Water on the brain;;Research notes;Update

Surveys, studies and reports examined by Reva Klein

Children who drink eight to 15 glasses of water a day do better at school, according to Scottish educationists.

They are carrying out the recommendations of American researchers, who found that pupils who can't concentrate in class and appear drowsy may be suffering from dehydration. Children do not drink as much water as they should. What they do consume - fizzy drinks and fruit juices - are diuretics that deplete the body of fluids.

Researchers say that drinking eight to 15 glasses of water a day, depending on body size, weather and activity levels, is required for effective use of the brain.

Katrina Bowes encourages her childcare students at Cardonald College in Glasgow to drink water, even in lectures.

She finds that "it energises them and helps them to be calm and to study". She has also found that the teachers she works with on in-service training have been following the advice themselves.

"In primary schools especially, they can't believe the difference," Bowes says.

Brain-based Learning by Eric Jensen (Turning Point Publishing, Del Mar, California)

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