Not drinking enough water and not drinking enough green tea

First of all, dehydration can contribute to feelings of tiredness and fatigue. So to keep your mind alert, make sure you’re drinking enough water and fluids during the day. Dehydration can also contribute to decreased mental sharpness, so you need to drink enough water and fluids to keep your brain working throughout the day.

It is recommended to drink between 6 to 8 glasses a day, depending on your physical activity, to maintain optimal hydration.

Read Also: The Influence of Psychological Distress and Fatigue after 45 Years of Age on Dementia Risk

You should be careful with alcohol, soft drinks, and coffee, but not green tea. It contains antioxidants, which can help protect the brain. Green tea improves memory, attention, and brain function in general. Including green tea in your diet is recommended to benefit from its protective effects on the brain.

References

Jacques, P. F. (n.d.). Sugar- and Artificially Sweetened Beverages and the Risks of Incident Stroke and Dementia. Stroke. https://doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.116.016027

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