Fluid levels and continuous fluid intake are so important
that even the slightest decrease of 1% body water
content can noticeably reduce a person’s cognitive
ability and overall performance.
This 1% decrease in overall body water content is also
known as dehydration and it can have many adverse and
unwanted effects. Dehydration can occur for multiple
reasons, including inadequate fluid consumption, the
consumption of fluids that are inappropriate (such as
sugary sodas, alcohol or caffeine), or from excessive
fluid loss without adequate replacement of water and
The following list indicates the effects of mild
dehydration that would likely occur from a reduction of
as little as 1 to 2% body water content.
A Few Signs of Mild-Moderate Dehydration:
Thirst, Decreased mental performance, Reduced
attentiveness and critical thinking, Dry or sticky mouth,
Dark urine or none at all, Headache, Cramps, Lack of
energy, Cool, dry skin.
Hydration in the Workplace
In a workplace setting, these effects of dehydration
can greatly impact a company’s overall performance.
The employees in any company make up the building
blocks, or cogs in the greater machine, as the analogy
goes. Dehydration can lead to tired, under-performing
staff who ultimately are likely to make an increased rate
of mistakes and show signs of lower overall morale.
While hydration is important year-round, it is essential
to understand the role that a warm, muggy underventilated
workplace will play on hydration and staff
performance. When the bodies temperature rises due
to external factors, it tries to cool itself by sweating.
Due to the increased loss of body water content,
natural salts and electrolytes that are imperative to
For this reason, it is important that in a warm workplace
or when performing active work, employees must be
provided with ample fluids to match what is being
naturally lost. These can include water, electrolytereplenishing
beverages, or even foods that are high in
water %. Keeping a steady mix of these options helps
to improve the likelihood that staff will consume the
correct fluids or foods to stay hydrated and healthy.