Is This One Thing Holding You Back at Work?

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If you’re like most working people, you probably wish you had more hours in your day. Between work, family life, extra obligations like online degree programs, and your ever important time-off to let off some steam, you can feel like you’re living with an energy deficit. But did you know that one single thing could possibly be affecting your ability to use your work hours productively?

You might be mildly dehydrated!

According to the director of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Exercise Physiology Laboratory, “We find that when people are mildly dehydrated they really don’t do as well on tasks that require complex processing or on tasks that require a lot of their attention.” That doesn’t sound like a good thing for your workplace productivity levels at all!

Dehydration can particularly be a problem in work environments where people feel they cannot (or should not) take regular breaks. Either because people aren’t free to get drinks when they need them, or because they don’t feel like they’re free to take restroom breaks as needed and therefore deliberately drink less water than they need.

Most people who have ever paid attention to their diet or nutrition know the importance of drinking water throughout the day, but many of us turn to less efficient beverages to quench our thirst which can also be part of the problem. A cola, or a bottle of juice, or even a sports drink simply does not offer the same hydration power of an equivalent volume of water.

Coffee, and even tea, can also contribute to dehydration if consumed in large enough quantities because of the diuretic effects of caffeine.

So how much water do you need to drink? It really does vary according to your height, weight, and activity level. Eight glasses of water a day is still a good recommended starting point, but you may very well need more. Consider purchasing an eco-friendly stainless steel water bottle in a 24oz or 32oz size so you know that you’ve consumed a good portion of your daily water intake necessity when you’re done.

While requirements vary per person, your urine color is a “good guide” to whether you may be dehydrated or not. Lighter yellow is better.

So as you’re skipping from work to daycare to the gym and then to your night classes, just keep in mind how important your hydration level is to your performance throughout the day!