Bloomberg: You probably know it’s important to stay hydrated. But—frequent bathroom breaks aside—could drinking water actually make you more productive at work? Scientific literature has long suggested a possible link between serious dehydration and decreased cognition. This might be intuitive: When we’re very thirsty, water becomes a matter of survival, and our bodies simply have more pressing concerns than reading reports and filling out forms. But recent studies suggest we don’t need to be crawling through the desert for dehydration to hinder our brains’ functioning. Even mild dehydration—just enough to make us feel a bit parched—can hurt our ability to reach peak productivity. …
“Based on these findings, it goes without saying that even a mild dehydration might have a significant impact on work capacity and productivity,” says Giuseppe Faraco, an assistant professor of neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College and one of the study’s authors. …
As with anything we put into our bodies, though, you can overdo it with water. Overhydration can cause a host of problems—from wasting your workday in the restroom to a rather serious condition called hyponatremia, in which your body’s sodium balance plunges to dangerously low levels. Sure, it’s most commonly found in athletes such as long-distance runners—but even desk jockeys can develop this very particular type of drinking problem.
Well, science, you’ve done it again. Props to you guys, coming in clutch as per usual. I’m a huge water drinker. Always have a bottle of water on my person. I think it’s because I have chronic cotton mouth. But that’s nobody’s business but mine. I also happen to enjoy water. Matter of fact, I love water. That’s not weird. Staying hydrated is not weird. And, evidently, staying productive is not weird. Sorry for seeking “peak productivity” at all times. I almost always drink water with my meals. Every night there’s a bottle or glass of water within arms reach of my bed. My car is full of empties, for real it looks like a recycling epicenter.
Drinking water at work is brilliant, but I have to counter science’s point here. There seemed to be somewhat of a negative connotation when touching on “frequent bathroom breaks”. That couldn’t be more untrue. In fact, bathroom breaks are one of the best parts of water intake. The more water you drink, the more bathroom breaks you need, the more time spent at work not actually working. That’s a winning recipe. I’ve heard that if you spend 10 minutes a day in the bathroom at work, by the end of the year you’ll have spent a full day at work but away from your desk. I don’t think that math adds up but no arguments here. After all this is a shout out to science, not mathematics.
Not a big water drinker? No problem. Enjoy your decreased cognition. By definition, you’ll be a big thirsty idiot. I’ll be minding my own business staying hydrated (yet always being thirsty) and breaking the productivity scale at the office. Wassup?