Eight drinking habits that can make you more productive

Love to feel more energised and work more efficiently? Here are eight drinking habits that can make you more productive.

We all know that it’s important for our health to stay well hydrated. But did you also know that good drinking habits can also boost your productivity?

According to this study, “mild levels of dehydration can produce disruptions in mood and cognitive functioning.” And if more severe, dehydration can affect your short-term memory and arithmetic abilities, as well as other brain functions.

Eight drinking habits that can make you more productive

So how can you ensure you stay well-hydrated throughout the day? Here are eight drinking habits that can make you more productive.

1) Start the day with a glass of water

As tempting as it is to kick start your morning with a strong coffee or tea, consider swapping it for a glass of water instead.

Your body has just gone around eight hours without hydration so is thirsty, even if you don’t feel it. It will also help to speed up your metabolism (allegedly by an impressive 24% for 90 minutes) and will help stop you over indulging at breakfast, as you’ll feel fuller.

2) Drink enough water every day

This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many of us aren’t aware of how much we should be drinking, let alone actually drinking enough.

While your recommended daily intake can vary with factors such as age and illnesses, the average adult man should consume 3.7 litres of water, and women should drink 2.7 litres.

However, this does include water that comes from food, which accounts for about 20% of your total daily intake. With adjustments that leaves men drinking 3 litres a day and women 2.1 litres.

3) Keep a glass of water on your desk

You’re more likely to complete a task and achieve a goal if there are no or only minor obstacles in the way of it. And getting up from your desk to walk to the kitchen or water cooler to fill a glass of water seems far more demanding than just reaching across the table.

So make sure you have a glass of water on your desk at all times. And if you want to take it one step further, keep a jug to refill it handy too.

4) Take lots of small sips of water

While you ideally want to drink your recommended water quota, what you don’t want to do is to gulp it down all at once. Instead it’s far better to take small sips throughout the day.

Why? Because your body can’t use a large amount of water consumed in a short period, so most of it ends up in the toilet bowl. And not only does this defeat the purpose of drinking enough water to stay hydrated, it also means that your productivity actually goes down, thanks to all those toilet trips!

So give your body enough time to absorb the water you’re drinking. A good starting point is two-three sips every quarter of an hour.

5) Don’t wait until you get thirsty

By the time you feel thirsty you’re already dehydrated. (Studies show that you’ve already lost 2-3% of your body weight in fluids by the time you feel thirsty.) That’s something you should try to avoid, so don’t wait until you’re gasping for a glass of water before drinking one.

6) Avoid drinking cold water before or during lunch

When you drink cold water your body needs time and energy to heat it up in your stomach – leaving it less energy to digest food. So not only will digestion take longer than normal, but you’ll also prolong that post-lunch lethargy.

7) Drink fewer dehydrating drinks

It’s not just how much water you drink that’s important; it’s just as essential to know what NOT to drink. And yes, we’re talking alcohol!

Alcohol is a natural diuretic. It causes cells to shrink, so they lose water – leading to dehydration. But the good news is that the other usual suspects (caffeinated drinks like coffee or black tea) aren’t in the dock here. New research shows that they don’t cause dehydration if consumed in moderate amounts (up to 3-6 cups a day).

8) Choose the right water

And finally, what constitutes the ‘right’ water is a subjective issue. Some people swear by tap water, others worry it’s not the healthiest option.

The main thing is to find a type of water that you enjoy drinking, because you’re much more likely to stay hydrated if you like it. So that could be tap water, bottled water or filtered water – as long as it’s water it’s okay in our books!

Follow these eight drinking habits – and work smarter

We’re always looking for easy tips to help us work more efficiently. And what can be easier than just making sure we drink enough water every day? (At the right time!) So follow these eight tips and stay hydrated – and productive.

By Erin Peck for Best Osmosis Systems.

Photo by Greyson Joralemon