Got a million and one tasks to do? In and out of meetings all day? Catching up with co-workers after the weekend? A day in the office can definitely be busy, and one thing that is often forgotten about is hydration. With so much going on, drinking enough water can easily slip our minds.
Staying hydrated is one of the most important things we can do for our health and wellbeing. And, if you’ve noticed you or your employees aren’t drinking enough lately, follow our top tips below on how to encourage everyone to stay hydrated in the workplace.
Why is Hydration Important?
Did you know that our brains are composed of about 70% water? And our bodies are usually around 50-75% water? So it’s no surprise why our water intake can have such a huge impact on our minds and bodies.
Unlike the usual go-to office drink of tea or coffee, water carries nutrients and oxygen to our cells which help to flush bacteria, aid digestion, help to normalise blood pressure, stabilise the heartbeat and protect organs. Drinking enough water during the day will also help us perform better mentally as it can combat tiredness and fatigue. This all leads to a more productive day at work and feeling better and healthier overall.
What is Dehydration?
Dehydration happens when you lose more fluid than you take in. When your body doesn’t have enough water, it can’t carry out its normal functions, and, if left untreated, serious problems, such as fits or seizures and even brain damage, can occur.
Exercise, hot working conditions and illnesses can all affect someone’s hydration levels. Some symptoms of dehydration can include:
- Feeling thirsty
- Feeling lightheaded
- Dry mouth
- Dry eyes
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Dark coloured urine
- Urinating less than 4 times a day
If you or an employee suffer from any of these symptoms, ensure they are getting plenty of fluids – primarily water or diluted squash – before the dehydration can worsen.
How to Stay Hydrated at Work?
Ideally, employees should be drinking 6-8 200ml glasses of water a day. While this may not always seem possible in the workplace, for example, if an employee is wearing protective clothing or the business prevents consuming food or drink during work for hygiene reasons, we’ve provided some tips to help both you and your employees stay hydrated at work.
1. Start the Day with Water
Whether it’s on the commute or when you arrive at the office, start the day with a glass of water to help you feel refreshed, energised and ready to tackle any challenges. If you normally start the day with a cup of coffee, make sure you also pour yourself a glass of water to have alongside it too.
2. Buy a Reusable Water Bottle
Reusable water bottles are an easy way to help reach your hydration goals. Available in a wide range of different sizes, you can hit your water level needs without needing to think about refilling. Our range of eco-friendly Mobot water bottles also doubles up as a foam roller, so employees can stay hydrated while stretching out their bodies too. They make the perfect welcome gift for any new employee.
3. Keep Water at Your Desk
For employees with a desk job, keeping a bottle of water nearby will be a visual reminder to drink more. The moment they start to get thirsty, feel their eyes getting tired or a headache coming on, reaching for that bottle of water will make all the difference.
4. Take Regular Water Breaks
A good employer will know just how important self-care is, and so taking regular water breaks should be something that’s actively encouraged. We’re all guilty of getting caught up in a busy workday that we forget to take care of ourselves. Booking in time throughout the day for quick water breaks will help to relax the mind, motivate and recharge employees for a more productive day.
5. Choose Hydrating Snacks
It’s very common to mistake hunger for thirst, we also tend to head to the fridge in moments of boredom too. If you’re noticing this is the case, keep a range of healthy and hydrating snacks on hand to combine the best of both worlds. Fruits such as watermelon, strawberries, peaches and oranges are all fantastic hydrating snacks. Yoghurts, smoothies, broths and soups are also great snacks to stay hydrated.
Unsurprisingly salty snacks, sugary drinks and treats, energy drinks, fried food and caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, tea and cola, are not recommended for hydrating as they all tend to pull water from the body and, instead, promote dehydration.
Create a happy and healthy work environment to boost working efficiency, improve focus, and optimise productivity by visiting our workplace wellbeing solutions page and contacting our team for more information.
Also, take a look at the 9 benefits of yoga in the office and learn how it can impact your team’s productivity and morale.