Staying Hydrated at Work
by Dr. Sarah Brewer
A Nutritionist and Doctor
Do you drink enough fluids at work?
According to the Institute of Health and Productivity Management, a 1% decrease in your hydration level can lower the amount of work you produce by up to 20%. Why? Because good hydration helps to improve your concentration, reduces tiredness and boosts your work efficiency.
You lose, on average, 2.5 litres of fluid every day - around half in urine and the other half through breathing and sweating. But by the time you feel thirsty, you are already significantly low on fluids. Your fluid loss is therefore best replaced by drinking regularly throughout the day - a good excuse to congregate round the water fountain for a well-earned screen break and catch-up with colleagues.
If you are exercising regularly, or working in a physically demanding job, you should drink up an additional litre of water for every hour of exercise, on top of your normal daily amount. You should also drink more during warm conditions when you will dehydrate more quickly.
Drinking water re-hydrates your body whereas isotonic drinks contain electrolytes that also replace lost salt and essential minerals. These are important if dehydration is linked with excessive sweating - for example if your office thermostat is set too high, or if you run or cycle to work.
One of the nicest ways to rehydrate and get some additional minerals is to drink coconut water – currently one of the trendiest drinks you can buy!