Although school may look different this year, you can still count on quizzes, exams, and essays. How do you prepare for these big challenges? Do you listen to music, load up on coffee, or do you pull an all-nighter to cram in everything at the end?
No matter how you prepare yourself from these, one of the easiest ways to keep your mind ready for anything is staying hydrated. Dehydration has been linked to having measurable negative impact on cognition, mood, short term memory, and attention. So, before you grab that next fluorescent green energy drink “fortified” with compounds you’ve never heard of, it might be better to consider a glass of water instead.
Think of water as a nutrient your body needs.
Now, lets get science-y for a minute. Dehydration causes more than just thirst. Water plays an important role in the function of our cells, tissues and organs—including the brain. Every system in the human body counts on water to function. Water transports oxygen to your brain, which allows it to communicate with the rest of the body. Even the slightest lack of hydration can reduce your concentration and cognitive skills, impairing your ability to think clearly and critically and reach maximum performance.
A 2014 study examined the effect on cognition that increased water intake had on school-age children. Subjects were asked to drink an additional liter of water over the course of the day in comparison to children who did not drink any additional water. At the end of the study, the children who consumed the additional liter of water reported increased vigor, mood, and scored better on short term memory, motor skills, attention, and visual search examinations.
Since our brains do not have the ability to store water, it’s important to drink plenty of it throughout the day to maintain optimal brain function. Studies show that drinking water prior to an exam may increase your academic performance. Your brain is roughly 75% water and when it’s functioning on a “full tank”, you will be able to think more clearly, increase your ability to focus, and experience greater clarity and creativity.
In a high-stress situation, like that big exam you’ve been cramming for, keeping a bottle of water at hand can be a legitimate help. One study examined the effects of dehydration by simulating it in three different ways (exercise-induced, water deprivation, and voluntary dehydration). In all three cases, dehydration was linked to a measurably negative impact on mood and anxiety. Staying adequately hydrated also prevents headaches, which can hinder your concentration and execution during exam time.
How much water is enough?
To keep your brain functioning at full blast, doctors and nutritionists recommend drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be consuming at least 75 ounces of water daily. Kids will not need as much as an adult, but children often rely on adults to offer them a drink so make sure to keep them hydrated, too. Students of all ages will have better memory and spend more time on schoolwork when they are properly hydrated.
This goes for more than students too! Whether your kids are getting ready to hit the books, you have an upcoming interview, a big presentation, or an important meeting, drink up! Staying hydrated can help you make sure that you’re functioning at full capacity no matter what task you’re tackling that day.
What water is best?
While knowing that staying hydrated is important in staying sharp throughout the day, making sure that you are actually consuming enough is another story. Any safe and fresh water will do when counting towards your daily goal, but not all water is created equal! Many people do not enjoy the taste of their water so do not drink the amount their body needs. Having access to the highest quality water makes staying hydrated a lot easier. Drinking straight from the tap can work for some people, but for people whose water is cloudy, discolored, or even smelly from excessive water hardness, chlorine, or iron, a glass from the tap may not be an option.
Sticking with your favorite bottled water brand might ensure that you’re getting the taste-free experience you want, but the price, plastic waste, and not knowing where the water is actually sourced from is causing more and more people to abandon bottles altogether.
For the best drinking water experience there is, you need to rely on an expert opinion. One of our Alamo Water Solutions professionals can diagnose your home’s water and prescribe equipment to tackle any problems getting between you and crystal-clear drinking water. With a reverse osmosis system, which sits below your sink or in a discrete location, you can have the best quality drinking water there is, making it easy to hit that daily intake goal.