Think to drink : the effects of adequate hydration on student performance

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Ottewell, Janice Elaine
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2002
Research on the relationship between nutrition and neuroscience suggests water is a valuable educational tool. What students drink can have a marked effect on their mood, behaviour, and, in turn, their ability to learn. Poor hydration habits and the consumption of food additives, such as aspartame and caffeine, can have a negative effect on student performance. This study examines the effects of regular and adequate hydration on rural high school students in a grade twelve class. Eight students consumed and tracked their regular beverages and mood for two weeks, while the researcher interviewed the subjects regarding their awareness of the benefits of hydration. In the subsequent three-week period the students drank a minimum of eight glasses of water daily, while at the same time eliminating caffeine products from their diets. Tracking beverage consumption and mood continued. A post-study interview elicited the subjects' feelings of well being, and understanding of adequate hydration, as well as the students' intentions, if any, to alter their beverage intake as a result of their experience. The students also completed written feedback regarding their impressions about their participation in the study. Adequate and regular water seemed to have a positive effect on the students' well being and mood. Several reported feeling more alert and more focused, less tired and less stressed—more ready and able to learn. In addition to teaching and modeling the educational benefits of hydration, schools and educators must do their part to ensure the availability of water in the vending machines, the cafeterias, and the classroom.
x, 83 leaves ; 29 cm. --
High school students -- Health and hygiene , High school students -- Nutrition , Academic achievement -- Effect of nutrition on , Water -- Health aspects