Now that summer is here, and temperatures are higher than usual, it is particularly important to stay hydrated.  60% of the body is made up of water so it makes sense that staying hydrated is crucial. A study by UConn  Human Performance Lab has shown that as little as 1.5% dehydration has a negative effect on performance.

Feeling thirsty? Then you are already dehydrated. Our thirst sensation doesn’t appear until we are 1-2% dehydrated.  At this point, dehydration is already setting in and starting to impact the performance of our mind and body according to Lawrence E Armstrong, an international expert who has conducted over 20 years research in the field of hydration.

How Dehydration Affects Performance

Think it is only athletes that need to up their water intake. Think again. Incredibly, it doesn’t matter if you are sitting, working at a desk all day or running marathons where runners lose up to 8% of their body weight. The negative effects of mild dehydration were the same for both groups. Symptoms of dehydration included:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Concentration problems
  • Difficulty with mental tasks
  • Tension
  • Anxiety
  • Adverse changes in mood

So the message is if you want to boost your performance then up your water intake.  In this season of BBQs and summer parties, alternate those gins/ glasses of vino with a glass of water. Your body will thank you for it. Plus, water is also the best and cheapest moisturizer, we can get, so another great reason to stay hydrated.

But, what if you don’t like the taste of water?

Clients often tell me, they don’t like the taste of plain water. Check out these 7 ways to jizz up your water to ensure your hydration levels are topped up and boost your performance.

  1. Herbal Infusions are a great way to add flavour to your water – you can use fresh herbs such as rosemary/mint/basil/lemon balm.
  2. Fruits such as berries, melon, grapes and pineapple all taste great or a slice of lemon/lime/orange/grapefruit. Mix it up for an exciting summer flavour.  Just be careful with too much citrus fruits as these are hard on the enamel of the teeth so I would keep that to a minimum or use a straw.
  3. Cucumber is particularly good in water. You can add mint/basil leaves also.
  4. Infuse a herbal teabag such as peppermint/raspberry. You can make this up in a jug as you would a tea then chill in the fridge overnight. Add more water to your taste and sip throughout the day.
  5. Add a dash of rose water to give you an exquisite tasting water
  6. Natural sparkling mineral is great for the added minerals you are getting however it can also be hard on the teeth.  Add a drop to your glass of plain water to liven it up.
  7. Ginger will liven up your water. Grate some fresh ginger and add some lemon and/or torn mint leaves to give your immune system a boost.

Sip and Enjoy!


Hydration & Physical Performance - Bob Murray Phd