Many parents rack their brains to try to get their kids to focus and learn better. They know that for them to get ahead in this competitive world, education and knowledge is key.... or at least, being able to easily focus, think, and truly learn (not just memorize).
Sometimes, it is as simple as ensuring your children get enough good, clean, chemical free water. Dehydration can do a number on the body, and especially on the brain. Focus can decrease significantly with just slight dehydration. If your child is ever thirsty, he/she is not drinking enough water. If their urine has colour to it, they are not drinking enough water. If they ever complain of dry mouth or dry eyes without being on pharmaceutical drugs, they are not getting enough water. Less obvious signs are lack of focus, headaches, irritability, and hyper activity.
The brain NEEDS to be adequately hydrated to function correctly. Period. I put this as number two on the checklist because it is just such an easy added step to any and everyone's day. Note: this does not include fruit juice or soda, which should be limited to almost zero unless made fresh that moment. Fruit juice and soda have the opposite effect on the brain as it is high in fructose which raises blood sugar and correlates highly with depression.
How much water is enough? It will depend on your child, the ambient temperature, the activity level, the clothing worn, and the water type. Best way to tell if your child is drinking enough is by the colour of their urine. It should have a faint hue of yellow only.
Is tap water good enough? Unfortunately not. The chlorine in the water can affect the gut flora, which, as we will delve further into in a later post, is VITAL for brain health. The pharmaceuticals that people dump down their toilets largely remain in the tap water, even through some filtration systems. This can not only affect the brain by the drug action, whatever that may be, but also by reducing the good bacteria in the gut. Many antidepressants and antibiotics are in the water systems. These affect different people differently, but kids are especially susceptible to their harmful effects. Then there is fluoride which has been shown to negatively affect many things, including IQ. Certainly not something we want our children to drink.
Is bottled water recommended? I never recommend plastic bottled water for many reasons. Firstly, bottled water is irresponsible to our environment. Secondly, it is not regulated, so it is often just tap water anyway. Thirdly, when the bottles are formed with their chemical soup makeups, the water is poured in soon after, allowing many of the chemicals from the plastic to leach into the water. And no, there are no "safe" plastic chemicals. Depending how long the water sits in the plastic, and what temperature the bottles reach in transport or in storage, there could be a substantial chemical soup in the water. This is your only body, and the only body your kids will ever have. Just not worth the risk.
What about distilled or reverse osmosis water. These options are much better in that they are clean, but perhaps they are too clean. Natural stream water is living and structured, with many minerals. Water has a strong affinity to these minerals. When the minerals are stripped along with everything else during the distillation or the reverse osmosis, it still has this strong affinity. The water may hydrate you, but will take some of your limited but highly necessary minerals along the way. Easy way to rectify this is to add some minerals to the water so that the attraction to your minerals is nil.
What is the best water? Structured living water from clean natural streams, (or from companies that collect spring water in glass like Castle Rock Water Company). These sources have water the way nature intended. This water will hydrate you and your children faster and more efficiently, and with health benefits that are beyond our current knowledge. Let's just go back to nature. Simple is usually better..... Try it for a week. See if focus and behaviour improves! Let us know how it went in the comments!
Being hydrated is one more step towards being......