Hydration and Leadership

By Sally Keys

Updated Over a Week Ago

Minute Read

Leaders may often overlook the need to take care of their health. One crucial aspect of this is hydration.

Coffee isn’t the only drink that can help you achieve your leadership goals. In fact, overindulgence in caffeinated drinks could impair your cognitive function and decrease how well you perform as a leader by dehydrating you.

Dehydration has a profound impact on your cognitive performance and mood. It can even impact how well you sleep, which will also affect your work.

Whether you serve as an executive at a for-profit business or manage a department at a college, leadership roles are demanding.

Taking adequate care of yourself, especially ensuring adequate hydration, is critical to peak performance in your role.

Drinking enough water every day can actually help you be a better leader.

Even Mild Dehydration Affects You

Dehydration may not seem like the most serious concern to a professional, but it has an overt and immediate impact on your performance.

Some of the symptoms of dehydration overlap with the symptoms of exhaustion, including headaches, muscle cramps, difficulty focusing, and irritability.

Feeling thirsty or not needing to go to the bathroom for long periods of time are both warning signs of potential dehydration.

Most of your body is made up of water, and that includes your brain. When you don’t have adequate clean water, it impairs system functions in your body.

Even 2% dehydration can impact your cognitive function. The more dehydrated you become, the more likely it is to impact your work performance.

Ensuring that you get enough water throughout the day helps keep you mentally sharp and can even improve your performance as a leader.

Set a Good Example by Taking Care of Yourself

As a leader, you don’t just have to worry about your own performance. You also have to worry about the function and performance of everyone on your team.

If you create a culture where workers don’t feel comfortable taking care of their biological needs, your workers will not be giving you their best possible performance.

By setting a good example and focusing on proper self-care, including adequate hydration, you encourage your workers to also take good care of their bodies.

If everyone on your team commits to proper hydration, that could limit the number of oversights and mistakes that get made at work and improve overall happiness and productivity.

Although the old standard for hydration was consuming at least eight glasses of water a day, the truth is that proper hydration varies based on gender, age, lifestyle, and more.

The simplest way to make sure you get enough water is to listen to your body.

If you need a goal, you can divide your weight in half and try to drink that many ounces of liquid each day.

Although alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks do have fluids, caffeine and alcohol also dehydrate you.

You may want to increase your fluid intake by a few extra ounces anytime you consume a drink with alcohol or caffeine in it.

Health and Performance

As a leader, you have an obligation to maximize the performance of the people you work with.

You also need to set a positive example by taking care of yourself and seeking your own best performance.

Embracing hydration as one of the key factors for overall health and productivity will help you perform better as a leader.

It will also encourage the rest of your team to take good care of their bodies and meet their physical needs.

How Can Leaders Work on Hydration?

If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Sally Keys
Sally Keys
Sally is a freelance writer who gave up a successful career in HR to become a work-from-home mum running her own business. She operates a strict daily schedule, often getting a lot of her work done before the kids get up, and enjoys getting out of the home to walk her pet Labrador, Rosie.
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