Is Dehydration Killing Your Productivity?

Is dehydration killing your productivity?

It’s easy to recognise symptoms of dehydration on a hot summer day or after an intense workout. But those aren’t the only times that put you at risk. In fact, it’s possible that you’re experiencing slight dehydration every day…and it could be putting your career success at risk. Find out if you’re more at risk than others.

According to PubMed at the US National Center for Biotechnology Information, “Being dehydrated by just 2% impairs performance in tasks that require attention, psychomotor, and immediate memory skills, as well as assessment of the subjective state”¹. Chances are that if you’re dehydrated by only 2%, you won’t even notice it, but it can still impact your focus and thereby your overall productivity.

Answer these questions to evaluate whether proper hydration is something you should be paying more attention to in your life and career.

1. What Kind of Job Do You Have?

For manual labourers, the effect is particularly severe. One study split forest workers into two groups: one hydrated and one dehydrated by just 1%. They were each tasked with de-barking and stacking wood. At the end, it was found that the dehydrated group performed with a 12% decrease in productivity². Add the fact that physical work means more sweating (and thus faster dehydration), and it’s clear that people with manual labour jobs need to be especially intentional about keeping water bottles handy!

The risk factors also increase if you’re in a job that requires quick reflexes and decision-making. Both of these things slow down the more dehydrated you get, thus increasing the risk of workplace accidents.

2. What Are Your Go-To Drinks?

Did you know that some kinds of drinks actually don’t hydrate you—and can actually do the opposite? Many people in the workforce are addicted to their daily caffeine fix, but sipping coffee all day is much more likely to result in dehydration. Coffee, along with other caffeinated beverages, are known as “diuretics,” which means that they speed up fluid loss.

It’s fine to have coffee or tea sometimes, but don’t treat them as a replacement for water (same goes for soft drink). Since one of the symptoms of dehydration is fatigue (we’ll get to more below), it can become a vicious cycle where drinking coffee makes you dehydrated, which makes you tired, which makes you want to drink more coffee! So don’t fall into that trap. Keep a water bottle handy.

3. Are You Experiencing These Symptoms?

As discussed, fatigue is a common symptom of dehydration. Also be on the lookout for these:

  • Feeling weak or dizzy
  • Confusion or mental “slowness”
  • Lack of focus
  • Headaches
  • Infrequent bathroom use
  • Dark urine (should be light yellow)
  • Dry mouth/skin
  • Irritability

Remember that these can present themselves subtly even if you’re just mildly dehydrated so it pays to be more mindful of this.

Especially as spring starts and the weather begins to warm as we head toward summer heat, be conscious about drinking enough water on the job. Who knows, it might be just the lifestyle change you need to finally push you to that promotion.

Did you know that ãlkalife 600mL and 1.5L bottles can be delivered to your home or office for less than $2 each? I always have a 1.5L bottle sitting on my desk as I find it easy to keep track of how much I'm drinking. Find out why alkaline water is so beneficial for your body by clicking here.

Do you believe dehydration has been affecting your work performance?

About the Author 

Tom (AKA The Waterboy) is passionate about natural health and helping others improve their wellbeing by following a natural alkaline diet. He is the director of alkalife working with his brother John on a mission to educate the world on how to take control of their health without medication. He is also passionate about reducing his carbon footprint which flows onto a lot of business decisions too. His pet peeves are inconsiderate people, people that cut into your lane without indicating and ironing.