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Little Things Matter: Staying Hydrated in the Office Can Make a Big Difference

"Water is the elixir of life, vital to the well-being of every cell, organ and tissue in our bodies. From temperature regulation to waste removal and lubricating our joints, water provides us with essential benefits for healthy living." H2YO

Hydration is an often overlooked yet incredibly important aspect of workplace productivity. Studies have shown that workers who are even 2% dehydrated can experience a 15% drop in productivity, so employers should take steps to ensure their employees stay hydrated in order to maximize efficiency and output. Drinking water throughout the day can help increase concentration, focus, and energy levels so everyone can perform their best.

What are the benefits of adequate hydration

The benefits of proper #hydration in the workplace cannot be overstated! Hydration is a key factor in physical and mental well-being. Studies have shown that hydrated people are better able to #concentrate, #stayalert and #focused, process information quickly, and remain productive throughout the day. Researchers have also found that hydrated individuals experience less fatigue, headaches and muscle tension than those who are not properly hydrated.

Overall, the human body is made up of approximately 70% water, with certain organs containing much higher ratios than this.

  • 90% of the mass of your lungs is actually water.

  • 85% of your blood is water, believe it or not.

  • 80% of your skin’s mass is made up of water.

  • 75% of your brain’s compositions is fact water.

  • 75% of your muscles are made up of water.

  • 24% of human bones consist of water.

This water is necessary for the proper functioning of virtually every body system, including digestion and kidney function, controlling body temperature, facilitating cell function, and cushioning and lubricating your joints. During the course of a day, you lose between 2 and 3 liters of fluid through perspiration, urination, respiration, and other functions. This amount can increase significantly depending on your level of physical activity and specific working conditions. According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, men should consume 3.7 liters of water a day while women should strive for 2.7 liters of water a day.

Not drinking enough water can make it harder to concentrate or exercise. This is because there is less blood flowing through your body, you won't sweat as much, your body won't be able to cool itself down, and your muscles, eyes and brain will use more energy.

When you become even mildly dehydrated, you can develop a headache, feel chronically fatigued, and have difficulty focusing and paying attention, which is a recipe for a non-productive day at the office. By making staying hydrated at work a priority, you will have the physical and mental energy that you need to power through your day.

What employers need to know

It is important to note that hydration needs can vary depending on individual factors such as age and activity levels. For most healthy adults, in the office environment, hydration levels should be maintained by drinking 7-9 glasses of fluids per day.

For employers looking to improve hydration for a #millennials workplace, there are many steps they can take starting with examining the needs of a diverse workforce that probably show different needs and behaviors.

For example, a national survey of more than 1,000 employed Americans found that the most frequently cited cause for not drinking enough water was lack of thirst (43 percent). But is this really a valid explanation? Experts say 'no'. As our bodies often don't signal us to drink until we become dehydrated- leaving it too late! Therefore relying on your sense of thirst alone isn't always as effective when aiming to remain hydrated throughout the day[1].

Providing access to water coolers and water filter systems is a great start. But in a large team there will be close to 40% of people who don't like or can't drink enough from plain water[2]. This is partly related to differences in how foods and drinks taste to various people.

In such cases providing access to healthy hydration options like healthy #flavoredwater based drinks with #functionalbenefits can significantly increase the chances that your teams will drink enough liquids.

By organizing hydration challenges and creating an environment that encourages hydration with exciting alternatives to plain water or coffee, employers have the power to make hydration a fun priority.

By taking proactive steps to promote hydration in the workplace, employers can help create a healthier and more productive office culture.

Bibliographical references

  1. Benton D, Jenkins KT, Watkins HT, Young HA. Minor degree of hypohydration adversely influences cognition: a mediator analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Sep;104(3):603-12. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.132605. Epub 2016 Aug 10. PMID: 27510536.

  2. An, U.; Du, X.; Wang, W. Consumer Expectation of Flavored Water Function, Sensory Quality, and Sugar Reduction, and the Impact of Demographic Variables and Woman Consumer Segment. Foods 2022, 11, 1434.

  3. Adan A. Cognitive performance and dehydration. J Am Coll Nutr. 2012 Apr;31(2):71-8. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2012.10720011. PMID: 22855911.

  4. Ganio MS, Armstrong LE, Casa DJ, McDermott BP, Lee EC, Yamamoto LM, Marzano S, Lopez RM, Jimenez L, Le Bellego L, Chevillotte E, Lieberman HR. Mild dehydration impairs cognitive performance and mood of men. Br J Nutr. 2011 Nov;106(10):1535-43. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511002005. Epub 2011 Jun 7. PMID: 21736786.

  5. Armstrong LE, Ganio MS, Casa DJ, Lee EC, McDermott BP, Klau JF, Jimenez L, Le Bellego L, Chevillotte E, Lieberman HR. Mild dehydration affects mood in healthy young women. J Nutr. 2012 Feb;142(2):382-8. doi: 10.3945/jn.111.142000. Epub 2011 Dec 21. PMID: 22190027.

  6. Pross N, Demazières A, Girard N, Barnouin R, Santoro F, Chevillotte E, Klein A, Le Bellego L. Influence of progressive fluid restriction on mood and physiological markers of dehydration in women. Br J Nutr. 2013 Jan 28;109(2):313-21. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512001080. Epub 2012 Apr 13. PMID: 22716932; PMCID: PMC3553795.

  7. Zhang N, Du SM, Zhang JF, Ma GS. Effects of Dehydration and Rehydration on Cognitive Performance and Mood among Male College Students in Cangzhou, China: A Self-Controlled Trial. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 May 29;16(11):1891. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16111891. PMID: 31146326; PMCID: PMC6603652.

  8. Zhang J, Ma G, Du S, Liu S, Zhang N. Effects of Water Restriction and Supplementation on Cognitive Performances and Mood among Young Adults in Baoding, China: A Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT). Nutrients. 2021 Oct 18;13(10):3645. doi: 10.3390/nu13103645. PMID: 34684650; PMCID: PMC8539979.

  9. Zhang J, Zhang N, He H, Du S, Ma G. Different Amounts of Water Supplementation Improved Cognitive Performance and Mood among Young Adults after 12 h Water Restriction in Baoding, China: A Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT). Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Oct 24;17(21):7792. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17217792. PMID: 33114364; PMCID: PMC7662706.

  10. Szinnai G, Schachinger H, Arnaud A J, Linder L, KellerU Effect of water deprivation on cognitive-motor performance in healthy men and women American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 2005 289:1, R275-R280


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