Hydration is one of those health considerations that everyone knows about but doesn’t stay fully on top of. We all know the health benefits of drinking a glass of water, but when we get thirsty, a nice soda or an alcoholic beverage always seems the better option.
However, is it possible that keeping hydrated is good for productivity? In the same vein, does failing to drink water regularly become a hindrance to the amount of work we can produce?
Let’s explore the effect of hydration on productivity as well as some fun ways to be reminded to top off that glass.
How Does Hydration Affect Productivity?
If you research on the Internet how hydration affects productivity, you’ll find many water companies speaking of quite amazing statistics while trying to sell you water bottles and dispensers. Instead, let’s look at a source that is based on scientific studies.
Hydration for Health has an entire collection of studies we can use, and each study’s findings are amazing. Let’s check out some of the studies and see what they have determined about dehydration’s effect on productivity.
Effects of Two Percent Body Mass Dehydration
First, there is a study where soldiers performed an exercise that exposed tbem to heat and deprived them of water. This caused a two-percent drop in body mass through dehydration. When studied, more than one hundred soldiers had a short term memory, the inability to perform calculations correctly, and a short attention span.
The dehydration percentage may seem small, but remember this is losing two percent of your entire body mass by dehydration alone. As such, this “small percent” is actually a considerable chunk of water lost from the body.
Effects of Dehydration Below Two Percent
That study led people for some time to advise against dehydration equal to two percent of body mass. However, more recently scientists have been looking at what happens before that two-percent mark.
Sure enough, at smaller levels dehydration still affects you. One study showed that men with 1.6 percent dehydration felt fatigued, and women at 1.4 percent had more difficulty completing cognitive tasks.
All of these tests used exercise to dehydrate the test subjects, so another test was performed that didn’t rely on activity in case that had an effect. Sure enough, if subjects were restricted from drinking water, their ability to think straight dropped at the 10-hour mark.
Let’s think about this number for a moment. Let’s assume you wake up from an eight-hour sleep and haven’t had any water for two hours before bed. The moment you open your eyes, you’re already feeling the negative effects of dehydration. This makes it a good idea to drink some water in the morning before starting any work.
Easy Ways to Stay Hydrated
Now that we know hydration does lead to cognitive issues, it’s a good idea to keep yourself topped off throughout the day. The question is, how much should you drink?
We can get a scientific average for how much a regular person should drink, but the solution comes down to their own personal lifestyle. Some people are more active than others, which means they lose more water in sweat. Others live in colder climates, which means they don’t perspire as much as those in warmer climates.
It’s best to hydrate at a pace you find fitting, but how do you remind yourself to do it? You could set a timer or make post-it notes, but those are kind of boring.
Instead, to really get yourself in the mood to drink more water, why not try a hydration time marker bottle? These have markers on the bottle that inform you when you should take a sip and how much to drink. Once the morning hydration if finished, the bottle is refilled, and the other side of the bottle is read for the afternoon and evening schedule markers.
If you’re feeling a little fancier, why not try a smart bottle? These use sensors and an app to track how much water has been consumed throughout the day. When it’s time to take a sip, the whole bottle will light up to remind you.
Speaking of apps, there are free ones to remind you to hydrate. Hydro, for instance, lets you enter data on what you drink plus inform it when you had a particularly hot day. Hydro will draw up a hydration plan and remind you to take a sip of water. It will even show you your hydration percentage throughout the day.
Don’t Wait to Hydrate
Can dehydration affect your workflow? Sure enough, it can lead to feelings of fatigue, loss of concentration, and the inability to perform calculations quickly. Fortunately, there are many fun and interesting ways you can remind yourself to top it off, so keeping on top of your hydration does not need to be a chore.