Impacts of Dehydration on Daily Performance

Written by Samantha Coppinger | Accredited Practising Sports Dietitian
17 November 2022

dehydration can effect your performance at work and sport daily

Discussion of performance nutrition is often linked with pro athletes, but let's not forget that peak performance matters in every arena—including work and school! Ensuring proper hydration is vital to perform well. In this blog, we'll delve into dehydration, discussing the symptoms, how it impacts your performance, and ways to prevent it.

Man hydrated at work

Dehydration: The Basics


What is Dehydration?

Dehydration occurs when the body experiences a significant loss of water and vital electrolytes (like sodium or potassium), crucial for our bodies to function. This loss often intensifies due to:

  • Warm temperatures or working environments (i.e., factory work, mining)
  • Engaging in high-intensity activities
  • Wearing layered or protective clothing
  • Exposure to heating or cooling systems.

According to research conducted by Kenefick and Sawka (2007), a fluid deficit exceeding 2% of your body mass can begin to impair your performance. 

Image Sourced from Adobe Stock

A fluid loss exceeding 2% of your body mass will begin to negatively 

impact your performance.

Signs of Dehydration

In all aspects of life—whether it be school, work (i.e., office, manual labour), playing sport, or simply enjoying your hobbies, dehydration can hinder your ability to perform well.

As such, it's crucial to stay vigilant about your body's hydration cues to avoid becoming dehydrated, or suffering further medical complications. Signs to look out for include:

Dehydration symptoms
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4 Impacts of Dehydration on Daily Performance

1. Low Energy

Have you ever experienced fatigue at work or being stuck in an afternoon slump? If yes, then insufficient hydration might be the culprit.

In a ground-breaking sleep study by Rosinger et al. (2019), well-hydrated participants achieved the recommended 8-9 hours of sleep per night. Contrastingly, dehydrated participants had disrupted REM sleep (6 or less hours) and felt low energy the following day. Feeling fatigued at school, at your job (whether it be office work or manual labour), or even playing sport can significantly hamper your performance by:

  • Hindering concentration and memory
  • Reducing motivation for tasks
  • Triggering bodily fatigue and soreness.

These effects can decrease work productivity and extend task completion times (Blake 2011; Kenefick & Sawkwa 2007; Miller & Bates 2010). Want to learn more about how dehydration impacts your sleep quality? Check out PREPD's sleep and hydration blog here

Tired athlete
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2. Decreased Decision-Making Capabilities 

Your mind's capacity to discern between good and bad decisions during tasks can also be impacted by dehydration. For example, consider lifting a heavy item.

While it's safer to perform this task in pairs, dehydration can compromise our brain's ability to make this decision.  Supported by Kenefick & Sawka (2013) study, this impairment in decision-making can be dangerous and affect daily performance by:

  • Reducing productivity through indecisiveness
  • Heightening the frequency of errors
  • Elevating the risk of injuries.

As dehydration levels increase, your brain's ability to make the correct, safe decision will decrease, leading to costly mistakes and potential injuries.

3. Decreased Concentration

Dehydration is also associated with diminished concentration, triggering a spectrum of mild to severe repercussions. Blake's (2011) workplace study revealed that even mild levels of dehydration contributed to a 10% decline in concentration among workers, resulting in increased distractions and forgetfulness during tasks. This loss of focus can profoundly impact your daily performance by:

  • Prolonging task completion times
  • Missing crucial deadlines
  • Diminishing overall productivity.
dehydrated worker
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Moreover, compromised concentration due to dehydration also results in decreased reaction times. When dehydrated or fatigued, the brain might struggle to promptly assess the environment, affecting the speed and response to various factor (e.g., dodging a ball/player in a sports game or missing targets, dangerous work situation).

In factory environments, this impaired focus can significantly impact performance, supported by studies highlighting increased errors and higher injury rates among dehydrated workers (Blake 2011; Kenefick & Sawka 2013).

4. Postural Hypotension

The risk of postural hypotension significantly increases when dehydrated, potentially hindering your ability to function well. Postural hypotension refers to low blood pressure that occurs while sitting or lying down, resulting in:

  • Feelings of light-headedness
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Fainting

When dehydrated, the chances of experiencing postural hypotension rise. This could lead to reduced productivity at work, school, or during sports activities and might trigger additional health concerns (Kenefick & Sawka 2013; Miller & Bates 2010). 

When dehydrated, the risk of postural hypotension (low blood pressure that occurs while lying down/sitting) increases.

Dehydration can effect performance

Tips to Increase Hydration

Experiencing any of the above symptoms? Check out some of our best tips for increasing your fluid intake to prevent dehydration:

  1. Carry a water bottle: Staying hydrated can be as simple as this! Keep a bottle with you throughout the day and take regular sips.
  2. Set reminders: Use alarms or phone notifications to remind yourself to drink water regularly, especially during busy periods.
  3. Drink during mealtimes: Pair a glass of water with food throughout the day, including main meals and snack breaks. 
  4. Hydrating foods: Incorporate water-rich foods like fruits (watermelon, oranges) and vegetables (cucumbers, tomatoes) into your diet.
  5. Hydration schedule: Establish a hydration routine, ensuring you drink water at specific intervals throughout the day.

PREPD: A Revolutionary Hydration Strategy to Enhance Your Lifestyle

What is PREPD?

PREPD is a two-step hydration-enhancer, scientifically proven to make water work harder. Using our unique Resistant Starch formulation (RS) PREPD resists digestion in the small intestine and moves through to the large intestine, which can store an additional 5L of water per day! By tapping into this unused water, we can help you reduce fluid loss by up to 85% and perform your best!

We understand the importance of designing a hydration range for ALL people, including school students and our workforce who perform daily duties in environments where they may experience the effects of mild dehydration. That's why we've engineered PREPD's formula to create the following products:

Advantage+ by PREPD:

Advantage+ by PREPD is a hydration enhancer backed by over 25-years of medical research that aims to help people suffering from dehydration and prevent it through education and innovative scientific approaches. Using our unique Resistant Starch (pioneered by PREPD), this formula is a simple, ready-to-drink liquid breakfast, available in 2 delicious smoothie flavours! 


We've designed Advantage+ by PREPD to fit your routine, so it doesn't interfere with your day, but instead, ensures sustained energy & focus, whether that be in the office or the classroom. 

Safety by PREPD:

Safety by PREPD is our new range, crafted to help workers think clearer and feel better, helping then stay hydrated and safe throughout the long, intense workdays.

Final Thoughts

In summary, it's undeniable that dehydration has a severe impact on your daily performance across work, school, physical activities, and your day-to-day life in general!

Recognising the subtle signs of dehydration, from increased thirst to fatigue and impaired concentration, and acting to diminish this is paramount in preserving your overall wellbeing and optimising your performance. The integration of PREPD's innovative hydration solution offers a promising strategy to effectively combat dehydration and its adverse effects. By prioritising hydration and leveraging such advanced solutions, individuals can safeguard their performance, productivity, and health in every aspect of their lives.

Check out the PREPD, Advantage+ by PREPD & Safety by PREPD ranges today to satisfy your individual hydration needs in all aspects of your life!