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Water Improves Symptoms of ADHD

To lessen symptoms of ADHD, drink more water.

It sounds simple and it is. And yet, many people forget to do this simple task each day, leading to reduced levels of attention and impaired cognition.

Consider these studies done on children:

In one study, 40 children around 8 years old were tested on their memory and attention skills.  The first day the children were allowed frequent trips to the water fountains and some carried water bottles. In addition, water was given at lunch and again in the afternoon.

The second day, no water was allowed to be consumed with similar tests conducted. Test results were significantly better the day the water had been given compared to the day of no water at all.

Does mild dehydration impair cognition?

In another study, 58 children between 7-9 years old were divided into two groups. One group was given water, the other was not. Of the group that was given water, 250 mL to be exact, 212 mL on average was consumed.

Testing 20 minutes after most of the water had been consumed resulted in better attention and memory, revealing that mild dehydration in children can impair cognition.

Does drinking enough water simply make you happier?  

Finally, in a class of  23 seven-year olds,  (approximate age), a study was conducted on eleven children who received water, while 12 did not, in a room temperature averaging 68 degrees F. Testing began 9:30 am, and ended 20 minutes later. After forty minutes, half the children were given a 500 mL bottle of which on average 409 mL was consumed. The test session began 45 min after the water was given.

Those who drank water rated themselves as happier. Furthermore, visual attention and visual search were better in those who consumed water, while no change was observed in visual memory and visuomotor performance.

Still, there are many benefits with daily water consumption, in addition to improved cognition:  

  • Skin elasticity
  •  Replenishes daily water loss through sweat, urinating
  • Aids bodily functions such as digestion, circulation, bowel functions, nutrient absorption and transport, and creation of saliva.
  • Fuels muscles and lubricates joints
  • Cleanses toxins

We don’t know conclusively the mechanisms that hydration has on improved cognitive functioning, but based on this data, we can conclude that drinking water daily may improve symptoms of ADD/ADHD in children and adults.

The problem though for those of us that have ADD/ADHD is that we forget to do something as simple as drink more water.

My recommendation:

I recommend that my clients have water delivered each month. It costs $10 a month to have a five gallon jug of water delivered. Make sure the plastic bottles ae PBA free. Also, spend $200 on a nice dispenser that you will enjoy looking at and can place in a central location in your house or in your office. The sight of the cold water dispenser will encourage more drinking.

To view full study:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257694/

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