We’re all used to being told that we need to drink 2 Litres of water a day for optimal hydration and health. In reality, most people don’t drink the recommended amounts of water a day, and instead opt for other beverages like tea, coffee and carbonated drinks.
Plenty of studies looked into the effect of hydration. The University of Connecticut showed that drinking eight or more glasses of water a day promotes good mental health. While the University of East London found that it made people up to 14% more productive.
But, could drinking at least 2 litres of water a day really make you more productive?
An experiment was carried out by freelance journalist, Michael Grothaus. When he stopped drinking anything other than water and upped his intake to 2 litres a day. He found that:
At Fusion OH, we strongly suggest that far from this being down to the placebo effect, there are many benefits to keeping yourself hydrated. And yes, this will not only affect your health and wellbeing but also how productive you can be. After all, our bodies are around 60% water.
Staying hydrated is important, which is why we recommend drinking at least 2 litres per day. Here are 6 evidence-based health benefits of drinking plenty of water.
If we don’t stay hydrated, our physical performance can suffer. This is particularly important during intense exercise or high heat.
Dehydration can have a noticeable effect if you lose as little as 2% of your body’s water content. This can lead to increased body temperature, reduced motivation, increased fatigue and make exercise feel much more difficult, both physically and mentally.
Studies show that even mild dehydration can impair many aspects of brain function.
In a study of young women, fluid loss of 1.36% after exercise impaired both mood and concentration and increased the frequency of headaches.
Another similar study, this time in young men, showed that fluid loss of 1.59% was detrimental to working memory and increased feelings of anxiety and fatigue. Especially when you consider that 20% of all long-term absence in the workplace is caused by stress.
These low levels of fluid loss can easily occur through normal daily activities, let alone during exercise or high heat.
Many other studies, ranging from children to the elderly, have shown that mild dehydration can impair mood, memory and brain performance.
Dehydration will trigger headaches and migraines in some individuals. Several studies have shown that water can relieve some headaches in those who are dehydrated.
Drinking more water regularly will prevent these episodes of headaches occurring.
Constipation is a common problem. Increasing fluid intake is often recommended as a part of the treatment.
Low water consumption appears to be a risk factor for constipation in both young and elderly individuals. Carbonated water shows particularly promising results for constipation relief.
'Tis the season to overindulge! Which means it’s also the season of the unpleasant symptoms experienced after drinking alcohol. As we know from our alcohol testing service, alcohol is a diuretic, so it makes you lose more water than you take in. This can lead to dehydration.
Although we need to point out that, although dehydration is not the main cause of hangovers, it can cause symptoms like thirst, fatigue, headache and dry mouth.
A good way to reduce your chance of a hangover is to drink a glass of water between drinks and to have at least one big glass of water before going to bed.
In two studies, drinking half a litre of water was shown to increase metabolism by 30% for up to 1.5 hours. This means that drinking 2 litres of water every day will increase your total energy expenditure by up to 96 calories per day. The timing is important too. Drinking water half an hour before meals is the most effective. It can make you feel fuller so that you eat fewer calories.
In one study, someone who drank half a litre of water before meals lost 44% more weight, over a period of 12 weeks. It is best to drink water cold because then the body will use additional energy (calories) to heat the water to body temperature.
The health benefits of drinking water every day are well published.
Keeping hydrated is just one thing to consider when creating a healthy workplace. We've already looked at the importance of active working and the impact that prolonged sitting can have on staff. If you'd like to find out how we can help you to improve the health and wellbeing of your business, get in touch with our team today.
Posted by Clare Hurley on
5 December 2016 at 12:00 AM
Absence ManagementHealth & WellbeingOccupational Health