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Children who drink more water perform better on multitasking and cognitive functions

Drinking water is fundamental for humans, and even more so for children, especially when they are engaged in sports and “forget” to drink. A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition now highlights this aspect and shows that consuming more water, or at least enough water, allows children to be more effective in multitasking, i.e., the ability to manage or do more things simultaneously and in general in cognitive skills.

Researchers at the University of Illinois have actually studied the impact of drinking water on 75 children from central Illinois. Analyzing children’s urine hydration and cognitive abilities with special task-shifting tests, the researchers realized that children aged 9 to 11 who drank more water not only received more water, but also showed faster response times in tests and better results in activities aimed at measuring cognitive flexibility.

In particular, the researchers forced children to drink only half a liter of water per day for four days or 2.5 liters of water per day for four days.

Naiman Khan, a professor of kinesiology and public health and lead author of the study, notes that children are at higher risk of unintentional dehydration; they are often dependent on adults who are aware of their need for hydration and daily water supply.

According to Khan himself, this was the first study to measure changes in children’s cognitive abilities associated with taking different amounts of water over several days.


Janice Walker

Janice Walker is a biologist (having graduated from Prescott College in 2013) and an experienced writer. She currently works as a pharmacist, contributing research and content to during her nights and weekends. During her time at Prescott College she was an active contributor to her student journal and hopes to grow up as a well established, popular science blog.
Janice Walker