When you’re preoccupied with a million different responsibilities at work, it’s difficult to remember to keep hydrated.
However, staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do for your body, as water helps to regulate your internal temperature, remove metabolic wastes, lubricate your joints, and keep your heart and muscles healthy. Studies have shown that those who maintain good hydration have improved alertness, better concentration, and overall enhanced cognitive performance compared with those who are dehydrated.12 Without adequate hydration, you may experience fatigue, dry skin, muscle cramps, sweet cravings, dry mouth, and headaches.
Don’t wait until you experience these symptoms to take action. Just follow these 5 easy tips to routinely keep hydrated at work:
Snack on fruits & veggies. Drinking water is not the only way to hydrate your body. In fact, about 20% of our daily consumption of liquids comes from solid foods – so bring some celery sticks and baby tomatoes to munch on during your breaks! Other wonderfully hydrating fruits and veggies include melons, cucumbers, grapefruits, carrots, strawberries, and cauliflower.
Sip through a straw. Some people find that they mindlessly drink more water when they use straws. Whether straws provide that much needed shortcut for you to reach your water source or drinking with straws is just more enjoyable and appealing, it’s worth giving it a try. You also have many crazy, bendy, and colorful straws to choose from to match your mood and personality, so make it fun!
Avoid dehydrating foods & drinks. Avoiding dehydration is just as important as striving for hydration. Stay away from sweetened beverages and processed foods, as sugar requires a lot of water for breakdown and metabolism. Drinking a can of soda may sound refreshing, but it will leave your body even more dehydrated than before. Alcohol is also a no-no for many reasons besides its dehydrating quality, especially while you’re at work!
Bring a water bottle. A personal reusable water bottle is a must-have to stay happily hydrated throughout the work day. Placing the bottle visibly on your desk will encourage you to take more frequent sips of water while inhibiting any cravings for less healthy beverages. It certainly beats making multiple trips to the fountain, which usually causes you to drink less, or purchasing bottles from the vending machine, which is expensive and creates plastic waste.
Infuse fruity flavors. Not a fan of the taste of plain water? Just add a spritz of lemon or lime juice for a citrusy twist to your drink. You can also infuse your favorite fruits, veggies, and herbs in water to extract their delicious flavors and get creative with the combinations – strawberry and cucumber water, rosemary and grapefruit water… the possibilities are endless!
- Szinnai G et al. (2005) Effect of water deprivation on cognitive-motor performance in healthy men and women. American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology 289(1).
- Shirreffs SM et al. (2004) The effects of fluid restriction on hydration status and subjective feelings in man. British Journal of Nutrition 91(6).