It turns out that Lucozade Sport doesn’t hydrate and fuel better than water after all. In the UK, our old friends the ASA have finally told them to quit saying so in their celebrity-laden ads. I guess it always did sound a bit iffy. I don’t think I was alone in thinking that hydration was essentially the process of adding water to stuff. The idea that you could improve on this by using something other than water always seemed, well, simplistic.
Well, it turns out there’s a Natural Hydration Council. (A council for the process of adding water to stuff. Naturally.) It was they who successfully lobbied the ASA to have the £9-million Lucozade ads pulled. Continue reading “Sports drink ad fuels complaints, producer ordered to water down claim”
Yesterday I drew attention to a study claiming that students who bring water into exams get better grades. I made the point that at this time of year the media are often keen to report ‘science news’ that can be framed in ways that make it relevant to college students and their assessment. However, sometimes the framing process can be somewhat perverse. Here’s an example I blogged about last year. Have a look at this video of a mouse swimming through a water maze:
Doesn’t look much like any college student I know. Looks pretty much like a mouse. And yet, when researchers at the University of Bristol published a review of how such laboratory tests show the way histone modifications and DNA (de-) methylation help stimulate the expression of neuroplasticity-related genes involved in stress-related learning and memory processes — all of this in rodents, remember — the world’s media ran with stories like this:
And they were correct to do so, of course. That is, if you take it that college students are pretty much the same thing as rodents. And that college exams are pretty much the equivalent to being forced to swim through a water maze as if your life depended on it.
You can read the full details in this blog post. Happy studying!
It’s coming up to that time of year again (in the Northern Hemisphere, at least). The daylight creeps longer into the evening hours, leaves on tree and shrub begin to glow in clouds of verdant splendour, migrating birds return to seek climactic asylum in our precinct of the ecosystem…and the mood on college campuses (and in many high schools) becomes afflicted by a shared anxiety. Yes, we are approaching Examination Season.
Another sign of Examination Season is the emergence of news stories in the mainstream media concerning Examination Season. Many such stories relate to the latest scientific finding that is somehow relevant to students and their exams. I suppose one reason for this is that most jobbing scientists work on or near college campuses, so their awareness of Exam Season is high. But the sheer availability of a huge population with bespoke occupational stressors might make research just a little too easy sometimes.
Consider this story, widely reported in the media the other day: “Taking water into exams could boost grades“, the Daily Telegraph declared. In what way, you ask? Well, according to the Daily Mail:
…one theory is that information flows more freely between brain cells when they are well hydrated.
Yeah, that’s how it works. In fact, that’s why we have grade inflation. Because of all the water in students’ brains.
Continue reading “Water on the brain”