Did you know that nearly 70% of our brains is water? What’s more, the same figure for our bodies can be closer to 75%. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that we’re always being reminded to drink water. Not only is it important in the summer, it’s something we need to remember in the colder months. One way to start the journey towards hydration is to introduce good practices in the workplace. Before we offer some tips, here’s why staying hydrated is so pivotal.
Firstly, there are many problems that come with dehydration and many of them will affect our working day. In the short term, common side effects of dehydration include;
• Loss of concentration
• Joint pain
• Memory loss
• Lack of energy
Since we’re talking about the workplace in particular, not consuming enough water will drain your energy levels, make it harder to concentrate, and affect short-term memory; in other words, it’s a recipe for disaster.
Over time, performance decreases and you aren’t reaching your potential. When in charge of heavy machinery, this is even more dangerous. Often, you can’t afford to lack energy or lose concentration because it’s detrimental not only to yourself but to the colleagues around you. By drinking an adequate amount of water, you can prevent these issues and be on top of your game at all times.
Furthermore, we now know that there’s a clear relationship between hydration and mood. Thanks to the work of many scientists in various studies, we see that even slight dehydration leads to a negative impact on mood. Suddenly, we feel irritable and this is a nightmare for work. Why? Because our relationships with colleagues are strained and we struggle to complete our work.
On the other hand, when plenty of water is available, there’s a positive change in mood and this boosts the whole work environment. We’re content with being at work, are happy to talk with colleagues, and this makes the day go faster (and more enjoyable!).
Earlier, we mentioned the role of dehydration in energy levels and we want to dig deeper into this because energy is so important at work. When we feel lethargic, it’s hard to concentrate and all we really want to do is sleep on our sofa. With proper hydration, this increases metabolism and decreases the risk of daytime fatigue. With this, productivity increases, and the company moves forward.
We’ve focused on work, but what about our general health? Well, our kidneys are at risk after chronic dehydration; this includes renal failure and kidney stones. Aside from this, it’s important to remember that water plays a role in many of our bodily functions; we rely on it to survive. Therefore, dehydration can affect bowel function, skin appearance, muscle performance, our immunity system, and much more.
• If you feel thirsty, it’s too late. Get into the habit of drinking water regardless of whether or not you ‘feel’ thirsty. One way to do this is to have a bottle of water on the desk at all times. Eventually, you’ll get to the stage where you’re drinking subconsciously.
• Additionally, we’re advocates of taking hydration breaks. Even if it’s just for two minutes, walk to the cooler, top up the bottle, and consciously increase water intake.
• During the summer months, our appetite falls so we recommend eating foods that help with hydration; this includes many vegetables and fruits. Remember, one-fifth of daily water comes from food so don’t forget this area.
If you can stay hydrated, you’ll be able to concentrate at work, stay healthy, and enjoy life!