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Keywords:

  • fatigue;
  • hydration;
  • hyperthermia;
  • mood;
  • performance

Studying the effects of dehydration on cognitive function presents a variety of unique and difficult challenges to investigators. These challenges, which are addressed in this article, can be divided into three general categories: 1) choosing an appropriate method of generating a consistent level of dehydration; 2) determining and effectively employing appropriate and sensitive measures of cognitive state; and 3) adequately controlling the many confounding factors that interfere with assessment of cognitive function. The design and conduct of studies on the effects of dehydration on cognitive function should carefully consider various methodological issues, and investigators should carefully weigh the benefits and disadvantages of particular methods and procedures.