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.
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.
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
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