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Swallow it like Beckham

IF the David Beckhams of the World Cup can drink regularly from water bottles for hydration essential to peak performance, so can all pupils in Angus involved in the learning game.

Sports-type bottles, with nozzles and branding, are to be encouraged in classrooms as an alternative to cups and glasses. Their use limits the mess and damage to books and papers if drinks are spilt. It would also make it "cool" to drink like Beckham.

The authority this week agreed to spend pound;25,000 over the next two years to update water supplies in schools. Pupils will be able to bring in bottles and fill them at fountains, which will be moved out of their traditional spot in the toilets and into a more attractive environment.

Studies, the council says, show that children value being allowed to drink in class and that it does not lead to disruption.

Schools that encourage children to drink more report better concentration, fewer headaches, improved behaviour and better academic performance. Many children are said to suffer from dehydration and grow tired and easily distracted.

"Children are at greater risk of becoming dehydrated than adults for several reasons, including the lack of access to a palatable water supply during the day.

"They have a larger surface area compared to their volume (which leads to relatively more water being lost by the body). They may not recognise the thirst signal because they may not be in the habit of drinking enough," Angus states.

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