Drink More Water for a More Productive Day

This week we’re looking at simple ways to increase your productivity. These are tips that are easy to overlook, but that should not be underestimated.

On Tuesday we explored the power of writing everything down.

Today, we’re going even simpler. Drink more water.

Chronic Dehydration

Americans are not drinking enough water.

Up to 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.

That’s not great.

Some of this may be due to lack of access, but the vast majority of us have no problems with the availability of water. We just aren’t drinking enough of it.

And this is important! The majority of our bodies are water. The majority of our brains are water. Keeping ourselves properly hydrated keeps us functioning at 100%.

Drink to a Better You

There are plenty of health benefits to drinking more water. I’m sure you’ve heard most of them. And if not, well, let me google that for you.

Today I want to look at the productivity benefits that come along with drinking more water.

Even mild dehydration has proven effects on our mental abilities. Studies have shown that not getting enough water affects your mood and concentration. They’ve also shown that mild dehydration negatively affects your memory and increases anxiety and fatigue.

The effects have been found in young and old, men and women.

Think about how much more smoothly your day would go if you could concentrate better and had a stronger memory. Think about the number of times you have been slowed down or derailed by a bad mood, anxiety, or fatigue.

You can attack all of these in one fell swoop by drinking more water!

How Much is Enough?

The question, of course, is: How much water do I need?

I had always believed that you needed 64 ounces of water per day. This was from the common wisdom that you needed eight glasses of eight ounces.

Turns out there is no evidence to support that number.

The actual amount that you need varies person to person. However, the Mayo Clinic suggests that a good rule of thumb is thirteen cups (104 ounces) for men and nine cups (72 ounces) for women.

It is also important to note that these are baseline numbers. You should be drinking even more if you exercise, are in hot weather, or are sick, pregnant, or breastfeeding.

How to Drink More Water

For years I knew that I should be drinking more water. I often had good intentions to up my water intake, but they never stuck.

This year, I have finally succeeded.

Here are some of the tricks, tweaks, and habits I have found to be helpful.

  • Drink a glass of water when you wake up. I prefer room temperature water, so I will pour a pint glass of water before I go to sleep and leave it in the living room. I drink it while going through my morning routine and have my first 16 ounces out of the way. (If you’re not a weirdo like me, feel free to pour yourself a nice cold glass of water instead.)
  • Keep a water bottle at your desk, and refill it when it is empty. I have a 24 ounce reusable bottle with a filter built in. Keeping it full and next to me at my desk has led to a habit of picking it up and taking a sip as I pause for thought or while reading.
  • Track your water intake. This has been the biggest factor for me. Personally, I track my water drinking in the Fitbit app, but there are a million ways that you can choose to do this. You could keep a spreadsheet, download another app, or just write it down in a notebook. Regardless of how you do it, make a note as you drink water and compare your day-to-day results.

By tracking your water intake you may find that you are part of the dehydrated 75% who is unintentionally handicapping themselves. This is easy to fix!

Grab a glass of water and start being more productive!

16 thoughts on “Drink More Water for a More Productive Day”

  1. There are a TON of health benefits to drinking more water.

    I’m purposeful about drinking at least 3 liters of water per day. That’s the recommended about for someone my age, size, and activity level. To make sure I drink enough I use a CamelBak 1 liter bottle that I refill from the Britta through the day. Most days I pass the goal. When I don’t, I actually do feel a bit dehydrated. (Tends to make me thirsty at night, which of course then leads to waking up… not ideal :>).
    Brad – MaximizeYourMoney.com recently posted…Early Retirement Charted: This Chart Just Might Blow Your MindMy Profile

  2. Great article, Matt! It’s amazing how something as simple as “drink more water” can have such a large impact on our day and productivity. I read about this a long time ago and since then have made a point to drink gobs of water every day. On the weekend, when I’m out of my routine and don’t drink as much water as I usually do when I am at work, I can totally notice a difference.
    Cody @ Dollar Habits recently posted…How to Harness the Power of HabitsMy Profile

  3. I go through periods when I do better, and periods when I do worse with drinking water. This week’s been a bad one because I was on the road midweek, and I’m suffering from the headache that tends to come when I ignore my hydration for a day or two.

    I have found at home, I do better if I keep a pitcher of water with mint in the fridge, or keep some slices of lemon or lime handy. Buying bottled water, while not exactly frugal, helps me a ton if I’m at the beach or lake.
    Emily @ JohnJaneDoe recently posted…Surprise! JohnJaneDoe Celebrates 2 Years of BloggingMy Profile

  4. I’ve had “good intentions” about this, but haven’t followed through that well yet. One thing that gets in my way is a thought process like this: “If I drink that cup of water now, I’m going to have to go to the bathroom in the next hour or two, and I’ll be teaching a class / walking the dog / on a long commute ….”- fill in the blank. Nature’s call can be a deterrent to drinking as much water as I should if it’s not convenient to answer it.
    Fruclassity (Ruth) recently posted…Your Money or Your Life?My Profile

    1. This is one instance where working a desk job is a benefit. I can definitely understand struggling more with this if you have a more restricted schedule. I never meet my water goals on days when I am traveling for the same reason.

      Thanks for the comment, Ruth!
      Matt recently posted…Make Your Life More Like a Video GameMy Profile

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