Water & The Workplace – Hydrate For Health

A thirst for knowledge – some hydration facts
According to the BBC Health page on the effects of dehydration, our bodies are made up of somewhere around 70% water. And when you think of that as a percentage, it just goes to show how important hydration is in our diet.

Among the many things water does for us are helping digestion, keeping our skin healthy, and it also helps us flush out bodily waste. In short, water is really important for the human body so it’s really important that we avoid becoming dehydrated.

How much water should we drink in a day?
This question is difficult to answer, since our water requirements depend on a variety of things such as the ambient temperature (if we’re in a very warm room, for instance, we’re more likely to lose fluids through perspiration), the amount of physical exertion we have going on, and also our metabolism.

The NHS Choices website states that for adults, the Department of Health in the UK recommends (as a guide) that adults get around 1.2 litres a day through fluid intake – but they also point out that the total amount of fluid that the body naturally loses in a day is more than this, but most of the rest is made up by the water contained in food (a lot of fruit and veg is high in fluid content, such as aubergine, cucumber and so on). The body also manages to retain some fluid through chemical reactions that take place within our cells.

Rehydration in the workplace
The now ubiquitous water cooler – seen in most offices, plus mains water purifying machines – is a great place to get hydrated during the working day. Water is a thirst quencher but unlike fizzy drinks doesn’t pose a risk in terms of the health of our teeth, and of course is calorie free – making it the original and best diet drink!

Obviously, if you don’t have access to a water cooler, then make sure that any water you drink or use to make hot drinks with comes from a mains tap – normally this will be the one that’s provided along with the kitchen facilities.

Don’t get dehydrated
To avoid dehydration, it’s best to avoid being thirsty for extended periods of time, and make sure you get a drink of water if you do find yourself thirsting. It’s also best to know the signs of dehydration which can include lightheadedness, dizziness, and less need than usual to pass water.

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Jen Jones writes on workplace health topics such as small business health insurance, nutrition, and stress management for a number of business and healthy living blogs.