Hydration Boosts Concentration Among UK Students

UK based bottled water manufacturer Willow Water has recently completed a joint initiative with Morecambe Community High School (MCHS) to provide free water for a school project to test the benefits of drinking water among pupils. The results showed that there was a statistically significant overall improvement in concentration levels, according to the company which also claims the eponymous branded water can improved the student’s skin conditions.

Students were asked to drink 1.5 litres of Willow Water each per day including weekends and to complete before and after questionnaires. Their parents and teachers were also asked to complete questionnaires both before the ‘trial’ started and at the end. These questionnaires were designed to monitor student concentration levels.

The project with MCHS ended recently and the results showed that drinking more (Willow) water definitely had a positive effect on concentration levels with 48% of the pupils noticing an improvement. A further 42% noticed a positive improvement in their level of excitability and 38% felt their anger control had improved. Throughout the trial several teachers reported that during the afternoon sessions the children were able to stay on task for longer periods of time. The school used the trial in a selection of lessons including statistics, science and math. The psychology students also looked at the effects of hydration and some of the teachers also participated.

Philip Sinclair, Chemistry and Science teacher at Morecambe School is delighted with the trial. “The trials went well although distribution of the water was hard work! There was a buzz in the whole school about it – in fact I had kids approach me in the corridor wanting to take part.” The results are in line with government recommendations which state that children should drink at least 1.5 – 2 litres of water per day. Water makes up about 80% of the brain and is an essential element in neurological transmissions.

Poor hydration adversely affects a child’s mental performance and symptoms include tiredness, headaches reduced alertness and ability to concentrate. Mental performance, including memory, attention and concentration, deteriorates progressively as the degree of dehydration increases.

MCHS is encouraging the children to maintain their water consumption so that this may reflect positively in their GCSE results.