Chances are you are dehydrated right now, especially if you have not ready consumed a couple of glasses of water. In fact 75% of us are chronically dehydrated leaving us feeling far from our best on a daily basis. The message to drink more water is so simple, and the easiest thing we can do to be at our best yet it is so simple that we generally forget to do it.
While a number of the body’s systems benefit from drinking more water, rarely do we go into detail of the specific benefits in our day to day functioning. Recently Zip Industries (http://zipwater.com/blogs/2015/07/24/06/55/zip-experiment-3-water-focuses-the-mind) have released the results of several experiments to show the specific benefits of optimal hydration when it comes to daily life events. From bus mums to school students to young executives there are daily performance and stress management benefits that come from simply drinking more water.
The first experiment compares 2 brothers in a simple reaction time experiment, one brother is hydrated, the other has consumed no water on the day of the experiment. Watch the clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUI8iqEzkqA. The brief experiment gives insight into how even physiological responses of thousandths of a second can give you a 14% better performance time. Perhaps not so relevant on a treadmill but if it comes to jumping out of the way of a bus, avoiding a car crash or catching a glass before it crashes to the floor, there are some big potential benefits.
The next experiment is my absolute favourite as I work with a lot of stressed and busy mums (http://zipwater.com/blogs/2015/07/09/04/21/zip-experiment-2).
In this party intervention with what seems like a million screaming kids, one mum is hydrated the other has again not consumed any fluid the day of the party. The mum’s job is to host a birthday party whilst protecting ornaments from damage. In this brief party period, the dehydrated mum had a higher heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol level, all of which are in response to stress levels in the body. What this basically means is that drinking enough water is the least we can do to help protect our bodies from stress –and who does not want to do that?
A final experiment has significant implications for anyone studying, or parents of young children who are known not to use their water bottles at school as much as they should. In this example, a grand chess master plays chess with a young chess champion in a forced state of dehydration during the chess game (http://zipwater.com/blogs/2015/08/06/05/14/zip-experiment-4).
In his example, researchers found that the mental performance decreased as dehydration increased by at least 10% – enough to have significant implications for chess performance and academic performance for anyone studying. This aligns with previous research findings to show that dehydration actually shrinks the brain, specifically in the part of the brain involved in planning and problem solving, making it more difficult to maintain optimal functioning. So if you regularly start the work day, or send your child to school without enough fluid on board, you will be starting behind the eight ball when it comes to complex thinking, planning and problem solving.
Whether you are running errands, driving, working at a high level or simply dealing with the demands of day to day life, drinking enough water is the most basic thing you can do to be at your best – how much have you had today?
I am currently an ambassador for Zip Industries. All thoughts and opinions included above are my own.