6 Tips to Stay Hydrated at Work
How much water do you drink during the workday? It can be hard to stay hydrated if you are distracted by urgent projects, or you are too busy to take time for frequent bathroom breaks. It’s no surprise that water is essential for good health, but far too many people are walking around in mild dehydration.
Are You Dehydrated?
If you aren’t proactive about drinking water throughout the day, then you might be at risk of dehydration. Many people assume that dehydration only happens when exercising or spending time in the sun and heat. Yes, sweating increases the rate of water loss, but you don’t have to be dripping to be dehydrated.
Thirst is the obvious sign that you need water, but many people mix up their thirst signals with hunger pangs. When the body is dehydrated, not only is it lacking water, but you are also losing important electrolytes such as potassium and salt.
Chronic dehydration can lead to various health symptoms:
- Bad breath
- Dry skin
- Flushed skin
- Food cravings (especially for sweets)
- Dark yellow urine
- Muscle cramps
Dehydration can happen if you go days and weeks without drinking enough water. Other health conditions or environmental factors can also contribute to the development of dehydration. For example, vomiting or diarrhea can affect hydration. A high fever or excessive sweating due to exercise or heat can also lead to dehydration.
How to Drink More Water at Work
Do you find it challenging to get enough water during the day? Even if your symptoms are minor, don’t overlook the importance of upping your water intake. The general recommendation is to drink 8 glasses of water per day, but that varies depending on your activity levels, size, and individual health needs.
Here are a few tips that can be used in the office, making it easier to stay hydrated at work:
- Fill Your Water Bottle: Choose a water bottle that you love! A stylish bottle can bring enjoyment to your day and boost your mindset every time you reach for a drink. Having a reusable water bottle at all times can help you get in the habit of sipping on water throughout the day. Refill when you get to the bottom of the bottle. If needed, put a few reminders on your phone to walk to the drinking fountain and refill your bottle.
- Avoid Other Beverages: Did you know that caffeine can have a dehydrating effect on your body? Even though a bottle of soda is putting liquid into your body, the overall effect is dehydrating because of the caffeine, sugar, and other ingredients that require water for metabolism and breakdown. In fact, caffeine can have a diuretic effect, which means it will make you urinate more. Skip soda and coffee in favor of water. Not only will your hydration improve, but you might notice a change in weight by cutting the empty calories.
- Add Flavor: Splash your water with a small amount of fruit juice or add chunks of fruit. Adding fruit is easy and fun- try cucumber, raspberries, or strawberries and experiment with different flavors. You can also find zero-calorie flavor packets that can be mixed into your bottle. If you like the fizz of carbonation, try naturally flavored soda water.
- Track Your Intake: It can be hard to keep track of how much water you drank throughout the day. Look for a system that fits in your workflow. For example, it can be as simple as marking a tally on a notepad every time you drink a glass of water. Or, you can try using a phone app that reminds you to take another drink. Not only should you maintain a tracker, but also look for ways you can reward yourself for hitting daily and weekly goals.
- Drink Extra in the Morning: Prepare for the workday by drinking plenty of water first thing in the day. When you wake up in the morning, drink a glass of water as soon as possible. Aim to get one more glass in before you walk out the door for work. Begin the day hydrated so that you are starting in the right place to set yourself up for success.
- Switch Your Snacks: This tip isn’t about drinking water, but it is a critical factor that can affect your hydration. Prepackaged, processed food tends to have low water content, which can dehydrate you when you need an afternoon snack. Instead of munching on pretzels or chips, bring snacks with high water content such as fruit, smoothies, or veggies. Eating plenty of fresh produce can support your hydration goals, especially since some fruits and veggies contain as much as 90% water.
Benefits of Good Hydration
Getting enough water throughout the day can have a noticeable impact on your overall health and wellness. Learning about these benefits can help you stay motivated to drink more water. Here are some of the reasons why drinking water should be a high priority each day:
- Hydration supports good cardiovascular health
- Water can have a positive impact on energy and concentration
- Maintain a youthful appearance with glowing skin
- Water is essential for body temperature regulation
- Avoid dry mouth problems by staying hydrated
- Lubricate the joints and muscles so the cells can remove waste efficiently
- Support the cleansing functions in the body to remove toxins and waste through the kidneys and colon
Should You Visit an Urgent Care for Dehydration?
Minor dehydration is easy to overcome by drinking a few glasses of water. If you notice that you are feeling a little sluggish or parched, then you should pay attention to your body signals and rehydrate as soon as possible.
If you are dehydrated and you experience any of the following symptoms, then it is a good idea to talk to a doctor for treatment:
- Extreme thirst
- Swollen tongue
- Dry mouth
- Dark, discolored urine
- Minimal urine output
- Heart palpitations
- Mental confusion
Dehydration can cause severe health problems if left untreated. If you find that your symptoms don’t improve within an hour, then it is recommended that you visit an urgent care right away. You are invited to call our team at iCare ER and Urgent Care to determine if you need to visit our clinic to talk to a doctor. We are here to help with all of your medical needs!
Our board-certified medical staff provides both emergency and urgent care services. Walk-ins are welcome, or you can call ahead to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors. Contact iCare ER and Urgent Care at (214) 407-8668.