The Truth Behind The Mid-Afternoon Slump
18 Mar 2016
It’s known as the ‘afternoon slump’, and most office workers know the feeling! What many people don’t know, though, is that it’s often caused by dehydration.
So before you grab a coffee or a sugary snack to pep you up, ask yourself: are you drinking enough water?
Signs that you’re dehydrated at work
Grabbing a drink of water can be the last thing on our minds on a busy work day. Often, we don’t think about it until we’re really thirsty; but by then the fatiguing effects of dehydration may already be kicking in.
1. You’re finding it hard to concentrate
Research shows that even 1 or 2% dehydration (a deficit of only a few hundred millilitres) actually causes shrinkage in cells, including brain cells. This can quickly result in fatigue, reduced short term memory, headaches and poor concentration.
The brain is 75% water, so it makes sense that our alertness, cognitive functions and efficiency might be affected by not drinking enough water.
2. You can’t shake that bad mood
A US study on the effects of mild dehydration confirmed significantly higher levels of confusion and anger in study participants who didn’t drink enough water. This crankiness is caused by a combination of the effects on the brain of dehydration and heat stress, since water also helps us regulate our responses to temperature.
This can have a major impact on your workplace satisfaction, as your productivity dips, while you’re also less capable of coping with stress. Another study found that you actually perceive mental tasks to be more difficult when you’re dehydrated, even if your performance doesn’t suffer.
Unfortunately medicating your bad mood with a double espresso may only make you feel more on edge!
The good news? Help is at hand – and it’s free!
Thankfully, the research also reveals increased alertness as a result of water intake.
Rehydrating with clean, fresh water improves your mood straight away, due to quenching thirst and reducing body temperature. Within 30 minutes, you’ll notice a flow on effect with improved cognitive function.
But rather than thinking of water as a response to a slump, why not avoid the slump altogether by sipping water regularly during your workday?
Keep a fun, personalised water bottle on your desk and top it up whenever you need to stretch your legs. Keep a smaller drink bottle in your bag for that lunchtime stroll or the train trip home.
And why not encourage your workplace to install a filtered water system? With one of these in place, you’ll have fresh, cold, great tasting water available to you any time of day. You’ll save a fortune on bottled water too!
Water doesn’t just quench your thirst; it gives you energy and helps your body’s intricate systems to function to the best of their ability – including your brain.
So don’t blame the air conditioning, too much screen time, or that meeting that ran overtime for your inability to focus when it hits 3pm – have a drink!
Experience the Zip Effect. It’s easy to drink more and improve your workplace productivity with fresh, filtered water on tap.