How does drinking water help studying?
I know everyone says that you should make sure you drink plenty of water but have you ever wondered why this is? Is it just a strange piece of advice or is there scientific evidence surrounding it? Well, it turns out that there is lots of evidence on this topic, so here we will explore three ways in which drinking water can help studying.
Drinking water improves short term memory
In research carried out in a school in Italy it was shown that drinking water improved short term memory. It is suggested that this was due to a decrease in cortisol. Since high cortisol levels can make short term memory worse it is likely that drinking water would improve short term memory. Therefore, by drinking more water, you may be able to improve your short term memory, making it more likely that information reaches your long term memory. This is obviously beneficial to studying as the aim of revision is to get information into your long term memory.
Drinking water improves concentration
A study using primary school children found that drinking water helped to increase concentration. Now, I know you’re probably not in primary school but I don’t see any good reason why this wouldn’t also work for you. So, when you are at school or at home revising, try to have water with you (and actually drink it) as this might help you to focus better.
Drinking water improves sleep
It has been shown that by drinking water your body can produce more of a hormone called melatonin. This is a really important hormone for helping you sleep so having a lot of it is clearly important. Since getting enough sleep makes you feel more alert and focused when you are studying it is obviously sensible to drink enough water to help you sleep better.
Basically, drinking water is clearly a good idea for a lot of different reasons. Why don’t you make sure you get a glass of water to put on your desk at the start of each study session?
Leave a comment to let me know if you have found this article useful in persuading you to drink more water 🙂
Briggs, L., Menger, B. (2011) The effect of an intervention to improve water consumption on pupils, parents and teachers, Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, http://web.b.ebscohost.com.libezproxy.open.ac.uk/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=970f70c9-361c-4f35-aa36-a8f7104e62c2%40sessionmgr105&vid=1&hid=110
Fadda, R., Rapinett, G., Grathwohl, D., Parisi, M., Fanari, R., Calò, C., Schmitt, J. (2012) Effects of drinking supplementary water at school on cognitive performance in children, Appetite, http://www.sciencedirect.com.libezproxy.open.ac.uk/science/article/pii/S0195666312002292