Have you ever felt sluggish or lost your motivation as the day goes on? If so, you’re not alone. One of the reasons that can lead to exhaustion, distraction or loss of motivation is dehydration. We spoke with Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) Stephanie Ewals to hear the latest research on hydration. Here are a few benefits of avoiding dehydration and tips to help you stay hydrated and motivated throughout your day.

 

Hydrate to stay productive

 

Your brain needs to stay hydrated to produce the right hormones and neurotransmitters that send signals to your nerves, muscles and glands as well as control your heart rate. When your blood pressure drops, the blood flow to your brain slows, which makes you tired. Cognition or brain function can be impaired with just a 2% loss in water throughout the day. Proper hydration increases blood flow and will help keep your brain and your body awake, allowing you to produce what you need to stay healthy and alert.

 

Symptoms of dehydration can include dizziness, feeling light headed, headaches, nausea, fatigue, brain fog, mood changes, easily overheating or constipation. When you experience dehydration there is a change in cell size and function in the body. Some of the benefits you can experience from being properly hydrated are improved visual attentiveness, short term memory, mood, concentration and reaction time.

 

How much?

.

Everyone’s need for water is bio-individual and can change from day to day so it can be challenging to come up with a general recommendation. The Institute of Medicine suggests consuming 13 cups for men and 9 cups for women of fluids (water and other fluids) to adequately prevent dehydration. This can vary greatly depending on your size, your activity level, where you live, how much you sweat and more.

 

Most health professionals agree that half your body weight in water and no more than 100 oz per day is a good guide. If you are sweating excessively you may need to consume more water. It’s important to also look out for signs of overhydration which are similar to those of dehydration such as dizziness, feeling light headed, headaches, nausea, fatigue.

 

 

Tips to stay hydrated

 

You may already know how important drinking water is but are having difficulty sticking with the new habit of keeping up with it throughout the day. There are some tips and even water bottles to help you reap the hydration benefits.

 

  • Make goals and stick with them- Make a goal of water intake that is appropriate for you and create a plan to measure progress. If you know you want to consume 90 oz of water a day and your water bottle holds 30 oz, you’ll need to fill up 3x per day. A water break is also a great excuse to get up from your desk.
  • Don’t forget about food!- About 20% of our daily water intake comes from food so this can be  a great way to sneak in more water with hydrating foods like fresh fruits and vegetables which will also deliver multiple health benefits throughout your work day.
  • Don’t dehydrate- When the 3 pm slump hits it can be tempting to reach for a coffee especially in day full of back to back virtual meetings and lots of screen time, but overconsumption of caffeinated beverages can aide dehydration. Try a glass of lemon infused water for a pick me up instead.
  • Enlist help- Some days our health can feel like our last priority with work tasks and family time taking precedence. There are tools that can make it easier like setting reminders on your phone to tell you when it’s time to drink or smart water bottles. This HidrateSpark smart water bottle comes with an app that syncs with the bottle and glows when it’s time to sip! It also tracks your water intake for you so no need to add another to-do to your list.

 

While it may seem like getting in more water is just another impossible goal, following these tips can help make it achievable. Making your health a priority can improve your day to day productivity by giving your body and brain what it needs to function properly. Start by tracking how much you drink today! Visit one of these Staples stores to shop our selection of hydration and wellness products, including HidrateSpark smart water bottles.

 

 

Nutritional information verified by Stephanie Ewals, BS, NTP

Aspects of this article sourced from Nutrition For Sport and Exercise 4th Ed. Dunford & Doyle, Calabrese, E. J., & Mattson, M. P. (2017), How does hormesis impact biology, toxicology, and medicine?, CDC.gov, Riebl, S. K., Davy, B. M. (2013), The Hydration Equation: Update on Water Balance and Cognitive Performance