Wednesday 22 October 2014

Does a glass of water make our children smarter?

I've recently been writing about how important the right food is not only for a good mood but also for the performance of our children. Now I want to take up the topic of drinking water. This is at least as important for ourselves and our children as nutritious food.

Therefore, I interviewed my "family doctor" Dr. Michael Greger and in a short video he presents some interesting study results :

Output studies from Israel and the U.S. showed that school children who eat breakfast and drank milk or juisce to it are mildly dehydrated when they are in school. Three different follow-up studies have now examined the impact this has on the performance of school children. The researchers gave one group a glass of water and the control group did not drink any what corresponds to their typical drinking behavior. Then the children had to do performance tests: attention, visualization, etc. In all three studies there was the same result: the children who had drunk a glass of water, felt not only better. They also performed better.

Why do we need so much water? Sure, our bodies contain mostly water but we also live in an unusual environment with unusual temperatures and we have to wear clothes, live in enclosed rooms and have heaters on. All this depletes the body of water. In addition, we eat mostly cooked food, which has much lower water content than our natural food like fruits, vegetables or leafy greens) and we eat way too much salt: this is pure poison for our bodies. Dr. Greger recommends less than 1,500 mg of salt a day.

What does this mean for us parents? We should have our children drink a glas of water every morning at breakfast. I have been doing this for quite some time because I noticed that the bottle of water my eldest takes to school was barely touched when I picked her up, again.

If you cannot convince your children to drink some water, you could mix it with some apple juice. A nice idea are fruit-infused waters. You just put some fruit of your choice in the water and let it rest for some time. The water will take on the flavor of the fruits and your kids will love it.

How you can determine yourself whether your children are dehydrated? Have a look at the urine: it should be clear and almost colorless, like water. Once the urine is yellow or even dark yellow, and smelly, your children are dehydrated. You should explain this to your children and raise their awarness in that matter. If they feel worn out or tired during the day, it can be enough just to drink a glass of water.

I know how hard it is getting enough to drink, especially during a stressful day. I have trained myself to get a litre of water right after getting up in the morning. Then I try having another one right before lunch and dinner. I hang in there. It has already helped me getting rid of my weekly headaches.

How do you ensure that your children are getting enough water during the day?
Here is a product recommendation from me: I've been looking for a while for the perfect water bottle for my kids and I found it now. Previously I had glass bottles but they are heavy and not allowed in school. Now, I bought the bottles from Nalgene. The best thing about it: the water does not take on a plastic taste. It always tastes fresh and delicious, even after hours. And the bottles are dishwasher safe. Us adults, we have the wide mouth version to take along our smoothies :-).

No comments:

Post a Comment