Water is essential for life without question, it makes up more than half our body weight. The quantity and quality of the fluids we consume every day can have a major impact on our wellbeing and long-term health. Our bodies depend on water to survive, every cell, tissue and organ, including the brain, need water to work properly and maintain good health.
It is important to stay properly hydrated, therefore drinking enough water every day is a must, 2 litres is a guide, but individual needs may vary. Although water is best for staying hydrated, we can get hydration from other things such as fruit and vegetable juices, milk and herbal teas. Caffeinated drinks, in moderation, are also adding to our hydration, as is eating fruit and vegetables.
Water can be perceived as being tasteless and boring, as a result sugary drinks, harmful in many ways, be a more palatable alternative. What you drink can be as dangerous as not drinking at all.
It is important to actively prevent dehydration and not wait until you notice the symptoms. Some people are more at risk from dehydration; People exercising at high intensity for too long, those with certain medical conditions, the sick, pregnant or people dieting. Older people are more at risk, as you get older your brain may not be able to sense dehydration, it doesn’t send signals for thirst.
In terms of hydration as it applies to education, for students at whatever level, optimising cognitive capacity must be desirable. Consequently, anything students can do to maximise brain performance is beneficial and if this can be achieved through simple lifestyle changes then all the better. Simply staying properly hydrated is one example that improves brain function, just a 1% increase in dehydration can impair brain function by 5%
Some facts about the brain and hydration:
A fantastic example of a pro-active and informative approach to this subject has recently been undertaken by the University of Plymouth’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, who designed a Pocket-sized concertina style z-folding Alpha Card titled “Let’s talk about hydration”. They turned to us to advise on the best format and produce the card, which had an extended cover with a drill-hole, so it could be hung around the neck of a sustainable, refillable metal water bottle which students were given. To match the sustainability of the bottle, the card, both its covers and inner, were produced on FSC sustainable materials.
The University wanted an engaging, retainable, reusable and compact medium to carry their important advice on this subject, which included signs of poor hydration and benefits of good hydration as below:
Signs of poor hydration:
Benefits of good hydration:
So, there can be no doubt that focusing on the required levels of hydration carries benefits in a huge number of ways, in this case as it applies to education, H2O is the way to go!