Drinking Water

3 Scientific Ways Drinking Water Makes You More Productive

We all know drinking water is essential to good health. It keeps us alive and helps our body function properly. But what if I told you staying hydrated is also a good way to become more productive too? This article will show you 3 scientifically backed reasons why drinking enough water each day will help you focus better and get more done.

Why Is Water So Important?

To put it simply, your body would stop working properly without a good amount of hydration. This makes sense when you consider that water makes up around 60% of your body weight. The human body has many important functions to perform and needs water to do most of them. For example, your blood carries oxygen to all the cells in your body but wouldn’t be able to do this without water.

Going on a journey of self-improvement and increased productivity is a lot easier if your body is at peak physical condition.

Below are 3 solid reasons why you should make sure you get enough hydration each day if your objective is higher levels of productivity.

1. Water Increases Your Physical Performance

All athletes know that failing to drink enough water means poor physical performance. This is because dehydration can have a noticeable effect on the way your body operates. Losing as little as 2% of your body’s water content can result in reduced motivation, increased fatigue, altered body temperature control and make everything more difficult in both mental and physical terms (1).

The good news is that proper hydration can prevent all this from happening. Drinking enough water may even reduce oxidative stress. This form of stress happens when you take part in any physically demanding activity. None of this should come as a surprise when you consider that your muscles are around 80% water (2).

2. Hydration Impacts Brain Function

Your hydration status strongly influences your brain capacity and function. Studies now reveal that your brain function can even be affected by very mild dehydration (i.e. a loss of around 1-3% of body water weight).

For instance, a research study conducted on young women who had a fluid loss of 1.36% after exercise shows they suffered from an increased frequency of headaches as well as impaired concentration and mood (3).

While a similar research study was conducted on a group of young men who had a fluid loss of 1.59%. Despite this modest level of dehydration, the participants showed signs of increased feelings of fatigue, anxiety and a decrease in working memory (4).

Being productive is hard enough without feeling fatigue, anxious or suffering from poor memory. These studies show that even being a little bit dehydrated can decrease your capacity to keep on top of things. So drinking a glass of water before sitting down to focus on what you want can help give you the energy to achieve your goals.

3. Drinking Water May Help Treat and Prevent Headaches

Many people suffer from headaches because of dehydration. However, studies show that water is capable of not only relieving the symptoms of some headaches but also preventing them in the first place (5).

Headaches are not just physically upsetting, they also stop you from getting anything meaningful done. Some migraines are so bad that they can completely knock you out and render you incapacitated for a while. The last thing you want is to be completely wiped out by a headache. Especially a headache that is totally preventable by simply drinking more water.

The Bottom Line

The sad part about all of this is that the vast majority of people suffer from dehydration. Some reports claim there could be as many as 75% of US citizens suffering from dehydration that don’t know it (6). This is a huge issue when you consider how essential water is to our overall health, well being and the ability to function at full capacity.

If you’re worried about getting enough hydration, a good place to start is to work out how much water you should drink each day. Do this by using a daily water intake calculator to work out how much water you need to drink according to your body weight.


Scientific References

1. Popkin, B. M., D’Anci, K. E., & Rosenberg, I. H. (2010). Water, Hydration and Health. Nutrition Reviews, 68(8), 439–458. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/

2. Judelson, D.A., Maresh, C.M., Anderson, J.M. et al; Hydration and Muscular Performance, Sports Med (2007) 37: 907. https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00007256-200737100-00006

3. Armstrong LE1, Ganio MS, Casa DJ, Lee EC, McDermott BP, Klau JF, Jimenez L, Le Bellego L, Chevillotte E, Lieberman HR; Mild dehydration affects mood in healthy young women. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22190027

4. Ganio MS1, Armstrong LE, Casa DJ, McDermott BP, Lee EC, Yamamoto LM, Marzano S, Lopez RM, Jimenez L, Le Bellego L, Chevillotte E, Lieberman HR. Mild dehydration impairs cognitive performance and mood of men. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21736786

5. Price A, Burls A; Increased water intake to reduce headache: learning from a critical appraisal, US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, 21 June 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26200171

6. Dahlia Ghabour; UF Health Communications – UF Health Podcasts April 14th, 2015 http://news.health.ufl.edu/2015/24469/multimedia/health-in-a-heartbeat/studies-show-most-americans-are-dehydrated/


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

27 Responses to 3 Scientific Ways Drinking Water Makes You More Productive

  1. Simon Ponder says:

    I recently quit soda for lent to see how I would feel on only water. Man am I in a deficit according to that formula!

  2. You actgually make it seem rwally easy with your presentation however
    I find thnis topic to be actually one thing which I feel I’d never understand.
    It kind of feels too complicated and extremely vast for me.
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  3. Luke George says:

    Ah Simon! I wanted to leave the first comment but you beat me to it 🙂 Great to hear that you tried to quit soda, I’m sure you felt great at the end of the experiment. Indeed most people are not drinking enough water but at least you’re aware of it and so you’re more empowered to do something about it.

    Pemasaran & Survey Bandung, thanks for leaving a comment 🙂 Don’t let all the facts and numbers confuse you, the bottom line is that most people are dehydrated and missing out on all the benefits of good hydration. I have put together an easy to use daily water calculator and there is a link at the end of the article in the section titled “The Bottom Line” (but there are so many alternatives online if you do a quick google search). All you need to do is (i) work out if you’re drinking enough and (ii) if not start drinking more. Your body will thank you for it 😉

    My name is Luke and I’m the author of this article, if you have any comments, questions or concerns just post them here and I’ll personally reply.

    A big thank you to Erin and the team for publishing!

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