There’s a couple of them at every office. You know the ones I’m talking about. Those friends and colleagues of ours who seem to be perpetually energized, always active, always in a good mood, without ever needing a cup of coffee or a shot of caffeine to keep them going.
Maybe you’re one of those people yourself!
Now, we’re not here to knock coffee. There are some genuine benefits to coffee and we can certainly attest that it’s helped us through more than a few difficult mornings.
Nor do we have anything against all you energized types out there. That’s more power to you (even if we’re a little jealous…)
What we’re really interested in today is how people stay energized day-in-and-day-out without needing coffee or pick me ups. Surprisingly, most of the people we’ve spoken to about this recently all had the same answer:
Drink lots of water.
What are the Actual Health Benefits of Water?
Water has tons of widely-known health benefits that you’ve probably heard about before:
- It boosts your immune system;
- Helps manage your body weight;
- It’s great for your skin;
- Helps your body flush waste;
- It delivers oxygen throughout your body.
Drinking water (that is not soda, juice, or anything flavored) is really the drink of choice for our bodies. However, how often has “getting you energized” been one of the first benefits that comes to mind?
The reason we might not readily pair the two is because – even if we all know it – we don’t often think about the role water plays in fighting dehydration.
Society as a whole has probably paired getting dehydrated with athletes or people wandering through the desert, but that’s hardly the case. Most of us get dehydrated on a daily basis even when sitting indoors on a cool day behind our desks simply because we don’t drink enough water.
But you might say “I always drink water when I feel really thirst!” And that’s part of the problem.
The mechanism for thirst lags behind our actual level of dehydration. By the time you feel even a little bit thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
Why does this matter so much? Well, studies have shown that being even as little as 1% dehydrated can negatively impact our moods, attention span, memory and motor coordination.
When you stop and think about it, all those detriments that water prevents are directly related to our performance at the office. They’re the things that office workers have to worry about even more than athletes.
So maybe when we’re listing the benefits of water, the ones we might want to keep in mind are:
- Water helps keep us focused. Drinking water right before a meeting can ensure we stay on target and get the most out of it.
- Water picks us up when we’re feeling sluggish. For instance, 16 oz of water can be as energizing as 8 oz of coffee during that afternoon slump.
- Water helps us ward off hunger and stop us from being “hangry.” If we’re pressed for time and have to postpone lunch, a full cup of water can delay our hunger by as much as 30 minutes.
- Drinking water works great in conjunction with office Wods! There’s nothing like the 2-for-1 boost of water and a light workout to pick us up when we need it!
If you’re having a hard time visualizing what 8 or 16 oz looks like, remember that 8 oz is about your average coffee mug. And for all you metric folks out there, 8 oz is about 236 ml, and 16 oz is 472 ml (which is just shy of a mason jar).
Your Water Challenge for this Week
As before, we’re not simply here to list off some benefits, but we’re gonna couple these benefits with some down to earth actions you can take at the office.
The challenge this week is to drink more water, and to help you accomplish it, we’ll set some rules:
- You have to drink an extra 8-16 oz of water twice a day for one week straight.
- You have to drink this water in one go. Either chug or sip it quickly, but don’t return to your projects until it’s done.
- You have to do it at the same times each day. Optimally, we’d recommend doing this once in the mornings, say before a meeting, and once in the afternoon after you start to slow down.
- If possible, make it social! Get together as a team, grab your mugs and chug. Just remember it doesn’t have to be a race (unless you want it to).
If you follow this challenge for the whole week, we’re confident that you’ll start noticing the benefits.
Of course, you might feel a little uneasy about drinking all this extra water, but look on the bright side: you’ll be getting some extra steps every time you need to head down the hall to the restroom.
Pro-Tip: Get yourself a good water bottle or jug that you can keep on your desk and always have at hand. Being able to sit back and sip water throughout the day is always more efficient for hydration than having to get up and head down to the water cooler every time.Of course, once you’re empty, don’t forget to go and refill it and get those steps in!
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to buying a reliable bottle, there are tons of options. We’re really lucky to live in an age where there are good, eco-friendly and safe bottles available.
Consider some of these materials:
- Stainless steel. It’s usually expensive (often $40 and upwards) but as a material it doesn’t need a lining, nor do any chemical leach from the material into your drinking water.
- Aluminum. These are often cheaper alternatives to stainless steel, but they’re typically lined with an epoxy or enamel interior. If you go aluminum, just makes sure to check if the lining is BPA-free.
- Glass. Glass-bottles are often some of the most expensive (and fragile), but there’s virtually no chance of BPA or other harmful chemicals getting into your drinking water. If you go glass, be sure to get a protective sleeve for it. That way you’ll get some extra mileage out of your purchase.
During the same week, drink an extra 8-16 oz of water as soon as you wake up (but after you brush your teeth). If you’re a mid-level coffee drinker (that is, you enjoy the caffeine but don’t need it), see if it gives you a similar boost when trying to wake up. You might be surprised.
In sum, drinking lots of water has benefits that directly impact our work life at the office. If you follow through with this challenge and feel the benefits, don’t stop at one week! Make it a regular habit and your body and co-workers too will thank you.
If you’re looking for other great ways to stay energized at the office, be sure to check out our Top 3 Office Wods guide, or to look into our Fit Company Challenge.
Yours in wellness,
The FC Squad