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Dehydration can hit office workers’ performance just like athletes’

Mixing the Hydrant powder into a cup of water.
Mixing the Hydrant powder into a cup of water.

I’m sitting at my desk. It’s late afternoon and I’m drowsy. I even have a bit of a headache.

Has the coffee from the morning worn off? Maybe, but that’s probably not the problem.

An email pops up on my computer screen promoting a new hydration drink mix that’s hitting the market. It makes me think.

The roof of my mouth is bone dry. I’m not low on caffeine, I’m dehydrated.

Fatigue, tiredness and even headaches can be signs of dehydration.

I drink a couple of glasses of water and start to feel refreshed.

I should know better. I have a problem with chronic dehydration and am keenly aware that I need to drink enough water.

But it’s not just my issue. Many people face dehydration.

According to the press release from Hydrant, the brand promoting its hydration product, a 1998 study showed that 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated, and often aren’t aware of it.

Some professions are more at risk for dehydration than others.

Those who work outside, especially in the heat, are more prone to dehydration. People in sports and the landscaping and construction industries take great care to stay hydrated, making sure to have water and beverages such as Gatorade on hand.

But it’s not the first thing on your average office worker’s mind.

Still, many factors – from the happy hour drinks with co-workers the night before to the lunchtime workout or even sitting at your desk breathing in dry heat in the winter or air conditioning in the summer – can leave anyone dehydrated and tired.

Most people will turn to coffee when they feel that energy lag. But if dehydration is the problem, coffee isn’t the best cure, even if its longtime reputation for adding to dehydration may be unfounded, according to recent studies.

Water, of course, is the go-to drink for hydration, but sometimes it isn’t enough.

That’s why hydration beverages were developed and continue to be researched and improved.

And it’s not just being sleepy on the job.

Dehydration can cause a number of symptoms that can affect job performance.

More recent research has shown that dehydration can cause a drop in mental function, affecting reaction times, focus and short-term memory, so it’s worth mentioning as a potential workplace problem.

Ideally, people should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to stay fully hydrated. But that can be tough, and some people fall behind and end up dehydrated, which feels awful.

That’s when a hydrating beverage can help you get faster back into the proverbial game. It’s why more products like Hydrant are popping up on the market.

I tried Hydrant. It was the least I could do after its press release jolted me out of my slump and reminded me to take a much-needed trip to the water cooler.

Everyone has different tastes and different bodies, but I found Hydrant to be pretty effective. And it tasted a little better than some hydrating products I’ve tried. Anyway, for what it’s worth, I liked it.

But this isn’t a sales pitch. Rather, I’m reminding fellow office workers to remember that you can be affected by dehydration just like pro athletes or construction workers.

So, to play on the words of the World’s Most Interesting Man in those Dos Equis commercials:

“DON’T stay thirsty, my friends.”

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