Water is required for life. It’s a natural resource that’s critical to satisfy health-related needs and support essential body functions, which include our body composition, mental focus, sleep, and recovery, according to Nutrition Reviews. It’s evident that water is a key element responsible for human life on earth, and staying hydrated is vital for our survival. The majority of our body weight is made up of water. The United States Geological Survey notes that water makes up:
- 73% of the human brain
- 83% of lungs
- 73% of the heart
- 79% of muscles
- 31% of bones
- 79% of kidneys
With this in mind, it’s clear how significant drinking water is to help our bodies maintain favorable health. However, even though most of us are aware that proper hydration provides several benefits for both our minds and the human body, many people still drink below their recommended daily fluid intake. In fact, Forbes reports that a majority of Americans aren’t simply falling short of their 8 glasses a day, but are actually chronically dehydrated. For workplaces, this inevitably has serious implications for the health and productivity of your team members, which impacts your bottom line long term.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about hydration and how your workplace can support and drive greater water intake among your employees.
The Science Behind Dehydration
When you take in water as fast as you lose it, you create a balance between the water reservoirs in the human body. We remain sensitive to the water balance in our blood system and are well equipped at replacing any daily fluids lost through bodily functions, including:
- Excretion: According to Merck Manuals, a person can lose a pint to several gallons of urine a day.
- Breathing: When we inhale, moisture is added to the air as it passes to our lungs. The humidified air is then lost once we exhale.
- Sweating: We lose under a liter of water daily when it evaporates from the skin, per the Merck Manuals. This amount can increase dramatically when we sweat profusely due to vigorous physical activity or elevated body temperature.
- Digestion: Generally, we lose little water through the digestive tract. However, in the case of severe diarrhea and vomiting, a gallon or more can be lost.
To avoid dehydration in any form, water consumption should continuously balance water loss. When the body suffers from a water deficiency, the lymphatic system — which helps maintain fluid balance — will ensure that only essential cells stay hydrated at the cost of damage to less important ones. This inevitably causes the body to perform less efficiently.
As mild to severe dehydration starts to set in, individuals can expect symptoms such as:
- Lack of focus
These are telltale signs that you’re not drinking water enough to maintain healthy hydration.
Hydration Facts and FAQs To Keep In Mind
For a better understanding of hydration and its impact, we’re taking a look at a few water facts and frequently asked questions to take into account:
- Multiple studies have found that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
- The National Council on Aging reports that you can drop 2-3% of your body weight through lost fluids before you even realize you’re thirsty — which is especially true as we age.
- Roughly 20% of our fluid intake comes from foods that are high in water content, according to Everyday Health.
- Quench research shows that more than 3 in 4 workers don’t drink enough water daily at work.
- According to the Daily MBA, just a 1% drop in hydration can lead to as much as a 12% drop in productivity.
What Does Water Do For the Body?
Good hydration does more than just quench your thirst, it has numerous health benefits, too. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that drinking water helps your body:
- Regulate internal body temperature
- Lubricate and cushion joints
- Supply cells with oxygen and nutrients
- Get rid of waste through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements
- Protect your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues
How Much Water Should I Drink Every Day?
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report that the adequate daily water intake is approximately 3.7 liters of fluids for men and 2.7 liters for women — averaging at about 6 to 8 glasses a day. However, several internal and external factors ultimately affect how much water one needs. The average recommendations are as follows:
- Infants: Healthline notes that a few sips throughout the day is acceptable but not more than 2 ounces of water is necessary. Any more than that can fill up the little space they have for breast milk or formula.
- Children between the ages of 4 to 13: According to Web MD, these children should be drinking 5 to 8 cups of water, depending on their gender and age. Nutrients reports that older males tend to have higher fat levels and, therefore, require more water daily.
- Adults: As stated before, the average adult male and female are advised to drink 3.7 and 2.7 liters of water each day, respectively.
- The elderly: Web MD reports that older adults should aim to drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluid every day while keeping in mind that some medications can make it more difficult to maintain healthy hydration levels.
When Is the Optimal Time to Take in Water?
Certain times of the day are ideal for hydration, helping you maximize water’s effectiveness on your body:
- After waking up: activates your internal body organs
- Before taking a bath: lowers blood pressure
- Thirty minutes before eating: aids digestion
- An hour after eating: gives the body time to absorb the food’s nutrients
- Before going to bed: accounts for any fluid loss as you sleep
The Importance of Hydration at Work — Tips for Improving Water Intake
A dehydrated workforce is inevitably detrimental to any workplace’s performance, productivity, and bottom line. This highlights the true value of driving workplace hydration. In fact, upgrading your workplace water supply can lead to a host of notable benefits including:
- More focused and energized employees
- Increased levels of employee engagement and satisfaction
- Enhanced cognitive performance in team members
- Reduced absenteeism
- Improved employee performance, efficiency, and productivity
Staying Hydrated at Work
With the importance of workplace hydration top-of-mind, organizations are increasingly in search of ways to support greater water intake among their employees. Here are a few tips to help your team members maintain good hydration at work:
- Consume water-rich foods: Eating foods that are high in water content, particularly any fruit or vegetable, is an effective way to increase your water intake. Some water-rich foods include watermelon, zucchini, cucumber, grapefruits, strawberries, and lettuce.
- Suggest a drinking water app: There are numerous water monitoring apps available (such as Waterlogged and Hydro Coach) that you can download on your Android or iOS device to help you keep track of your daily fluid intake.
- Provide reusable water bottles: Offering new or custom reusable water bottles can encourage workers to stay hydrated by motivating them to regularly refill their bottles throughout the day.
- Reward healthy hydration habits: Workplaces can consider introducing reward programs to incentivize drinking enough water each workday.
- Introduce a bottleless water cooler: A bottleless water cooler is a cost-effective, space-efficient, and sustainable alternative to tap water and bottled water solutions. By offering filtered, clean, and great-tasting water, you’re more likely to see more frequent use of reusable water bottles and improved hydration.
Promote Proper Hydration With a Bottleless Water Dispenser From Quench
With a bottleless water dispenser from Quench, you can take your plain water to the next level with comprehensive filtration technology to support higher levels of hydration in your employees, guests, and customers. These coolers are connected directly to your workplace’s existing water line to provide an endless stream of safe drinking water.
Offering great-tasting water can ultimately drive hydration while helping your team members avoid sugary drinks throughout the day — leading to higher performance, increased energy levels, and better business results in the long run.
Explore our wide array of bottleless solutions, including freestanding, and countertop options, to discover the dispenser that’s the right fit for your unique business needs. If you’re ready to elevate your drinking water supply, get a free quote today.