To do better in school or on a test, bring a bottle of water with you! That’s the recommendation of Dr. Chris Pawson, a psychology professor at the University of East London. During a study on nearly 500 students, Dr. Pawson found those who sipped water while taking exams scored 5% better than those who didn’t drink water. And students who started drinking water in class saw their grades improve by up to 10%. So, how does extra water boost our brainpower? Well, when we’re dehydrated, the part of the body affected FIRST is our brain. That’s because, unlike other areas of the body, the brain can’t store water. And water provides the electrical energy for all brain functions, including thought and memory. So, being even 1% dehydrated can reduce cognitive function by about 5%.
Plus, dehydration can elevate levels of the stress hormone cortisol. And sipping water whenever we want to can reduce cortisol levels AND anxiety, which improves focus and concentration.