3.2 Effects of drinking water on learning

In recent years, several studies have been conducted to highlight how drinking water and the state of hydration of each individual conditions the normal functioning of our brain.

We will cite two of these studies: the one published in the pages of "Frontiers in Human Neuroscience" and the one conducted by Dr. Emma Derbyshire of Manchester Metropolitan University in collaboration with the Natural Hydration Council.

In the first, the scientists recruited a sample of 34 volunteers, who had neither eaten nor drunk for an entire night. After that, the volunteers would be subjected to tasks of memory, attention, learning and reaction times.

Later, the reaction of the sample of volunteers would be tested with a diet that included a single cereal bar or a bar and a glass of water. Well, apparently the reaction times in those who had drunk the water would have been increased by 14%, especially in the subjects who said they were thirsty.

In the second case, Dr. Emma Derbyshire of Manchester Metropolitan University in collaboration with the Natural Hydration Council conducted an interesting study on a sample of 166 children aged between 11 and 12 years published in volume 12 n. 2 of the Complete Nutrition of May 2012. The research showed that drinking bottled water in the quantities recommended by the European Food Safety Authority considerably increase cognitive abilities, visual memory and in general all the intellectual activities of the little ones. The doctor commented: "This research indicates that properly hydrated children could perform better. And the rules of proper hydration should be taught at school too."

Further confirmation came from a recent test conducted by researchers at the University of East London on a sample of 58 children between 7 and 9 years old, showing that proper hydration significantly improves visual attention and memory.

It is good to remember that young people and children are more exposed to the risk of dehydration than adults because of their high surface to body mass ratio.

Finally, some psychological tests indicate that a dehydration of 2% of body weight leads to a significant decrease in short-term and long-term memory and to reaction times to a stimulus.

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