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Is it a common occurrence for you to get to the end of a working day and have a headache, heavy eyes and feel irritable? Many people pass this off as work related stress and keep trying to push through, however what you might not realise is that these are the starting signs of what could be mild dehydration.

It is so easy to get to the end of the day and realise you’ve only had 1 or 2 glasses of water, a significant amount less than the recommended 8 glasses per day. Mild dehydration is a common occurrence, especially in the work place and can have profound effects on ones mental alertness as well as overall health goals.

Having enough water throughout the day is vital for optimal brain function and productivity levels. Even mild dehydration can lead to decreased cognition, reduced concentration levels, alertness and slowed reaction times

Do these symptoms sound familiar? Perhaps you felt them yesterday, during your afternoon slump?

As well as inadequate water intake affecting your mental alertness, it can also affect your health goals. Thirst is an obscure feeling with many people confusing it with hunger. How many times have you felt irritable, unsettled and potentially hungry? Yep that is probably your body screaming out it’s thirsty! It is common for people to over eat and snack more throughout the day when they do not have adequate water intake, leading to an excess consumption of unnecessary calories.

The idea of having the recommended 1.2 – 2L per day can seem a little daunting but below are a few little tricks you can try to increase your consumption:

  • Set yourself reminders on your phone.
  • Have smaller reachable targets, for example at least 600ml by 12pm and then another 600ml by 6pm.
  • Keep a bottle on your desk so that it is constantly in view.
  • Change it up a bit, add some lemon or lime every now and again or have some sparkling water.
  • So next time you are feel the afternoon slump hitting, instead of reaching for another coffee or that sugary treat, have a glass of water – your brain will thank you later.

And remember if you are exercising, you want to increase your intake even more to replace any losses through sweat.