If you’re feeling tired, or maybe just sluggish, but got a good night’s sleep, water might be to blame. Actually, a lack of it.
You’re made mostly of water, and so are your body fluids. That means even if you’re a little dehydrated, your blood volume drops and your heart works harder to pump what’s there to your cells and organs. That extra work can make you feel fatigued.
What’s more, water transports nutrients and minerals throughout your body. Not enough water, means not enough fuel, means you feel used up.
You lose water doing just about anything – including breathing. You even lose it doing nothing – it evaporates from your skin.
Generally, you should drink enough water to make up for your body’s loss of it. Without getting nerdy about the science of it all, you’re well hydrated if your urine is pale yellow, kind of like the color of hay.
Pretty much anything you can drink has some water, beer included – but you’re at work, remember. Plus, some drinkables are far healthier than others.
As you’d guess, water ranks number one. Caffeine is a diuretic, so coffee and caffeinated drinks aren’t the best choices, but they’re better than nothing. Juice can be okay, but it’s got sugar. So do sports drinks, so stay away from them unless you just spent your lunch hour running the whole time (which would be great too!).
“Generally speaking, if an individual is not performing high-intensity aerobic-style workouts – running, biking – water is sufficient to meet fluid needs,” says Michael Booth, Unum’s senior benefits consultant and a triathlon coach.
Some edibles contain water, as well: fruits and vegetables, even yogurt. Still, water is the superstar of hydration. So fill a glass or stainless-steel bottle with the clear stuff, and keep it handy.
Journalist Mitra Malek writes about wellness, fitness and innovation. She has taught yoga regularly since 2006 and was a senior editor for Yoga Journal magazine. Learn more at mitramalek.com.