Considering we now spend on average about 13 years at work throughout our lifetimes, It’s becoming increasingly important, now more than ever, to keep hydration levels high so you can be sure you’re always running at 100% while in the workplace.
That’s why this Nutrition & Hydration Week we thought we’d do our bit by highlighting the importance of staying hydrated at work and the effects a lack of hydration can have on work productivity as well as mental performance.
Hydration & Work Performance
Our brains are about 70% water (while our bodies are generally about 50–75%) so It’s not actually that surprising that our water intake has such a big effect on our performance.
In fact, according to research, 2% dehydration can influence one’s mood, lead to fatigue and considerably reduce alertness.
In a continuingly developing study, hydration status has been shown to affect cognitive functions.
If hydrations levels drop and are sustained, then dehydration can also lead to short-term memory and the inability to process visual information properly.
No wonder one examination study revealed that those that drank water during the test achieved significantly better grades than those adults who did not.
A lack of water can also affect one’s mood. One study of 25 women showed that dehydration (-1.36% loss of body mass) led to poor mood, reduced concentration, increased the frequency of headaches and a tendency to find tasks harder.
“A survey carried out by the Natural Hydration Council of 300 UK General Practitioners found that 1 in 5 GP consultations were down to tiredness and fatigue and 1 in 10 of those were thought to be linked to dehydration” – National Hydration Council.
What Can You Do to Improve Hydration?
Now we know this is easier said than done; busy schedules can make it hard to remember to have the recommended 2 litres a day, and some types of professions can make it harder to access water regularly or to be able to keep a bottle nearby – so here are some top tips for you to bear in mind:
- Start your day with a glass of water – no matter what (this can even be during your commute)
- Take a bottle with you before you leave the house for the day, so you’ve always got a one on hand even if you are unable to access it as frequently as you’d like.
- To ensure you’re getting enough water, consider a purchasing a bottle with a trackable gauge so you can see how much water you’ve consumed and by what time of the day to guarantee you’re staying hydrated.
- If you’re beginning to feel the onset on any of the previously mentioned symptoms of dehydration, then your first point of call should be to get yourself a drink of water. Regardless of the situation, you are in – make it clear to your senior that this is essential.
- The body also has its own indicators of hydration levels – keep an eye on urine colour when you are visiting the lavatory and get yourself a refill if it is any colour other than ‘pale straw’.
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