A study by two London Universities in 2012 found that staying hydrated could enhance your academic grades by 10%, according to Europace. Water is an essential element of life, and we all know that drinking enough of it is crucial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
But most students, especially those studying online, do not consume enough water as required. Understandably, college life is demanding, and you may have little time to take care of yourself.
Nonetheless, there is no valid reason for you to ignore the importance of drinking water every day. Given that 2% of dehydration impairs your cognitive performance and affects memory skills and psychomotor skills, you must consume the required amount of water while you study.
Improved Concentration “A Vital Element for Online Learning Success”
Online studying demands high levels of concentration if you want to obtain a degree within a few weeks of study. If you are pursuing a doctoral degree through an online program, for example, you must put in extra hours studying to ensure you pass your final exams. That means you need high levels of concentration to make sure you don’t miss anything taught during lectures. And the only way to keep your concentration level up is to stay well hydrated.
Perhaps you are wondering how water affects your concentration level. Your brain is made up of 80% water, and even the slightest loss can cause problems like fatigue, sleepiness, headaches, and negative mood. These are issues you do not want while studying because they interfere with your focus and memory.
Drinking adequate water throughout the day might be a simple activity, but it gives your brain the energy it requires for improved functionality. Water is essential for transporting nutrients, oxygen, and removing toxins in the body. When you stay hydrated, part of the brain responsible for memory and thought processes functions well, hence boosting your optimal concentration.
Increased Energy Levels
Proper time management and high levels of energy are essential for achieving academic goals. Most online students have excellent time management skills but often forget to rehydrate. They allow their bodies to dehydrate, leading to fatigue, which slows down body functions.
Dehydration makes you feel tired, and your concentration levels decrease, leading to poor academic performance. Drinking enough water counteracts the effects of fatigue, which is why you cannot substitute water with caffeinated or carbonated drinks. So, instead of drinking coffee or carbonated soda, a common habit among college students, consume plenty of water or water-rich fruits. Rehydration increases the flow of oxygen in the brain, and as a result, your heart pumps oxygen to all body organs without straining.
By maintaining high levels of hydration, you will stay energized longer. Not to mention, you can undertake academic tasks for longer hours without feeling the strain because your body organs have enough oxygen and nutrients required for better function.
Enhanced Reaction Time
If you have been feeling sluggish while learning, chances are you are not consuming the amount of water recommended per day. Remember, your brain is 80% water, so when you drink insufficient water, the brain slows down. In order for the brain to perform well, it requires sufficient fluids to transport electrical responses to various parts of the body through the nervous system.
For this reason, you need to drink water to enhance reaction time when undertaking mental tasks like calculations or any other problem-solving project. Research shows that a person who drinks enough water will react 14% faster when handling mental activities compared to those who do not drink. Also, aim to increase your daily water intake if you consume coffee and other caffeinated drinks.
Coffee, for example, can keep you alert when you’re feeling sluggish. However, it increases the rate of dehydration in your body because it is a diuretic. Increasing the intake of pure water will make up for the loss of water, keeping you alert, and improving your mental performance.
The prolonged use of electronic devices is the leading cause of headaches and eyestrain experienced by online college students. However, the frequent headaches you have maybe a sign you are taking inadequate fluids that cannot replace the loss of water in the body.
Your body loses water through sweating and urinating, which results in a dehydration headache that can be mild or severe as a migraine. Insufficient water in the body causes the brain to shrink. The contraction makes the brain pull away from the skull, causing a headache. While taking painkillers might seem like the best option, it is not ideal. Since your headache results from the body losing fluid, rehydrating will relieve you from the pain.
Besides healing dehydration headaches, consuming water can help you prevent underlying infections and fever. Drinking water and eating water-rich fruits will help in balancing fluids and electrolytes that the body needs to function correctly. You also need to rehydrate every day by drinking 4-8 glasses of water.
Rather than drinking four to six glasses of water all at once, spread the amount throughout the day. It is wise to consume a glass of water every two hours. Nonetheless, you should not wait until you feel thirsty to drink water as you may start feeling thirsty when your body has already begun the effects of dehydration.
Water Regulates Mood
Studies indicate that happy students are likely to perform better in their studies. When you are happy, you feel motivated and have a positive attitude toward learning. Though there are many things you can do to feel comfortable, the simple act of drinking water improves your mood. A recent survey showed that people who drink enough fluids are three times more likely to be happy.
A slight loss of fluids in the body can leave you feeling tense, anxious, or lethargic. These feelings hurt your overall health and mood. Water plays a significant role in alleviating anxiety, depression and sleep disorders. During a busy day, taking water as recommended will make you feel better. Less fatigue, anxiety, and headaches mean increased energy and a good mood to take up academic tasks, even the most difficult ones.
Besides, taking frequent breaks to refresh your brain and body with water is ideal for getting a new perspective of the projects you are working on.
Reduces the Risk of Low Back Problems
Drinking sufficient water prevents low back pain. Most people believe bad posture is the leading cause of low back pain. But dehydration could be the reason you experience back pain. Rehydrating the body regularly improves lower back pain by lubricating the discs between the vertebrae.
There is a disc between every two vertebrae in your spine, and they play a vital role in supporting the spine. The primary job of these discs is to provide cushioning, split interlocking bones, mobility of the spine, and shock absorption. During the day as you work, the discs wear and tear, and the water leaks out.
This process does not pose any danger if your body is well hydrated. The gravity pulls down water in your spine, allowing the discs to rehydrate. However, if you consume fewer amounts of fluid, the discs in the vertebrae become dehydrated. When this happens, the disc is unable to hold your body weight. It collapses, putting a lot of pressure on sensitive nerves surrounding the spinal column. It is, therefore, vital that you stay hydrated throughout the day to ensure your spine is lubricated.
Aids in Detoxification and Weight Loss
It makes sense why you should not supplement water with other drinks. Your body is approximately 70% water, and each process depends on it. Liver detoxification, which is essential for the removal of toxins in the body, requires sufficient water. During detoxification, water flushes out liver tissues and helps the kidney to function correctly while the liver takes care of the cleansing process. Apart from removing toxins, water improves your body’s metabolism.
Experts recommend consuming plenty of water to lose more weight. For example, drinking water before meals suppresses your appetite, making you eat less food. Incorporating water in your workout plan can help improve performance and speed up weight loss. Water aids in burning calories, helps joints, connective tissues, and muscles to move correctly. Hydration improves your physical performance by ensuring your body organs like the heart, liver, brain, and kidney continue to function effectively.
So if you are worried about gaining weight because of spending long hours studying indoors with minimal exercise, consider increasing your water intake. You will end up losing more weight faster and increase the rate of detoxification.
It is easy to forget about water consumption when you are busy studying online. But the lack of water could be the reason you have problems concentrating and solving problems related to your studies. Consuming the recommended liters of water improves your cognitive performance and overall health, which are vital for better performance in class.