Impacts of dehydration on daily performance
Written by Samantha Coppinger | Accredited Practising Sports Dietitian
17 November 2022
Discussion of performance nutrition is often linked with athletes and professional sports. However, performing your best is essential in all aspects of life—including work and school!
Good hydration is the key to ensuring optimal performance on a daily basis. However, this is widely unknown—as is the impact of dehydration on our ability to perform well.
What is Dehydration?
Dehydration is defined as a total loss of water and important electrolytes (i.e., sodium and potassium), required for our bodies to function. Often, this loss is increased by:
- Warm temperatures or working environments (i.e., factory work, mining)
- High-intensive workloads
- Wearing protective or layered clothing
- Using heating or cooling systems.
Research from Kenefick and Sawka (2007) has identified that a fluid deficit greater than 2% of your total body mass will begin to affect performance negatively.
This blog will discuss dehydration's impact on performance, including how PREPD Hydration can help avoid this!
Impacts of Dehydration on Daily Performance:
1. Low Energy
Have you ever felt tired at work or stuck in an afternoon slump? If yes, poor hydration could be the cause!
As Rosinger et al’s (2019) ground-breaking sleep study has found, well-hydrated participants recorded the doctor-recommended 8-9 hours of sleep per night, while dehydrated participants experienced interrupted REM sleep (6 or less hours) and low energy the following day.
Feeling fatigued at work, school, or even playing sports will significantly decrease your ability to perform well by:
- Impairing your concentration & memory
- Decreasing interest in performing tasks
- Causing body fatigue & soreness.
This can contribute to poor work productivity and increase the time taken to perform tasks (Blake 2011; Kenefick & Sawka 2007; Miller & Bates 2010).
Want to learn more about the impact of dehydration on sleep quality? Read PREPD’s sleep blog here.
2. Decreased Decision-making Capabilties
Dehydration can also impact your mind’s ability to make decisions when performing. Specifically, to differentiate a good decision from a bad one.
Take lifting a heavy item, for example. While common sense might tell us that the task requires two people to complete the task safely, when dehydrated, our brain’s decision-making ability becomes impaired. This may cause us to make the wrong decision to lift it ourselves.
As supported by Kenefick & Sawka’s (2007) study, this can impact your daily performance by:
- Decreasing productivity (indecisive decision-making)
- Causing more-frequent mistakes
- Increasing the risk of injuries
3. Decreased Concentration
Dehydration is also linked to poor concentration, which can cause a range of mild-to-severe side effects— especially when working!
As Blake’s (2011) study on dehydration and the workplace has found, mildly dehydrated workers recorded a 10% decrease in concentration, with a frequency of becoming distracted or forgetting tasks.
This can significantly impact your daily work performance by:
- Increasing the time taken to complete work
- Missing important deadlines
- Decreasing productivity
However, more concerningly, poor concentration can also decrease your reaction time.
When you become dehydrated and/or fatigued, your brain may not properly assess its surroundings to determine the speed at which you should respond to different environmental factors.
In the workplace, this can severely impact your daily performance, as multiple studies have found that dehydrated workers more frequently made preventable errors and were more prone to causing injuries (Blake 2011; Kenefic & Sawka 2007). This may become costly not just for your workplace but also for yourself!
4. Postural Hypotension
Finally, dehydration increases the chance of postural hypotension, which may limit your ability to perform entirely. Postural hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, which occurs when your body is sitting or lying down. This can result in:
When dehydrated, the likelihood of postural hypotension increases. Consequently, this may decrease your productivity at work, school, or sports and potentially lead to other health-related issues (Kenefick & Sawka 2007; Miller & Bates 2010).
What is the recommended daily water intake?
It is recommended that you consume 8-10 glasses of water per day to stay adequately hydrated. However, this fluid intake should be adjusted according to your individual lifestyle and hydration needs.
Tips to increase hydration:
We understand the difficulty of maintaining good hydration—especially when you’re busy with work or school. Here are some tips to make this easier and ensure you remain hydrated daily:
- Carry a water bottle and take gradual sips during the day
- Ensure you drink 8-10 glasses of water every day
- Set reminders to drink on your phone/device
- Drink a glass of water with every meal or snack.
Are you doing these things but not feeling the benefits? PREPD Hydration is here to help!
PREPD is a proven hydration enhancer designed to make water work harder.
Using our patented sustained fibre formulation, our two-step PRIME and RECOVER strategy resists digestion in the small intestine and moves through to the large intestine—which can store an additional 5L of water per day.
By consuming water and PREPD before performing, whether that be at school, work, or in the sporting area, we can help you reduce fluid loss by up to 85% and perform your personal best!
Try the best hydration drink today