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Does Staying Hydrated Give Students a Boost on Exams?

There are only a few weeks of school left, and your student has probably been relying on those No. 2 pencils lately. Test-taking season is here. And outside of studying, students are probably looking for other ways to improve their scores.

What if there was one super easy strategy that could improve exam scores by up to 10 percent? Would you believe that all it takes is bringing water to the exam?

Well, that was the conclusion found by a 2012 joint-study from two London universities. Researchers examined the grades and test results of 447 university psychology students, and they found that test-takers who brought a water bottle to the exam (only about a quarter of students overall) scored 5-percent higher than their classmates who didn’t.

Is it really that easy? If dehydration is a factor, it could be. In fact, many studies in addition to the aforementioned suggest dehydration adversely affects cognitive performance and executive functioning.

Avoid Dehydration for Maximum Thinking Power

Another example, a small 2010 study examined directly linked dehydration with a decrease in exam performance. During the study, researchers had 10 students (with an average age of 17) complete an intense cycle ride before taking a test to simulate dehydration. Participants were, on average, just 1-percent dehydrated following the cycle ride – very mild dehydration.

Following the workout, participants then took the Tower of London test, and the results found that dehydrated participants had to exert more effort to achieve the same results. The research team suggested “that prolonged states of reduced water intake may adversely impact executive functions.”

And finally, an article published in the May 2011 issue of Nutrients highlighted four smaller studies that found that children aged 7-9 showed improved memory and longer attention spans if they were properly hydrated.

These are just a few examples. Each year, the body of research on dehydration and cognitive performance continues to grow. For instance, studies have shown that dehydration leads to fatigue, heightened anxiety and even depression, and others are underway.

The bottom line: Getting a better score on those end-of-year exams might be as simple as drinking more water.

Throughout test season, make sure your student is hydrated! A water bottle full of Drip Drop is the perfect solution. Drip Drop has been formulated to provide maximum hydration, it tastes great, and it’s effective. 

Image via Flickr.

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